Wow… Feb was an amazing month for the Himalayan Rocket Stove project and the Smokeless Cookstove Revolution. So much has happened and is happening, so I’ll keep it to the point with the highlights below:
Note… if you want to read the longer and more personal update… click here
Early Feb I flew back to India to follow up with various aspects of the projects and to speak at the TEDx event in Ranchi. This is the short version of how that all went:
- I was based in Chandigarh for most of Feb, being close to the factory. In the first week I managed to get the documentation organised and submitted to incorporate the company in India. (This finally came through just as I was leaving India on the way to the airport.)
- Middle of the month I flew to Ranchi to speak at the TEDx event. Great response locally, no video as yet. It takes a couple of months for TED to approve and post apparently.
- After Ranchi, I flew to Mumbai for a number of meetings and media interviews. One of which was at the only English language radio station for an hour long drive time interview with a well known radio jocky, Hrishi Kay. (Recordings for this are linked here).
- On the way back to Chandigarh I heard about TIECON which is a conference to connect investors with startups. I registered myself for the 2 day event and was there the next day. I put my name down for a 30 second speed-dating pitch event in a room full of investors, along with about 30 others, and managed to get noticed by 3 investors. Within 30 mins of presenting I had keen investors ready to sign up.
- The process of signing up with the investors in currently in process, with due diligence package and the term sheet currently being reviewed.
- I had a meeting with a man who had come from upper Kinnaur and who had bought the first of the new batch of stoves from the factory (he’d met Tanzin while I was away traveling). He was so excited by the stove he insisted on meeting me to say that just in Kinnaur he felt we could sell 10,000 of them in that valley alone, and offered to be the local distributor.
- We now have people lined up to be distributors in Kinnaur, Spiti, Ladakh, Manali, Darjeeling and Nepal… and maybe also the NE states. There is so much interest and curiosity about this stove that people are asking for it before we are even ready to supply it.
- The Smokeless Chulha (cook stove) project has also been very active. Late last year Tanzin and I decided to set up a training program teaching people how to make the smokeless chulhas cheaply and easily in a not-for-profit capacity, with the wonderful support of Nitisha who is now coordinating the program.
- Workshops to date:
- Leh – Ladakh
- Chandigarh Punjab University
- Dharwad Village Karnataka State
- IIT Delhi with a film crew from Viacom who are putting together a social impact series in conjunction with the Shark Tank series in India.
- Kanha Tiger Reserve in MP state. (Starts next week)
- We are getting requests from far and wide, and with the small amount of money we raised on Chuffed, we have achieved a lot. We are looking to get this project funded so we can continue to expand the operations.
- Meanwhile there have been multiple media articles pop up around the Smokeless Chulha and the Himalayan Rocket Stove projects, with a few still to be published. Links to these are being posted on the homepage as they come online.