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Jeff Clay MBA‘03D & Michael Kaplan MBA‘03D – Business with Purpose

Jeff Clay MBA ‘03D & Michael Kaplan MBA‘03D
Jeff Clay MBA ‘03D & Michael Kaplan MBA‘03D

In the world of business, the concept of profit often stands as the ultimate goal. However, for Jeff Clay and Michael Kaplan, their journey post-INSEAD led them down a different path, one that intertwines the pursuit of profit with a higher purpose. The story of their venture, Belltown Power, is a testament to how sustainable and impactful business practices can not only benefit the world but also turn substantial profits. 

Michael Kaplan founded Belltown Power, a UK-based renewable energy company, in 2013. This was at a time when the field showed immense potential due to significant feed-in tariffs and government subsidies but lacked the necessary management expertise. This astute observation laid the foundation for Belltown Power’s success.  

In 2016, Belltown Power made a significant shift by expanding to the United States, and Jeff Clay joined the team as CEO. Belltown Power has deployed a remarkable 10 GW of renewable energy projects across the world, proving that it's possible to do well financially while doing good for the planet. The Belltown Power journey exemplifies how exceptional profits can be made by applying conventional business discipline to industries with a profound societal impact. 

“I can’t imagine any of this would have happened without INSEAD.”Michael Kaplan, MBA’03D 

Their commitment to profitability is not just about the bottom line. Jeff believes that to make a real impact, a business must generate profit and keep reinvesting in its mission. They also have strong connections to INSEAD, with their business partner and CFO of Belltown Power, Tom Hill-Norton MBA’04J, graduating from INSEAD the year after Michael and Jeff - highlighting the power of the global network and personal connections forged during their INSEAD journey. 

In retrospect, Jeff and Michael both agree that their journey wouldn't have been possible without INSEAD. Their appreciation for their alma mater is reflected in their efforts to give back, through both the MBA’03D Class Scholarship as well as the Belltown Scholarship, established in 2020. This scholarship prioritizes candidates with sustainability interests, focusing on business solutions for long-term sustainability.  

Jeff and Michael both emphasize the importance of nurturing a sustainability mindset, emphasizing that the world can change for the better when business and sustainability go hand in hand. Belltown is more than a business success; it's a testament to how impactful businesses can thrive when built on a foundation of purpose and a commitment to a sustainable future. 

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