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Mr.Praveen Kumar Jain, Associate Vice President (Global Marketing Support), Su-Kam Power

04 Mar 2016

Praveen Kumar Jain, Associate Vice President (Global Marketing Support), Su-Kam Power Systems Limited, talks to InfralinePlus on the outlook for solar inverter market in India in the backdrop of various initiatives taken by the Government towards reforming the power sector. Excerpts

What is your outlook for the power sector in India in the wake of recent initiatives taken by the government such as UDAY and amendments to the National Power Tariff Policy? How will such initiatives impact demand for power equipment and technologies?

Most of the DISCOMs are facing financial challenge and running in losses. Since DISCOMs are the major buyers of solar grid connected energy they were not motivated to promote solar energy. However now with the launch of UDAY and amendments to the National Power Tariff policy, there will be a big relief to DISCOMs .This will accelerate promotion of grid connected solar energy and in turn will raise demand of power equipments and technologies.

India has embarked on a solar revolution with plans to set up 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022. What all opportunities does it open for Su-Kam with respect to power and solar solutions?

This is a very exciting time for solar energy market in India. Our honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has given a task of installing 100 GW grid solar PV systems by 2022. So far India has completed 5 GW. This means there is a huge opportunity for installing 95 GW solar PV in a couple of years. Su-Kam being one of the leading players in solar energy sector is participating in a big way in this dream project of our honorable prime minister. We have a complete basket of solar solutions ranging from few Watts of solar systems up to large MW power plants. Su-Kam has the advantage of having in-house facilities right from Designing to manufacturing, selling, installation and after sale support. Ours is a true “Make in India” company not only now but since 1988. Being the most experienced player in the field of power back up and solar we are offering latest technology and innovative products in the market which are very cost effective , user friendly and customized to the needs of customers. We are offering Grid tie and off grid inverters, Hybrid power conditioning units, MPPT and PWM Solar Charge Controllers, Solar Batteries, Solar Panel and complete solar packages. To mention a few prestigious and innovative solar projects which we have done in the recent past includes : Installation of DC technology solar home systems in 40000 rural houses in Uttar Pradesh, 1 MW grid tie system in Punjab Engineering College, Centralized solar street lights in Tamil Nadu, Delhi Metro stations in Gurgaon and Delhi and many more.

Please throw light on the market for solar inverters in India in residential, industrial, commercial and utility segments.

Ministry of New and Renewal Energy has bifurcated the task of installing 100 GW by 2022. 40 GW solar PV installations will be done on roof top and 60 GW of solar PV installations will be ground mounted. This indicates that there is a huge opportunity for manufacturing and selling solar inverters in the Indian market. However the key differentiators among competitors would be using latest technology and after sale service support to customers. We have with us entire range of smart inverters that have 4th generation microprocessor & technology and remote data access facility using wi-fi or Sim card and other modes of network connectivity. We have developed mobile phone based applications through which our inverter performance can be seen on the mobile phone and even users can do preference settings from mobile phone itself. We have recently launched world’s first touch screen based solar PCU. Here users can see all performance parameters like solar energy generation of solar plant on the touch screen itself and set all features as per the requirement by the press touch of the screen. To sum up, there is a big market for solar inverters and good time for experienced players like us to manufacture and sell smart inverters.

Inverter and UPS segment is a highly competitive domain with the market flooded with various international and domestic players. How do domestic manufacturers like Su-Kam maintain their foothold and ensure business sustainability?

As I have already said, this is a very exciting time for solar and UPS industries and there are many players, small and big, national and international. However to be competitive in the market one should have strong R&D, manufacturing, sales and service in addition to a lot of experience and strong Brand Name. Today Su-Kam is the most respected name in the field of power back up and solar solution not only in India but across the globe. Our R&D unit is recognised by the Ministry of Science and technology. We have filed more than 100 patents. We have strong sales and service network in India and across 90 countries. We have been doing continuous innovations in technology and offering customised products and solutions to customers. I would like to proudly mention here that we are the first and only company in India to get 4 Star rating for one of our premium range of inverters by Bureau of Energy Efficiency. Innovation and technology has been and will be our key enabler in our business growth.

In terms of your business strategy, what are your focus areas – rural/urban, residential, industrial, commercial and utility segments?

Solar potential of India has been on our minds for decades when we started developing solar products and technology. Now is the time of reaping the benefits of our hard work and investments done in developing solar products and technology. Today we have solar solutions available for both major configurations, i.e. off-grid technology as well as on-grid technology. We have created different verticals and team in our company to focus on rural/urban, residential, industrial, commercial and utility segments. We have a strong network of reaching remotest place of the country and technology to meet requirement of the customers at affordable price. Moreover, soon we will be launching hybrid technology which will combine off-grid and on-grid technology.

What are the key issues being faced by domestic players when it comes to the inverter and UPS segment? What are your suggestions to improve the scenario?

The major issues being faced is awareness of customers in selecting right product and technology. Our company runs customer and partner awareness program using social connectivity platforms like whatsapp, facebook , youtube , our website and organizes workshops and seminars regularly. The second major issue being faced is the availability of solar trained manpower. If untrained people are selling /installing solar system then it is definitely going to dampen performance, quality and safety in addition to wasting a huge amount of money. We as a company are doing regular training programs for all our employees and partners engaged in the business of solar.