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We had the first EAI Club Offline Meet at Chennai on Jul 11, 2010. About 15 folks from Chennai (including the EAI team) attended. It was held in a business center in Chennai.

I must apologise at the very start for writing about the event after two weeks of its completion. Albeit delayed, I hope it is interesting for you to read what transpired.

At EAI, we had come up with the EAI Club Meets with the objective that, over a period of time, such meets held countrywide could act as an important, if small, catalyst for the renewable energy and sustainability movements in India.

While that was the broad idea, to be honest, I really had little clue what would transpire at the first such meet. We however did have an agenda:

1. Each attendee provides a detailed introduction
2. Brainstorm on what we should be doing in such meets in future.

Right at the beginning of the meet, I must say I felt really positive. For one, ALL the members who had envinced an interest in attending it actually attended it – and that too, on a Sunday morning. That alone represented an enormous amount of passion.

The next two hours produced some really useful exchanges of information and intelligence, further strengthening my optimism about the need for such meets.

The group of people who attended it belonged to four distinct categories:
1. Solar Power Developers or Technology Providers
2. Project Management Companies / EPCs
3. Finance and Investment
4. College Students and Enthusiasts

At the end of the first hour, the entire group had a good idea of who is good in what. The next one hour, we had a lively exchange of who could be useful to whom. This was really interesting, in which we saw members being immediately able to identify one or more members in the group with whom they could start doing something together. For instance, many of the members were interested in interacting further with the project management company because these were folks who were actually implementing renewable energy projects on the ground. The other person who many found interesting was a chartered accountant who was keen on assisting renewable energy companies in their funding requirements.

The last 15 minutes, we brainstormed on how we should go about conducting the subsequent meets – what should be the agenda and what should be the frequency of such meets. It was broadly decided that we should have the EAI meets once a fortnight; the agenda for further meets was not finalized, though there were some suggestions. I am hoping to get something concretised for the agenda by this weekend.

I am hoping to have the next EAI Meet on 8 Aug, and I am hoping from that time onwards, we will be having a meet every fortnight.

The idea is to have such meets organized all over India. At EAI, we wish to try it out for Chennai and based on results, finetune the process and content so that we can figure out how to roll it for other Indian cities.

For those of you who have any suggestions for the EAI meets, please drop in a note. And oh yes, if you are from Chennai and had not attended the first meet, please send me a note if you are interested in attending the meet on Aug 8 (my email at the end).

Thank you very much for your time

Narasimhan Santhanam
EAI – Energy Alternatives India @ www.eai.in
Mob: +91-98413-48117
narsi@clixoo.com