Husk Power Systems: Scaling Up a Start-Up

9 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2017 Last revised: 10 Nov 2021

See all articles by Raul O. Chao

Raul O. Chao

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Rebecca Goldberg

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

Husk Power Systems (HPS) provides technologies that generate and distribute electrical power to rural villages in India. Since 2007, HPS has installed 60 mini power plants that power 25,000 households in more than 250 villages, impacting the lives of approximately 150,000 people in rural India. This case details the operational and strategic challenges associated with scaling up HPS, and provides details related to technology development, suppliers, operational capabilities, costs, and market adoption.

Excerpt

UVA-OM-1415

Rev. Sept. 5, 2019

Husk Power Systems: Scaling Up a Start-Up

It was January 2009 when Manoj Sinha, a student at the Darden School of Business, drove to Washington, DC, to meet a potential investor in Husk Power Systems (HPS), a start-up company that built feedstock-fueled generators in rural India (Figure 1). He parked his car, entered a modern hotel, and sat down with Stefan Ramdas to discuss HPS's funding needs. Sinha had expected Ramdas to be interested in financial projections and EBITDA margins, and he was pleasantly surprised to find that one of Ramdas's biggest concerns was not financial but operational in nature. The investor wanted to understand Sinha's plan for scaling up his operations in India and other rice-producing countries. Sinha had thought about this quite a bit and had considered several options. For a brief moment, the entirety of his start-up journey flashed through his mind because he knew his response to this important question could make or break his chance at “getting to yes” with this investor.

A Breakthrough Energy Start-Up

Thinking back through the genesis of HPS, Sinha mused on the four-man partnership that made up the company:

. . .

Keywords: start-up, entrepreneurship, operations, scaling, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, international, India

Suggested Citation

Chao, Raul O. and Goldberg, Rebecca, Husk Power Systems: Scaling Up a Start-Up. Darden Case No. UVA-OM-1415, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2974944

Raul O. Chao (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-982-2681 (Phone)

Rebecca Goldberg

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
2
Abstract Views
223
PlumX Metrics