Co-Founder and CEO, Takachar
Winner, The Earthshot Prize
Vidyut Mohan is the co-founder and CEO of Takachar, a social enterprise enabling farmers to prevent open burning of their waste farm residues and earn extra income by converting the residues into value-added chemicals like activated carbon on-site. Passionate about energy access and supporting rural livelihoods, Vidyut became interested in biomass-based energy/chemical development due to its untapped potential and close association with farmers. After initial exploration and research for his master’s thesis at TU Delft, he returned to India to work with village communities in the Himalayas to convert pine needle waste into a marketable charcoal-based product. This work led him to discover a way to dramatically scale farm residue utilization through technology, as well as to support farm-based livelihoods—which led to the formation of Takachar. In the past he worked with Simpa Networks, where he developed Pay-as-you-go solar home systems for rural households in India. Vidyut is a 2019 Echoing Green Fellow and 2020 UNEP Young Champion of the Earth, and recipient of the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice in 2021. Takachar received the Earthshot Prize in 2021 for the 'Clean our Air' category and the Milestone award in the X-Prize for carbon removal.