Husk More Than Money

Manoj Sinha, Co-Founder, Husk

manoj_sinha_article.jpg“What was really exciting for HPS was the willingness of Shell Foundation to really understand the on-the-ground realities and work with us to create a long-term business providing renewable and affordable power to rural population.

The partnership has covered multiple areas – including critical funding to demonstrate our technology and scale up potential, preparing the company for commercial financing and bringing strategic health and safety initiatives as a core to the company's strategy. They helped us grow quickly but, importantly, supported us when we decided to make major business changes that slowed our growth.

We were able to reduce the overall cost of the power plant equipment by 25% mainly due to R&D efforts that the Foundation has helped us with since 2009. This continues to be an ongoing process, but had we not invested a significant amount of money and time early on, the cost at the unit level would have been questionable. We’ve also fundraised together, and the support, networks and credibility of the Foundation helped facilitate a quick turnaround of financing when we needed it – resulting in us meeting our pre-series A commercial funding well ahead of schedule. What we’ve also found particularly useful is support to help us build organisational capacity and strengthen our management capability across operations, training and product development as we expand.”

Simon Desjardins, Former Portfolio Director, Access to Energy

“We have worked with the HPS team since 2008, when the company just had three operating power plants, and were their first institutional funder. Together we have identified priority areas mainly linked to technology, safety, and strategy that required support beyond funding.

Along the way, we’ve been able to identify domain area experts within the Shell Group to advise on increasing the efficiency of the biomass gasification process and practical methods to instil improved safety performance throughout HPS operations.

We continue to actively work with the founding team on developing options to scale the business globally and in identifying potential supporters who could bring resources to bear to execute it. We have also worked across a range of development, government and commercial stakeholders to raise awareness of the business and the underlying energy access issue it is helping to solve.”

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