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In Conversation With Mohan Wanchoo

Ranjani Saigal

(This article is sponsored by Tanna Insurance)

Mohan Wanchoo is the founder and CEO of Jasmine Universe, a company in New York that provides a holistic approach to energy consumption, focused on sustainability and cost-savings.  Prior to starting Jasmine Universe  he was the Founder President & CEO of EC Infosystems, a Nationwide EDI Transaction Management and Integrated Billing Services provider to the Energy Industry.  In addition to being a successful entrepreneur. Wanchoo is also a very well trained classical singer  and recently presented two fabulous musical concerts in New England. Wanchoo is passionate about education and is a strong supporter of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA. 

Could you tell us a little about Jasmine Universe?

Jasmine Universe is a software company that provides an energy management solution to residential and commercial customers.  This solution helps consumers reduce their energy consumption, thereby reducing their energy bills.  It also helps consumers respond to utilities when there is a shortage of power.

This is your second company after EC Infosystems. Can you describe your journey to become an entrepreneur in the energy space? 

I started EC Infosystems twenty years back in 1995.  At the time we were providing EDI transaction processing services to retail, manufacturing and distribution companies.  Then the energy industry opened up in the states of California and Pennsylvania.  We found this market to be fertile and full of great opportunities.  So I taught myself the energy industry and developed a solution to meet its demands.  Today we service 350+ energy companies and work with 100+ utilities in all 20 deregulated states.

For Jasmine Universe you have situated yourself at the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University. What motivated you to do that? 

The Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) at Stony Brook University is home to some of the leading research taking place in the energy industry.  It is a center of excellence at Stony Brook University and there have been many innovative breakthroughs and newer technologies that have the potential to transform the way we consume energy.  This was an extremely attractive value proposition for us and we decided to setup our office at AERTC.
What impact do you think your product will have on energy consumption in America? 

Our Jasmine product has been created with a simple objective in mind – help save energy consumption and therefore energy bills.  Currently there is only one billing rate for residential customers.  As utilities move towards Time of Use pricing, Jasmine will help consumers change their energy consumption behavior to meet the needs of the new paradigm.  It will enable customers to eliminate wasteful energy consumption habits and also think wisely about consuming energy at the right time.

New York is not the place one thinks of as an entrepreneurial hub. What motivated you to do your startup in NY? 

New York being home to me, was all the more reason to start Jasmine in NY.  New York is also home to several prestigious universities so accessing top notch talent was also easier here.  Moreover New York has a competing Silicon Alley where young innovative IT professionals look to make a positive impact on people’s lives.  After New York experienced the financial meltdown a few years back, many experienced software developers were looking for alternate avenues to channel their creativity and Jasmine happened to be at the right place at the right time.

What entrepreneurial opportunities do you see in the energy space for young entrepreneurs?

In one word – Endless.  Energy is the future of the world.  We know that old power plants burning fossil fuels are the largest polluters on our planet.  Their emissions cause air pollution which pierce our protective ozone layer which in turn causes global warming.  Energy crisis is the focus of all 196 countries of the world.  Every country is figuring out ways to address these challenges in their own way.  The possibilities are limitless, from energy efficiency to energy conservation to alternative sources of energy.  The limitations are only due to limited vision, the broader the vision, the more the possibilities.  

You have decided on get involved in a Philanthropical way with Ekal Vidyalaya. What motivated you to do that?

Actually my father spent his entire life elevating the standard of education in India.  He worked tirelessly at the Ministry of Education, NCERT, Regional College of Education, Ajmer, University of Rajasthan and UGC.  After he passed away we carried his baton and are furthering his cause that was so dear to him.  In Ekal Vidyalaya we see the fulfilment of our dream of a self sufficient rural India where nobody in a village will ever be illiterate or hungry.

Any special message for South Asian Entrepreneurs in the New England area?

Just believe in yourself, stay focused, and realize your dreams.  We are living in the greatest country on earth, take advantage of that.  Set a goal for yourself, come up with an action plan, pull all the stops, and go for it.  There is nothing you cannot achieve.  All you need is hunger and passion and you will achieve what you want.

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