Husk Power Systems, a young but widely celebrated firm based in India, needs $1.5 million to $2.5 million of expansion capital to grow quickly beyond the small footprint it had established in northeast India. It was a successful green-energy enterprise that aimed to provide electricity to millions of rural Indians in a financially viable way. With 10 "mini power plants" that used rice husks as a fuel source and a presence in 25 isolated Indian villages as of April 2009, the company's goal was to reach 350,000 to 400,000 consumers in 400 villages by the end of 2011. It was offered a convertible-note financing structure by a cleantech private equity firm and needed to assess whether it suited the company's and founders' interests.
This case was designed for and is used in Darden's Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity elective. With less of a focus on the financials, the Husk case has also been used in other Darden courses such as Social Entrepreneurship and Global Economies and Markets in a module focusing on emerging markets.