In Conversation with Mr. Vijay Khandwekar, Head of Module Mounting Structure Business, Solar, Tata International Limited
Your 1st solar Module Mounting Project commenced in 2012. Industry has come a long way since then. How has your growth been in the last 6 years?
Our journey over the past six years has witnessed us provide module mounting solutions for approximately 2 GW of Solar Power Projects. The growth has been significant with 105 MW in FY 2012-13 to 700* (Projected) MW in FY 2018-19. We have steadily built our capabilities to handle projects of larger capacities within short timelines with primary focus on quality and customer satisfaction. Focus on product improvement and vendor development was the next priority. These strategies helped us greatly and this is evident from the scale of projects handled by us in a single location starting from 20 MW in our first year of business to 175 MW this year. Our persistent efforts to improve our strength in design and execution has successfully helped us achieve a market share of 15% in the addressable market. We aim to increase our market share substantially in the near future and also expand our services by focusing on to rooftop solar EPC for industrial and residential project.
How have your installed projects performed, financially and technically? Has the feedback from your clients been up to your own expectations?
Product improvement based on design development has been one of our priorities. Assiduous research has been put into developing high performance module mounting structures with optimized weights without compromising on the technical requirements and specifications. This has resulted in providing module mounting structures with a good cost structure aided by Tata International’s inherent strengths. Since customer satisfaction and quality are also our priorities, we feel that we have been successful in achieving good reviews and feedback from our customers. This is evident from the fact that about 45% of our order book is from existing customers placing repeat orders on us.
You are currently working on one of your single-largest solar plant project (175 MWp). How has the execution process been with all the hurdles that the solar industry saw in last few months?
Every solar project developed and executed has a unique list of challenges pertaining to a wide spectrum of factors including local geography, technical criterion and commissioning. Having executed multiple projects in almost every state in India, through our meticulous research and planning we have been able to tide over these difficulties and deliver as per our commitments to our customers. With this experience and capabilities we are now confident of executing projects of even larger capacities exceeding 250 MW.
Are you exploring new opportunities in international markets as well? What has been the progress there so far?
Export markets have always been on our targets. However we felt that it was important to consolidate our market share in the domestic market. Since we have gained considerable progress in this aspect, we now have a renewed focus on the international market as well. We are in various stages of discussions with multiple developers and EPC contractors and aspire to receive sizeable orders from them soon.
You have international players entering the Indian PV Solar Market. What is your strategy to ensure that your current market share remains with you?
Yes, there are many players entering the Indian PV Solar Market. However our unique selling proposition is that of the design, manufacture, supply and installation of Module Mounting Structures. There are a few internationally based companies entering this space, but we shall rely on the inherent strengths and capabilities aided by our reputation to keep our market share intact and further improve on it. Also going by the tender and plans and projections that the Government has been announcing there are plenty of projects which can be addressed by multiple players.