The Clean Cooking Alliance (Alliance) has named Neha Juneja, CEO and Co-Founder of India’s largest cookstoves manufacturer, Greenway Appliances, as the organization’s 2019 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding female leaders in the household energy sector who are advancing clean cooking solutions in emerging markets.
Juneja founded Greenway in 2011 to deliver “high- and immediate-impact” household energy solutions to consumers in developing countries. Born and raised in India, Juneja felt a personal connection to this everyday challenge facing so many families. “It seemed very odd to me that, on one hand we are going to Mars, and on the other hand, we haven’t found an appropriate solution to deliver clean cooking to half the world’s population,” said Juneja. Together with her team, Juneja consciously chose to serve consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, to set an example of a viable and successful business model that focuses on the needs of low-income customers.
Juneja has grown Greenway into the biggest clean cooking enterprise in India. Under her leadership of eight years, Greenway has evolved from a bootstrapped team of three personnel to a large operation with over 110 employees across India, selling nearly one million stoves and generating approximately $12 million in revenues. Today, Greenway’s efforts encompass a full value chain of activities, ranging from design and manufacturing, to sales and consumer finance. “Greenway now exemplifies the “business for good” approach,” said Juneja. “In our experience, deep, meaningful engagement with the communities we aim to sell to is critical to scale and success.”
Recognizing the barriers that many women face when looking to enter the workforce, Juneja puts a strong emphasis on promoting women’s economic empowerment and strives to work primarily with women distributors. Over the last few years, Greenway’s dedication to accelerating economic opportunities for women in India has resulted in nearly 400 women employed as re-sellers, where they promote stoves and earn incomes from their sales.
In addition to her roles as CEO and Co-Founder, Juneja also serves as a mentor, educator, and role model for women in her community, particularly rising women entrepreneurs.
“Through her dynamic leadership, Neha has grown her businessand established an investment-ready enterprise. Neha’s perseverance and tenacity, alongside a visionary spirit, is why we are celebrating her today,” said Dymphna van der Lans, CEO of the Clean Cooking Alliance, while presenting the award at the Clean Cooking Forum 2019, held on November 5-7 in Nairobi, Kenya.
“I am Greenway’s first employee and a first-hand witness to Greenway’s journey,” said Shoeb Kazi, Vice President of Finance at Greenway. “I am hugely optimistic about [Greenway’s] future and mark on the world… Neha is an outspoken advocate of women’s rights in the workplace and at home, and has been recognized as one of the most powerful women in business.”
“I see empathy and courage for action as critical qualities to lead an organization that aims to bring change in the status quo,” said Juneja. “It’s 2019 and we’ve fired away to Mars successfully; let’s be courageous enough also to fix the fires in our kitchens.”
The Alliance congratulates Juneja and also proudly acknowledges the ongoing work and leadership of the many women leaders in the clean cooking sector, as well as those working toward energy access for all.
To learn more about Greenway Appliances, visit www.GreenwayAppliances.com.
This article was originally published on the Clean Cooking Alliance Newsletter.