Urjan was founded in 2014 by Gautam Das and his IIT-Bombay batchmates, Roli Gupta and Hrishikesh Deshpande. The company provides solutions for solar projects in residential and corporate locations.
Gautam Das belongs to the family of agricultural farmers and there was no electricity facility in his house. Today, he has created a company which has made a place in the solar energy sector and through this he has also fulfilled his dream of living a sustainable life.
Gautam hails from West Bengal. Come from a simple background. He tells BusinessKhabar that he is proud to receive education in institutions that are known not only in India but the entire world for their educational achievements, including the Ramakrishna Mission, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and Indian Business School.
He worked with Citibank for nearly 16 years before becoming an entrepreneur. Being a banker helped him understand the business world more closely.
Apart from this, Gautam has significant interest in agriculture and environment. Playing his experiences with his interests, he decided to enter the field of renewable energy.
He co-founded Urjatan in 2014 with IIT-Bombay batchmates, Roli Gupta and Hrishikesh Deshpande. The company began operations in 2016. Headquartered in Mumbai as well as offices in Pune, Silvassa, Bengaluru and Patna. The company provides consumers with easy financing solutions for solar projects at residential and corporate locations.
The name of the company, Urjana, which means ‘root of energy’, is derived from several Hindi and Sanskrit references.
Avit Marathoner and swimmer Gautam believes that flexibility is the key to starting a business from scratch and taking it to great heights. One of the biggest challenges for the company in the earlier days was to build a team, aligned with the vision of the founders, which provides an economical way to adopt solar using technology.
Another challenge was Gautam’s lack of exposure to solar energy. In addition, lack of awareness of the sector, trust, and lack of financing options became a hindrance, but the flexibility helped the team to thrive and Energetic used technology to tackle the issues.
“Cooking at home is cheaper than buying electricity, but people don’t know about it, there is a lot of discussion about renewable energy but people don’t really understand it.”
Uses technology to reach energetic people, build campaigns and spread awareness. It developed platforms such as Greenstreet and i-Smart Solar, where people can get knowledge on solar energy for free.
The i-smart solar platform is run by the environmental agency The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
Another issue that the team identified was the lack of affordable finance in the solar energy sector. Gautam gives an example to explain this – “People are ready to pay Rs 2,000 every month in the form of electricity bill, but they are willing to pay Rs 80,000 or Rs 90,000 at a time to install solar panels in their homes. Not ready for. “
To overcome this problem, Gautam says that Urjana has come up with many financing options, where the amount can be paid in monthly or annual installments. This applies to both residential and industrial customers.
At the same time, to gain confidence, the co-founders and their team have built an artificial intelligence and Internet of Things supported monitoring system called Test Drive Solar that allows customers to track seven days of ongoing solar projects and Monitoring will help. This will give them an edge in things to come after installing solar panels. The app allows customers to receive notifications on issues or routine maintenance in case of any discrepancy.
How does it work?
Energetics provides turnkey solutions to customers who want to install solar panels on their roofs. Services such as engineering, purchasing solar panels, paying commissions, liaising with officials and financing are all done by the company on behalf of the customer.
Customers have to register themselves, enter their details regarding the setting up of the panel and a report is processed within 15 seconds, Gautam says, containing all the details. The installation structure is divided into three types – Platinum, Premium and Economy.
In the platinum category, solar panels are imported from Germany and in terms of premium and economy, the panels are imported from India and China respectively.
Except manufacuring panels and hiring labor for installation, all is done by the in-house and its engineers who oversee the entire project.
Enerjan says that more than one lakh people have visited the platform. It has successfully completed projects for about 2,000 customers across 15 states and union territories including Mumbai, Nagpur and Punjab. In addition, the company has supported over 20,000 system designs for end consumers and / or partners.
Indian Solar Market
According to a report by research platform Morder Intelligence, the Indian solar energy market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 40 percent during 2020-2025. The report also noted that India is an important market in the Asia-Pacific region after China and Japan and companies like Adani Group and Azure Power Global Limited are accelerating the space. On the other hand, Enerjan himself competes with players such as Mysun and Zoonof.
While India is growing, there is a lot here. Gautam says that currently 15 percent of the products can be manufactured in India, but 85 percent still comes from abroad.
He says, “There is hardly a silicon wafer factory in India – which is an important part of making solar panels.” He also says that a complete ban on imports would collapse the Indian solar space. Therefore a measured decision must be made. He also said that there is a need for investment in this sector as solar energy is a “capital intensive sector”.
The company is in the process of raising some funds. It previously raised a $ 450,000 seed investment from Globestar and others. Gautham is the sole founder of the company as the other co-founders work part-time and are also associated with other startups.
The company focuses on expanding geographically in the coming months. It is trying to come up with solutions that will help recycle downstream solar panel waste.
The future seems exciting as many foreign stakeholders in the industry have shown interest in licensing the company’s technology for various purposes.