4 Apr 2017, 10:14 — 7 min read
It is no secret that indiscriminate use of fossil fuels over the last two centuries has placed our planet at risk. Global Warming is a reality that nations all over the world are now facing up to, but it is heartening to see businesses in the private sector taking the onus of reforming the way energy is consumed in the economy. Shaktisteller Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd, based in Bhopal, in Madhya Pradesh, is one such company.
Anticipating the swing in the future towards alternate energy, Ankit Roy established the firm with the intention of bringing the benefits of solar energy to the region in which he was operating. Convincing banks and local financial institutions to provide loan facilities was a stepping stone to Shaktistellar becoming a company to reckon with in the sector. Providing a ten year maintenance contract free of charge is one of the many ways through which they make adoption of their product, solar energy, simpler for the end-user.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Ankit Roy (AR) shares the journey of his company and his plans for its future.
GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.
AR: Shaktistellar Energy Solutions Pvt Ltd (SSESPL) was established in the recent past (August, 2016) keeping in mind the future requirements for alternate energy sources. Energy sources today mostly use coal, nuclear or other depleting/potentially risky or dangerous fuels for generation. The current geopolitical conditions make it necessary to consider energy independence as a feature for development. Anticipating the future swing of the power sector towards alternate energy, we launched SSESPL in Bhopal. My idea was to create a business model which facilitates technology in a way that a common man can use it. The idea was of creating trust with the consumer and to provide useful technology in its simplest form. Logically, research became an integral part of the company. We use our technique of ‘dream management’ to get practical field data and integrate our findings with the services we provide. Our concept of dream management is done via industrial training where we groom the trainee to pursue his/her ambitions for a larger, better life; be it a job or an exam.
Forming SSESPL was not easy. Finalising a business model was difficult. Solar was chosen because of the rate at which this sector grows annually and the heavy targets set by the central government. I knew I needed a core team of experts. So I selected my core team of four: Mr. Amish Kumar for IT, Mr. Prakash Kushwaha for Operations, Mr. Vivek for data management and Mr. Puneet Sahu as partner and chief of staff. Under the able leadership of Mr. Somnath Roy (35 years of work experience in BSNL), we created a company with the vision, “To provide smooth adoption of alternate sources of energy by way of technology and contribute in building a sustainable & environment friendly supply of power.”
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
AR: A major challenge was to understand what the customer needs and to develop the correct solution to address this need. I carried out extensive market research before any kind of business decision was reached. Another challenge was to convey the advantages of existing/new processes introduced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to the local authorities, especially the state electricity distribution company. Economic considerations were also a challenge.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
AR: I believe our USP is empathy with the customer. We consider the customer’s pain point as our own. The customer pays for quality. We target residential consumers (where the margin of profit is lowest). We provide loan assistance to our consumers, we provide energy audits for their entire homes/institutions, and we carry out feasibility studies and promise a 10 year maintenance contract, free of charge. Our customers get a single window solution through SSESPL. We handle their paperwork, feasibility report, system maintenance even their net metering application. With SSESPL our customers can sit back, while we do the running.
GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?
AR: I would say the biggest achievement so far has been our ability to convince banks and local financial institutions to come forward and provide loan facilities and product financing for small residential power plants.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting and assisting SMEs?
AR: As an entrepreneur I understand the difficulties of a startup. It’s not just about the idea, it’s the entire business system and process. The impressive functions that GlobalLinker provides are essential to any startup, and if an entrepreneur wants to make it big, all these business efficiency tools matter the most. These include logo, branding, technical writing, website, e-commerce solution and building one’s business network. Any successful businessman will tell you how important all these details are, because in the long run presentation matters.
GL: What is your big business dream?
AR: I visualise my business growth in terms of the research & originality of thought I present to the system. I feel that my big business dream shall be measured in terms of quality. For instance, it was my dream to set up a company that can provide not just a renewable energy source, but also a means to maximise the output of such a system that I achieve through grid integration, and proper execution of the engineering construction.
We have already started our skill based education training as a growth option. A diversion from conventional to skill based education.
The future lies in optimising the electrical utility systems and integration of different energy resources with the existing grid infrastructure.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
AR: Do not listen to anybody who discourages you. Rather, choose a mentor and learn exponentially. Listen to that one mentor. The mentor may criticise you, scold you, challenge you, but if you know what they say is correct, then learn & improve. Of course it’s hard to find a mentor, but if you’ve found one, then grab that opportunity and just go for it. A mentor can be a person proficient in their field, (Dr. Vijay Pande in my case) or it can be a book or even a parent. It’s up to you to find & decide.
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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