Future Business Leaders In Solar Sector: What Are The CXOs Looking For?

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Mr. Sunil Bansal, Director, Diwakar Renewable

The country’s solar power total generation capacity is 26 GW by end of September 2018 which comprises 87 per cent (23 GW) of utility-scale solar and about 13 per cent (3 GW) of rooftop solar projects. The country’s solar installed capacity reached 29.41 GW as of 31 May 2019. India has become globally the lowest cost producer of solar power. India will achieve 100 GW solar electricity capacities till 2022. (Which include 40GW as rooftops and the Indian government which had an initial target of 20 GW capacities for 2022?) The Government has revised the target of Grid Connected Solar Power Projects from 20,000 MW by the year 2021-22 to 100,000 MW by the year 2021-22 under the National Solar Mission. In August 2016, the forecast for solar photovoltaic installations was about 4.8 GW for the calendar year. About 2.8 GW was installed in the first eight months of 2016, more than all 2015 solar installations. India’s solar projects stood at about 21 GW, with about 14 GW under construction and about 7 GW to be auctioned. He also increased the government target for installed renewable energy by 2022 to 227GW. Rooftop solar -Rooftop solar capacity addition in 2019 is expected at 2,368 MW, 49% higher than in 2018.

Importance of Leadership:-

India’s 100 GW solar target would generate more than 1.1 million jobs by 2022 spread across business development (2%), design and pre-construction (3%), construction and commissioning (72%), operations and maintenance (23%). Around 81,000 highly skilled workers would be needed annually by 2022 to carry out annual and ongoing performance monitoring of solar projects.

Above figures tell the importance of leadership and quality and quantity of business leaders required in solar sector and what companies will look out in CEOs. Those future leaders must be equipped with clear vision, strategy, and experience and skills management to achieve the target. Future leaders must be adaptive and flexible and ready to face and plan according to day to day and long term issues. The smart leaders who are capable to do and achieve this are the most sought solar sector business leaders in future. Planning and re planning as per situation will be very important.

Solar is not just a business ,it is a movement and every future leader who is heading solar business should keep in mind this also.

Mr. Kushagra Juneja, Managing Partner, Design2Occupancy Services LLP

The Indian solar market has evolved like none other in the last decade or so. Thanks to awareness on energy efficiency, provisions of subsidies and widespread and effective implementation of the net-metering scheme. The government has done a great job in sensitizing solar. in fact many entrepreneurs have derived alternate financial models, international investments have come in and domestic production and consumption has gone up manifold. Not only has this created widespread opportunity but also opened a new segment of business, sustainability.

Though, if we look at the cumulative face of business, many entrepreneurs are found struggling and customers dissatisfied. The government has already promised predictable policy making and stable tariffs to ensure sustainable business models. However, its absence so far has impacted, businesses and consumers alike. For instance, the domestic subsidy scheme was announced by the central government and even publicised to a great extent. This left the customers enquiring subsidy for which no established guidelines have been floated, however, this led to the customers withholding their decision to install solar in the domestic sector. Several other schemes, such as carry forwarding of credit under net metering scheme, state and discom discretion on open access and increased competition are a few things that can be worked upon. Also, promoting manufacturing of solar cells in the domestic market can also lead to a boost in not just local economy but also in the exports which are currently limited in the solar domain.

Indian market sentiment is that of competitive ownership, the buyer earlier aspirational to buy cars is now investing in energy efficiency and sustainability not only out of responsibility but also out of peer competition. The onus is thus on us to make the most of it.

Mr. Aniket Baheti, Co Founder, Peacock Solar

India is a land of opportunities for start-ups, especially the tech start-ups aimed at disrupting the way we go about living our daily lives. With world’s finest engineers building innovative products, India has become a hub of technological innovation. Even though innovation has spiralled into every aspect of our lives, our energy infrastructure is still decayed and paralyzed by traditional, old fashioned way of production, distribution and consumption.

India’s energy infrastructure looks up to a massive transformation with advent of solar sector and ambitious targets by Government. Solar allows for a cleaner generation, closer to the point of consumption, thereby eliminating the need for a grid infrastructure and energy losses. Future business leaders in Solar are looking out for innovative use of technology to achieve grid transformation and make energy accessible for all. This definitely requires the need to attract technical and data analytics professionals who can build new models for managing energy at consumer level. CXOs are also looking out at visionary goals to aim for given that India currently barely consumes 1/30th that of US per capita energy consumption. Solar energy firms have the unique opportunity to sustainably enable the growth of India’s energy consumption without hampering the environment. Lastly, CXOs from solar sectors expect mobilization of private capital which is required for scaling and trying out innovative financing models. Currently, solar industry is laden with debt and is heavily dependent on Government incentives and makes the entire industry vulnerable. With the assistance of private capital, solar firms can look forward to long term view for the industry and investors can fetch higher returns at lower risk.

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