About Us
The Smart Power Initiative of The Rockefeller Foundation aims to extend productive power to those without sufficient access to reliable and quality electricity
Our Vision
Drive economic progress by making reliable electricity accessible
Our Mission
Impact millions of lives by accelerating electricity access among the rural underserved communities
The Team
James Abraham
Founder and Director
SolarArise
James has over 25 years’ experience as a management leader in technology companies in the Americas and South East Asia. He started his career with Bell Canada, where he helped develop and launch Canada’s first frame relay service. James joined the Boston Consulting Group in 1994 and has worked in industries as diverse as paper, appliances, oil and gas, and automotive. In 2009, he quit as senior partner with BCG to found Sunborne Energy. In 2014, he launched SolarArise, which focuses on financing and managing solar power plants over their lifetime. James is a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, the India leadership initiative of the Ananta-Aspen Institute, and a moderator of Aspen’s value-based leadership programmes. He has a B.S. degree from the University of Waterloo, an MBA from Wharton, and an MA from the Johns Hopkins University.
Ashvin Dayal
Associate Vice President and MD Power Initiative
The Rockefeller Foundation
Ashvin Dayal leads the Foundation’s global Smart Power initiative aimed at scaling up energy access in order to drive economic and social development. He has overseen the Foundation’s pioneering investments in the renewable energy mini-grid space in India and the establishment of Smart Power India, a dedicated platform to support the acceleration of last-mile electrification. As one of the Foundation’s long-term priorities, Ashvin is responsible for shaping its global power investments with an ambitious goal of ending energy poverty and improving the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people over the next decade. Before joining the Foundation, he held a range of senior leadership roles over 15 years with Oxfam in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. This included leading its largest-ever relief and recovery effort in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian Tsunami, and overseeing the creation of Oxfam India. In addition to his experience across Asia, Ashvin also spent several years working in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, supporting post-conflict reconstruction and economic development programs in Bosnia, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Ashvin holds a bachelor’s degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and a master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins.
Jaideep Mukherji
Chief Executive Officer
Smart Power India
As the chief executive officer of SPI, Jaideep leads the India-based work of the SPRD programme.With over 30 years’ experience, Jaideep showcases a strong track record in the areas of innovation and expansion of new product categories in developing markets for consumer goods as well as social enterprise sectors. During his stint with d.light, a pioneer in bringing affordable and reliable solar lighting devices to developing nations, Jaideep was responsible for scaling up operations across India and other Asian markets. Previously, at McCain Foods, Jaideep headed the development of the frozen food market in India and executed their cold chain distribution, marketing and manufacturing strategies.