Creators of Smart Energy
One of the most important and efficient gifts that science has given to humans is the ‘birth and power of sustaining electricity’. It has become one of the most essential means of the modern world. It is extremely difficult for one to imagine a lifestyle without the inclusion of electricity. Electricity plays a pivotal role in our lives. Therefore, it becomes a responsibility to grace it with effective measures and techniques to preserve it for long. For decades, humans have used the conventional streetlights in urban and in rural areas. However, these lights were power guzzlers and affect our climate. The innovation in technology, the inception of LED lights and utilization of solar power has brought a positive impact with zero power consumption and a positive for the environment.
After overcoming the initial challenges, solar power in India is now a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the makers as well as the investors. The price rise in the energy sector is providing an added impetus for transitioning to solar. That is why the national government is focusing a lot on the sustainability of the energy resources. This new attention has become a catalyst for the government to shape a new solar policy. A renewed focus on solar power is presently being steered by means of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). Solar power is destined to become a crucial component of the energy portfolio in the country over the next 10 years.
As developing countries build their infrastructure and streetlights are required for outdoor lighting, the challenges of laying wires and connecting to the grid lead to expensive cabling and consumption of traditional forms of energy. Rightly quoted by Dr Uppal, “The journey of an entrepreneur is filled with experiences rather than failure.” Certainly, he too faced the downfalls, but with utter pride and the zeal to overcome them. The brand Intelizon has gone through a few changes over the years. They initially began with home lighting systems with some1000 products focused in the market, laying emphasis on the B to C market. The cost of setting up channels was too high and the rural customer perspective on quality was limited.
Today, they are B to B focused with prices less than 10000 system prices where product quality has value to the customer. Solar streetlights are a perfect standalone solution and Intelizon is on the few companies globally with a platform that has been proven in the field with over 5 years of operation. “We are currently working on convincing the government and private entities about our platform and specifications. There are inferior and incorrectly designed products from local players and Chinese companies which confuses the users,” exclaims Uppal.
Business Model and the Road Ahead
Most companies in the world provide piecemeal solutions, leaving it to the customers to create their own systems. The focus of this brand is upon the energy ecosystem – in lieu of providing the best in class system efficiency through the source and load management, combining it with reliable electronics for the balance of the system. To this end, the MD claims that they have created innovative outdoor, indoor and portable lighting platforms. In addition, they also provide the best in class sales and service to their esteemed customers. As a matter of fact, not the after-sales services of brands are gaining fast attractions as only selling out quality material isn’t the sole role of the marketers, after sale services are what customers lookout fir in great brand modules. This leads to the creation of a better brand name in the market and also creates brand recall value. This way the extension goes up to a level where marketing doesn’t take place to spread a word about the accessibility of the brand but it’s just to restrain it from becoming common. Therefore, Intelizon too has been focusing on creating a familiar brand of sorts, which doesn’t require explanations.
“Our model is to appoint channel partners all across India and in other countries as well who are trained on our systems,” said Uppal. The founder’s brand claims to possess exclusive rights to their designs and wishes to work with local authorities in order to install and provide after-sales service on their products. With their constant succession, their clientage too is booming with rage. As the building of clientage too is a tedious task if the brand hasn’t been endorsed well. Few prominent names like municipalities, builders, gram panchayats, homes, institutions like colleges, corporates, factories etc.
In a rage of doubling their turnover brackets pretty soon, these IIT graduates putting all of their efforts and have set the standards for lithium-ion based solar streetlights, to do wonders in the market. They are now working on the expansion and also introducing state of the art systems with inbuilt cameras and remote monitoring. Also, with a motto of Reliability and Providing Quality Electricity for all, the brand seeks to attain maximum attraction in the market. They have been extremely lucky to have a team that has stuck with us even though we had to go through a few years of struggle. ”I had worked in Silicon Valley for a decade and had a strong career path. Giving that up to relocate to India and focus on local business was a big challenge. I feel entrepreneurship is not just a lesson in business but a life lesson which is invaluable,” asserts Uppal.