Modern Energy Cooking Services(MECS) programme had launched the Entrepreneurship Development Programme(EDP), which focussed on the clean cooking sector in March 2022 through its India country partner, Finovista. The programme was supported by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The programme’s initiative seeks to identify, highlight, and promote small- and medium-sized businesses to foster their ideas and build their capabilities. The programme's goals are in line with the government of India's "Make in India" and "Atmanirbhar Bharat" initiatives as well as the "Go Electric" campaign, which was started to promote electric vehicles and electric cooking in India.
The programme was planned to be conducted in two stages, with stage I, offering comprehensive 6-week training to shortlisted entrepreneurs, followed by a further shortlisting of top 3 entrepreneurs in Stage II. The top three entrepreneurs were supported with one-on-one mentoring and a cash grant of up to INR 2.50 Lakhs each. The comprehensive training was on areas spanning technology development, deployment & commercialization, business finance, digital marketing and e-commerce, distribution, consumer behaviour, taxation, and statutory compliances.
Thirteen entrepreneurs were chosen in Stage I, followed by the top three in Stage II. The top three entrepreneurs were Yatin Varachhia (Euphotic Labs Private Ltd), Devang Rameshchandra Joshi (Rudra Solar Energy), and Dr. Ajay Girdharilal Chandak (Chandak Innovations LLP). The one-on-one mentorship support was based on the real-world problem statements of the respective entrepreneurs, and the mentors were tagged accordingly to guide and support the entrepreneurs across 6 weeks of mentorship support.
Under the banner of this programme, entrepreneurs/enterprises were given multiple opportunities to collaborate and network with stakeholders from various supporting agencies, academia, industry, and governmental organisations. The programme’s initiative also encouraged the entrepreneurs/enterprises to take advantage of public and private investment in Research & Development and skill development. The programme outlined a distinctive method of implementation and knowledge enrichment of entrepreneurs since it has rightly identified the potential clean culinary entrepreneurs, boosted their enthusiasm and capacity to experiment with product and device developments, provided solutions to scale up businesses, and given them opportunities for growth and networking.