India plans to increase its renewable capacity to 175 GW by the end of 2022. Soletrix brings end-to-end solar and renewable energy-related services and products under one roof.
The rise of global warming as a major concern the world over. With countries pledging to switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. India’s contribution to renewable energy currently stands at 44.812 GW, and the government plans to increase that capacity to 175 GW by the end of 2022.
In the wake of the planned exponential rise in the capacity of renewable energy, Soletrix, a solar and renewable energy startup, plans to build up a comprehensive solar and sustainable energy syndicate marketplace.
Founded by 28-year-old consultant Rishi Mathur and Dr. Mukul S. Rajput, who holds a doctorate in neuropsychology, both from Ghaziabad, Soletrix is a platform that brings end-to-end solar and renewable energy-related services and products under one roof.
How it started
As the sources of non-renewable energy stand on the verge of exhaustion, Rishi points out, “For a long time now, we have been observing the rising energy crisis all across the globe. The rising power prices and infrequent delivery made me think about renewable energy. I was looking out to work in this sector, and the idea of building up a comprehensive platform came up.”
The initial planning of the business model was done by Rishi, and he later roped in his mentor and friend Dr. Mukul.
“India holds great potential for the solar, renewable energy, and waste water management sector in the development phase. It is still, however, highly unorganised and nuclear,” says Rishi, adding that the sector is basically run by social, rural, and unsung enterprises.
“These issues made us realise that there is an immediate need to develop a hybrid platform (online plus offline) to bring the entire industry onboard and enable them to contribute to the clean energy ecosystem to the best of their capabilities and capacities,” explains Rishi.
The journey so far
Launched in March 2017, Soletrix’s first version was tested with the aim of evaluating the market acceptance and commercial feasibility. Doing exceptionally well in its first phase, another version was launched in April.
The venture is bootstrapped, and the team claims to be on a self-sustainable platform. Rishi says, “Our marketing and promotional activities are hybrid in nature, just like the nature of our services. Being a bootstrapped platform, we rely mostly on social media promotions and offline awareness activities.”
Differentiating themselves from other e-commerce companies, Rishi says, “This is not an e-commerce company in need of funding. Soletrix doesn't only sell solar products online, we build an ecosystem for the entire clean-tech industry and do whatever is needful, whether it is to promote solar and renewable energy merchandise, promote businesses, or provide them our world-class services and solutions to go the next level of profitability and overall business growth.”
Being such a unique platform, Soletrix has various remarkable services and solutions, catering to every possible need of someone wishing to enter the solar and renewable energy space. They include a renewable energy syndicate marketplace, the availability of express ordering, and a training and development programme in the renewable energy field. One of their more interesting services is the provision of loans and financial advice to those looking to start solar or renewable projects and businesses, as well as to those wanting to equip their homes with renewable energy.
Currently, the services and solutions are absolutely free of cost to their customers, which is a part of the venture’s initial business and promotional strategy. Their planned revenue streams are to be based on the subscription, pay-for-service, project cost, and commission models.
Often, however, ‘different’ is perceived as ‘worthless’. One of the main challenges faced by the Soletrix was that many manufacturers and suppliers of the solar and renewable energy space rejected their idea and declined the offer to be a part of the platform. Another big obstacle was that Soletrix is bootstrapped, and therefore has a lack of funds. With a small team and a mountain of work to tackle, there has been a huge amount of responsibility placed on all of them. Due to Soletrix’s Express Order Service, the team also faces a big problem with stringent timelines and technical integration.
Rishi elaborates, “Buying solar products is very expensive. Therefore, we try to customise them according to the customer’s demand. However, to get the deal, it takes a lot of time, so we have set up an inquiry network to solve the problem. In the network, the customers put up their preferences and the data is sent to the sellers, who can later give them a good deal.”
India has the fifth largest power generation portfolio in the world, with the fourth largest installed capacity of wind power and the third largest installed capacity of concentrated solar power (CSP). In a scenario where renewable energy has a great chance to become the main source of power generation, Soletrix can become a big player in the industry by bringing everything onto one plate.