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Greenlight Planet was founded by T. Patrick Walsh, a University of Illinois student who spent part of 2005 working with the charity Engineers Without Borders in rural India. He saw that the residents, users of ubiquitous kerosene lamps, were not charity cases. Rather, they were savvy consumers demanding a better product. He designed and sold the first solar-lantern prototypes in 2006 in the state of Orissa: brighter and healthier than kerosene lamps, but affordable enough so people could purchase without subsidies.
The idea of Greenlight Planet was born. In 2007 Mayank Sekhsaria and Anish Thakkar joined Patrick as co-founders and the three set out for India and China to make Greenlight Planet a reality with the vision that smart design, efficient engineering and innovative distribution strategies could make dirty kerosene lanterns a thing of the past.