Award-Winning Consumer Awareness Campaign for Quality-Assured Solar Lighting in Rural India Enters Second Phase

IFC’s Lighting Asia/India program that aims to provide safe, affordable, and high quality solar lights to people with limited or no access to electricity has launched the second phase of the award-winning Suryodaya™ – a consumer education campaign to increase the awareness of quality assured solar lighting products in rural India.

The first phase of the Suryoday™ (sunrise) campaign, rolled out in November 2014 and concluded in January 2015, has just won three awards from Rural Marketing Association of India’s Flame Awards, which focus on rural markets in the country.

The campaign scooped Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for the ‘Integrated Campaign of the Year’ category, the ‘In-film Campaign of the Year’ category, and the ‘Social Development Campaign of the Year’ category respectively.

“We are very excited by this recognition and encouraged as we roll out the second phase of the consumer awareness campaign,” says Ms Anjali Garg, Manager of the Lighting Asia/India program. “We aim to reach out to rural consumers in the states, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, through a 360 degrees, integrated media approach using traditional as well non-traditional media.”

The program has just rolled out the second of three phases of the consumer campaign in the same three states and is working to reach about 8,000 rural villages by June 2015. Consumer awareness and knowledge of new products is a critical tool used in market development tool to spur demand for quality-verified solar lighting products.

Lighting Asia/India program is partnering with manufacturing companies (Barefoot Power, d.light Energy, ECCO Electronics, Greenlight Planet, Omnivoltaic, Orb Energy and SUNLITE) and product distribution companies (Frontier Markets, Dharma Life, Mahindra EPC and TOTAL Oil India Pvt Ltd) in this campaign.

“Despite the huge population living without adequate electricity access in India, the solar lighting market today remains nascent with penetration well below five percent,” says Anjali Garg. “We are working on a series of interventions with manufacturers and distributors of solar lighting products to enable consumers to have access to high quality solar lights.”

All the products being promoted under the campaign have passed an independent three-month quality assurance testing process based on the IFC-World Bank Lighting Global Quality Standards, which were in April 2013 adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies.

Nearly 380 million people in India depend on kerosene for their primary source of lighting. Not only is the light from kerosene lamps inadequate, it is polluting. Providing this vast population with improved lighting can have significant impacts on health, incomes, education and the environment.

The Lighting Asia – India program is working to build a market for high quality solar appliances through a multi-faceted approach:  working with manufacturers of solar lighting products to test their products, supporting distributors to penetrate untapped markets, and engaging with consumers through the Suryoday™ consumer awareness campaign to generate awareness and demand.

IFC’s lighting program in India is supported by the government of United States, Italy, Austria, and Australia.

The World Bank Group is implementing similar programs in different regions under the Lighting Africa, Lighting Pacific, Lighting Asia, and Lighting Global banners.