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Interview

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER | VIKRAM SOLAR

RAJENDRA KUMAR PARAKH

Vikram Solar has gained presence across 6 continents. Showing quality, performance, and customer centricity, Vikram Solar was the first company to gain recognition as Tier 1 Module manufacturing company in India by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. To satisfy the growing demand of solar energy, we enhanced our annual rated capacity from 500 MW to 1 GW in 2017. And we have manufactured over 2 million modules till now.

Q. What is your success story of over 4 decades?

 
Vikram Group of Industries started as a forging plant manufacturing stainless steel segments for CTC (crush, tear, curl) rollers used in the indigenous tea industry in 1974, Vikram Group established itself as a quality driven, service oriented and performance focused Indian conglomerate with a distinct international edge. Through strategic global expansion and investments in latest technology to drive the business forward, the Group has created a strong position worldwide.
Through our state-of-the-art research facilities and product innovations and a network of offices and distributors across the globe, Vikram Group has diversified into different business sectors such as manufacturing of Tea Processing Machinery, Textiles. And understanding the need for energy transition and efficiency of solar in this equation, Vikram Group ventured into green energy business and Vikram Solar was born.
Vikram Solar was set up under the aegis of the Vikram Group in 2006 with an aim to carry forward its rich manufacturing legacy. Vikram Solar was born with the idea that solar energy is not just an option anymore; it is a necessity to protect our environment and satisfy the growing energy consumption rate. Back in 2006, when the flurry of Government support that the solar industry enjoys today, did not exist, the finest equipment and machinery were brought from USA, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan to establish world-class manufacturing & technological capabilities. 
Milestones and momentum

 

Year Achievements
2006 Incorporated as a part of the Vikram Group of Companies
2009 Institutionalised Vikram Solar Gmbh in Germany
2010 Forayed into international business
2014
  • Listed as India’s only Tier 1 module manufacturer by Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Designed, installed and commissioned India’s 1st floating solar power plant in Kolkata
2015
  • Audited modules successfully by Black & Veatch
  • Introduced high-efficiency PERC technology-based modules
  • Commissioned India’s largest rooftop airport installation in Kolkata
  • Upgraded its annual rated manufacturing capacity to 0.5 GW
2016
  • Vikram Solar signs MoU with teamtechnik
  • Vikram launches strategic cooperation to enter the Finnish market
  • Vikram Solar announces MoU with the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) at the Rashtrapati Bhavan
2017
  • Commissioned its largest utility scale project: 130 MW in Rajasthan
  • Reached 1 GW of manufacturing capacity
  • Vikram Solar opens its office in China at Shanghai
  • Vikram Solar commissions 80 MW solar project in Gujarat
  • Introduced high system voltage (1500V) Monocrystalline Somera Series Module
2018
  • Vikram Solar Opens Office in Florida, United States
  • Vikram Solar ties up with France’s CEA to drive innovative technology research and development
  • Commissioned 10 MW at ONGC, Hazira in Surat
  • Vikram Solar Commissions 100kW Rooftop Solar Plant for Indian Oil Corporation Ltd
  • Vikram Solar commissions its first Rooftop Solar project in the Indian defence sector
The above achievements were recognized at multiple forums.
 

 

Q. How do VIKRAM SOLAR contribute in shaping the solar revolution?

 
Within just 12 years of its inception, Vikram Solar has gained presence across 6 continents today. Showing quality, performance, and customer centricity, Vikram Solar was the first company to gain recognition as Tier 1 Module manufacturing company in India by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. To satisfy the growing demand of solar energy, we enhanced our annual rated capacity from 500 MW to 1 GW in 2017. And we have manufactured over 2 million modules till now. 
We have addressed more than 750 MW EPC projects (commissioned + under execution) within India, supporting Indian solar revolution. We have successfully commissioned a diverse range of projects like- utility scale projects (130MW, 80 MW, 50 MW, 40 MW), rooftop projects (over 200 projects commissioned), innovative projects (first floating solar of India), and airport installations (Calicut, Kolkata, Kochi, Helsinki), contributing to Indian solar growth.
Our investment in product certifications (more than INR 79 million), MOUs with international tech leaders like teamtechnik, Finnwind, IIEST, INES- France, and UNSW- Australia and new line of high efficiency mono-crystalline module ‘SOMERA’ production separates us from our competitors and highlights our consistent contribution for industry growth.
Not just in India, our quality and performance standards have led us to become trusted module suppliers in the US, EU, and MENA regions.
So, it is fair to say that Vikram Solar’s journey has supported Indian and global solar growth shaping the revolution. We continue to believe in consistent focus on innovation, customer centricity and quality improvement, will help us to scale further heights in the future. 

 

Q. What is Active CSR of VIKRAM SOLAR? Brief us something about CSR philosophy and CSR Initiatives?

 
In the pursuit of building better, richer communities, empowering India, Vikram Solar engaged in CSR activities. 
We believe in generating value for the community by being responsible corporate citizens who seek to create a better future for their stakeholders. We believe our ability to facilitate harnessing clean and renewable solar energy will provide enduring win-win situation for all.

 

PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION

 
We encourage young children to pursue education through our collaborative venture Nanhe Kadam
— a free evening school for class I to class VIII — at BRCM Public School in Gyankunj. Moreover, we provided school children with a CSR kit that contains a light, table fan and mobile charger to encourage them to study even without electricity. We distributed the kit in rural as well as urban schools and demonstrated its workings and usage.
We undertake the sponsorship of several sporting events to promote sports among youngsters, especially girl children. At Bahal, we have embark on the task of managing the infrastructure and activities at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. Apart from hosting the ‘Gramin Khel Mahotsav’, the stadium also offers coaching in sports like kabaddi, athletics, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, judo and boxing. During FY 2017-18, we also sponsored the following sporting events in West Bengal:
  • Bengal Boxing Classic Men and Women – 2017 organised by Bhowanipur Boxing Association 
  • High 5 Football Cup organised by IGCC (Kolkata) 
  • 6th West Bengal State Chess Boxing Championship

 

DELIVERING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY INITIATIVE

 
We maintain the Urmila Chaudhary Dairy Farm, which produces more than 700 litres of milk every day. We have installed state-of-the art facilities at the dairy to maximize productivity and enhance comfort of the farm animals. The milk produced in the dairy caters to the requirements of Annapurna Mess, providing a more sustainable process.

 

HELPING INCREASE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

 
During the reporting period, we installed 18.6 kWp Solar Module for Swarna Bharat Trust, which will help the social value creation organization increase its energy efficacy in the long run.
ADVOCATING INDIAN ART, HERITAGE AND CULTURE
We promote Yashvi Art Foundation as a social initiative with the objective to endorse and restore Indian art, heritage and culture. It provides a platform of growth for Indian designs and paintings through various flagship events both the country and abroad. During FY 2017-18, the foundation procured paintings from Dream Foundation, Gujarat.

 

Q. What are your products and how they different from each other?

 
We focus on innovation, quality and performance. And we believe our drive to provide best products to clients has separated us from the rest. 
In line with the company’s focus on adopting pioneering and innovative technologies, our manufacturing facility has the finest machinery and equipment imported from United States, Switzerland, Germany and Japan. Our products are designed to the highest standards of quality, reliability and performance.
We offer solar PV modules within the range of 10 Wp to 370 Wp to our customers. In 2014, we introduced PERC technology-based modules. We focus on manufacturing high-efficiency poly-crystalline and mono-crystalline silicon PV modules.

 

A few of our polycrystalline modules are- 

 

  • 72 cell ELDORA Grand 
  • ELDORA Grand Ultima Silver 60 cell ELDORA Ultima Silver 
  • ELDORA Ultima All Black 
  • ELDORA Prime 
In 2017, we introduced our line of mono-crystalline module with higher energy generation capacity (at least 10% more than poly crystalline modules). It is named ‘SOMERA’. 

 

Our Monocrystalline modules are- 

 

  • Somera Series
  • 72 Mono Cells
  • SOMERA GRAND ULTIMA SILVER 1500V SERIES
  • SOMERA GRAND 1500V SERIES
  • 60 Mono Cells
  • SOMERA ULTIMA SILVER 1500V SERIES
  • SOMERA ULTIMA ALL BLACK SERIES
  • SOMERA PRIME 1500V SERIES
 
Besides providing modules, we offer comprehensive EPC services ranging from conceptualization, execution, commissioning and acquisition of developed sites.
We also offer O&M solutions providing preventive and corrective maintenance services for solar plants.
We intend to start production of Smart Modules, AC Modules, Bi-facial, and Half cell modules by Q3 FY18-19.
Our investment in product certifications (more than INR 79 million), MOUs with international tech leaders like teamtechnik, Finnwind, IIEST, INES- France, and UNSW- Australia and new line of high efficiency mono-crystalline module ‘SOMERA’ production separates us from our competitors and highlights our consistent contribution for industry growth.

 

Q. What next big step are you looking forward to make your mark in the market?

 
We have already penetrated competitive international markets, and our future plans involve offering better, simpler, and high quality products and services worldwide, because everyone deserves the best. 
To cater the growing solar demand (national and global) we have expanded our annual rated manufacturing capacity to 1 GW from 500 MW. We have also taken steps towards technological innovation through investments (more than 79 million INR) and MOUs with tech leaders across the globe. 
And with Government of India continuing to focus on Indian solar growth through policies, introducing new projects, and accessing new markets (through International Solar Alliance), we are hopeful of a progressive, opportunity laden, bright future. 

 

Q. Recently you won the “ET Bengal Corporate Awards 2018” in the category “Fastest Growing Company”. What are your future goals regarding more growth of company till next 5 years? 

 
Vikram Solar has shown a 44.98% CAGR growth in revenue within last 5 years. Our revenue grew from 903 crores INR in FY 2015-16 to 1,693 crores INR in FY 2016-17, and reaching 1,894 crores INR in FY 2017-18, making us one of the fastest growing companies in the renewable energy sector. However, our main focus was not on the revenue growth but quality, performance improvement and customer centricity. 
Acting on client’s interest and industry growth has led us to scale such heights in the industry. And we have elaborate plans to continue to follow this strategy in business, gaining more market share globally and contributing more towards global and national solar growth.