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WHEN FOUNDED 2004 HEADQUARTERS Delhi, India CEO Rajiv Mehrotra NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 350 VNL

39_Vnl

Consider the last mobile mile conquered, judging from the technology developed by the Indian startup VNL. Its solar-powered global-satellite-mobile (GSM) system is cheap (about $15,000, one-quarter the cost of traditional base stations), green (it requires only as much energy as a 50-watt lightbulb and produces zero emissions), and efficient (in six hours, the equipment can be assembled onto a home rooftop, no tech expertise required, and provide service to 2,000 users within a 2-mile radius). VNL has successfully deployed pilot projects in rural Indian villages, and last December, the World Economic Forum named it a Technology Pioneer for 2010. Next up: Africa, where two telecom companies will begin rolling out VNL’s system this year.

About the author

Mark Borden is a Senior Editor at Fast Company magazine.He loosely defines his beat as creativity and how individuals and companies use it to distinguish themselves in the marketplace to attract fans, customers, employees and strategic partners.

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