Q. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your inverter business in the U.S., Europe, and especially India?
This Covid-19 Pandemic is having a drastic impact on the solar industry across each market segment. Across the world apparently there would be challenges in the sales closure for C&I segment and another co occurrent challenges of cash flow issues. Ground Mounted doesn’t have immediate financial implications instead there are other challenges like delay in operational commissioning time lines, labor shortages and inaccessibility for mobilization. All the major markets like US, Europe and India shall have eventual impact visible by second to third quarter of the FY 2020. Affect may vary from 25% to 35% decline in the distributed market segment. Overall targets can be partially fulfilled by the substantial support from Ground Mounted projects. Industry leaders also are discussing about the special stimulus package for the renewable energy which is the need of hour for the recovery.
Q.How are things in China, and how long will it take for normalcy to return in the country?
The recovery in China is very fast, with all the precautionary measures and adequate resources our factory is operating in full capacity. Yes there is a decline in the installation in Q1 2020 as compared to 2019 of around 25% but the normalcy is impending fast, till first quarter around 4 GW is being added which is satisfactory under such pandemic situation.
Q.What are the steps that you have taken which are different from other companies, what are your plans for the near future?
We are following strict Risk Management Protocol in 6 ways these are
1.Zero Risk Groups by constantly evaluating workers coming for work through Bio-meteric Checks as well as daily self-diagnosis
2.Regular self-declaration contact tracing of workers for any possible visit from affected area. Testing and precautionary measures for better safety environment for employees.
3.Full Disinfection at regular intervals of all the facilities and crucial areas
4.Training & awareness towards prevention and control are being conducted periodically.
5.Cafeteria is properly redesigned keeping the social distancing norm in place.
6.Material management and control for inbounding and out bounding. Material management is doing 100% disinfection for all the dispatches.
Q.How do you see your business prospects for the remaining half of 2020 and 2021?
We are getting good enquiries and project execution has also started. Further all depends on how fast we can restrict the spread of COVID-19 and followed by availability of vaccine. Certainly we see good deals in the third quarter and better figures in 2021.
Q.Do you think COVID-19 has changed the way business is done forever? How differently are you going to approach your business in the post-COVID-19 world?
Yes it has, people are more and more adopting to digital ways of interaction which optimizes resources as well as the time. To mitigate the risks its important for every firm to revive and introspect the business setup. Employees should be trained and prepared to remotely work and follow procedural support. All the stakeholders should be address and given transparent impact report for reinstating the confidence in them. Business continuity plans during critical situation like covid 19 should well documented and implemented. Review of failure points across the support, delivery, operations etc should objurgated. Customers problem as well as weak support links should be rectified.
Q.You are one of the top 5 string inverter companies in India. What are your future plans for the Indian market?
We are evaluating options available to support our customers and company see India as one of the most promising markets with a long term vision. The due diligence is already started and consequently the decisions shall be exercised. This year we have already planned to increase the capacity up to 20GW which shall be completed by 1st Quarter of 2021. Dedicated to the needs of Indian market as well as International requirement we have developed 255kW 1500V inverter which is highest capacity string inverter for utility projects. This product is accompanied with all the latest features and compliances as per new CEA guidelines. In Residential and Commercial segment we are regularly involved in providing the storage and customized solutions to keep abreast with the state policies and making solar plant more profitable. Some of these include zero export solutions for multiple as well as single inverter units, another solution in hybrid range is coming with Lithium ion as well as Lead Acid batteries.