Solar business Aug, 14 2014

Money, powered by Sun

Can you imagine your world without electrical energy/ power? Of course no one can. To give us a better life and future, opportunities in solar power sector is here for our rescue.

By Ekta Sharma Verma, TFW Bureau
Sr. Sub-editor
Money, powered by Sun

India's solar market could be worth billions of dollars over the next decade. With depleting resources and increasing power shortage, solar power sector now has even more prospects to offer to the community. The industry is set to generate a lot of job opportunities and avenues for the investors too. Most brands have taken a sharp turn towards franchising also. Let’s know how the go green industry is helping entrepreneurs grow with greener profits.

According to a white paper published by Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) in collaboration with KPMG- If the government supports domestic solar equipment manufacturing industry; it could benefit $ 1.1 billion over the next ten years owing to improved energy security, job creation and huge forex savings. With numerous solar power brands stepping towards franchise route for expansion, the chances of enhanced returns in this industry are even higher.

According to the industry reports, the total solar industry is estimated at approximately Rs 400 crore and is likely to touch 18.7 million by 2022. The brands are coming up with more innovative solar energy products to cater to the society. Delhi-based Bhambri Enterprises boasts of its brand, King Sun. The brand has four franchisees in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, North East and Chhattisgarh.  It has developed a complete structure for franchisees with complete marketing methodology, operation processes, flow charts and business model and has also tied up with a micro finance company and will be leveraging this to the franchisees in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to begin with.

Pune-based, Madhuri Solar by Pearl Enterprises is a firm believer in nuclear power. The brand is known for its numerous innovations in the solar sector. Madhuri Solar developed its franchise network in 2012 and now has around 27 franchisees in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The brand takes pride of the fact that it provides employment opportunity to numerous rural women in and around Kolhapur by letting them manufacture circuits under Madhuri Solar brand.

Another Delhi-based brand, MF Energy has end-to-end solutions for retail market, tailor-made products with good quality management. The brand has presence at 28 locations out of which 14 are franchise. Vijaywada-based brand Solar Basket started franchising very recently in 2013 and has already made 30+ franchisees pan-India.


In the solar sector, franchisees need to be updated, coached and guided regularly as each region; each season has a unique set of challenges and solutions.  Ruchi Bhambri, Partner, King Sun says: “Yes, there are certain challenges but certainly the coming age would be solar age as the shortage of fossil fuel has already started impacting us with increase in power cuts and soaring electricity bills. With increase in demands and due to Government policies the price of electricity generated through solar panel has come quite close to electricity supplied through grid. If net metering comes fast, solar industry would certainly see a high momentum.” Despite certain challenges like lack of awareness, the solar sector is growing at a swift pace. Jitendra Narayan, Chief Executive Officer, MF Energy says: “Coming age will be solar age. Industry will grow at least 20 times within two-three years. Awareness is there but there is lack of knowledge. People have lot of myths about solar business.  Challenge is to get banking finance which is not available right now.”

Sanjay Deshmukh, Founder, Madhuri Solar asserts: “People are still not aware of the benefits of the solar systems. Therefore on a large scale the promotional effort needs to be taken up. This should cover trainings and tapping all types of media. The Indian government has recognised the potential in Solar industry and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has launched an ambitious program in 2010 called Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to deploy 22,000 MW of grid-connected solar power by 2020. The program has seen limited success with phase I meeting its PV targets and phase two is on the way in the form of 750 MW via the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) program. In addition to this there are various provisions made by the Government of India for supporting the solar projects. So, definitely the future is bright for solar industry with lesser challenges.” On the customer challenge issues, B Narendra, Director- Marketing, solar Basket quips: “The future is all about the solar energy. Seeing a lot of power cuts, rise in the fuel prices and shutdown of power plants, the opportunity increases. There is lot of open area to be explored. Many people purchase duplicate products and do not get benefits of the solar energy. Major challenge is the low quality products available in the market. In order to counter this issue, we deal with each individual requirement differently. We design according to the customer requirement with wide range of pricing structure.”

Why pick solar?

  • Solar power systems will surely reduce the electricity bills. Solar powered products are equally beneficial for big and small buildings/offices.

  • It provides a great return on investment. It means long term savings and quick payback.

  • It is the next big thing. Going green will be the idea of life.

  • Once installed, a solar power system will require little maintenance. Many solar panels carry a 25 year warranty.

  • Serving the society - Someone who associates with the solar tag is sure to serve the nation.

Road ahead

In the fast progressing solar industry, most brands plan to expand fast taking the franchise route. Solar Basket plans to open 150 outlets in the next financial year in the tier-II and III cities. King Sun plans to open at least ten outlets in tier II cities by 2015. MF Energy plans to take the count to 100+. Madhuri Solar looks forward to develop its franchise network all over India. In the initial stage, it plans to tap Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka.

Franchise facts:






King Sun

500-700 sq ft

Rs 7-10 lakh


12-15 months

MF Energy

1000 sq ft

Rs 50 lakh


2 years

Solar Basket

100-200 sq ft

Rs 2-5 lakh


1 year

Madhuri Solar





Related: Promote smartly to invest profitably

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