Intelizon Energy, World Leaders in Innovation of Energy-Based Products
“The company is built on 3 pillars: Innovation, Quality and customer service. We strive to improve and serve our customers, building on the foundation of these ideologies”, Dr. Kushant Uppal
Bagging the title of the fourth most attractive market in the world is the sector of renewable energy. India has been climbing the ladder pretty rapidly and now is placed on the fifth rank in terms of installed capacity.
The growth prospects of the industry are soaring high and are expected to see a strong growth scale with large scale projects coming up. Headquartered in Hyderabad, Intelizon Energy is striving to pioneer the innovations in the solar industry. Carrying a humble vision to produce solar driven electricity for people, the company is undertaking a number of ground-breaking ways for reliable, affordable and clean manners of energy, engineering technologies like solar, LED, and advanced electronics.
Dr. Kushant Uppal, Founder, and Managing Director, Intelizon Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Dr. Kushant has spent over 20 years developing industryleading technology products and businesses in the hotbed of innovation – Silicon Valley, California. He has incubated and managed global businesses in Asia, Europe, and North America with sales up to Rs1000 MIO and have hands-on experience in manufacturing, R&D, and marketing.
In 2006, Kushant decided that energy efficient products are the key to enhancing productivity and presented a tremendous market opportunity for a new venture. The passion to create an enterprise has driven him to India to drive technology and business with a focus on India and Africa. Dr. Kushant has an MS and Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Southern California and a B-tech from IIT Madras.
In a conversation with Business Connect Magazine, Dr. Kushant Uppal talks about Intelizon’s environment and how it provides in-house state of the art designs for solar streetlights and home systems and more,
Business Connect: How do you feel you are different from your competitors?
Dr. Kushant: Intelizon is the only company in the world who has inbuilt lithium-ion based systems operating in the field for more than 6 years. We also have the most advanced IOT and CCTV based solar streetlights. We have set the benchmark for reliability and innovation in the solar LED streetlight market.
Business Connect: Did you see any transformation happening for startups, over the years in your field?
Dr. Kushant: The number of startups in the country has gone up multi-fold over the past decade. This is a reflection of the entrepreneurial mindset in the country and the evolving support system.
Business Connect: Did everything come easy, or you have your story of struggle?
Dr. Kushant: If it’s too easy then everyone would be doing it. Every company including us has its fair share of struggles. We were ahead of our time with technology and found it difficult to break into the rural consumer home market in the first few years. We transitioned to a B to B model focusing on appointing channel partners who serve both rural and urban markets. This has helped us gain traction as we have built our reputation for reliable and quality products over time.
Business Connect: What kind of clients do you serve any special mentions?
Dr. Kushant: Our products are used by villages, urban communities, factories, municipalities as well as farmhouses. We also have products for retail stores and individual homes. Our solar streetlights are a perfect solution for Greenfield projects and rural areas where the cost of cabling is very high and a standalone off-grid solar light is the ideal and most cost-effective solution.
Business Connect: How do you keep pace with the changing market trends?
Dr. Kushant: Technology is changing and having in-house R&D has allowed us to stay ahead of the competition. Our IOT based streetlights and home systems allow remote monitoring and control. Our inbuilt CCTV based streetlights allow remote surveillance from any part of the globe.
Business Connect: Do you believe R&D is essential for the growth of the company?
Dr. Kushant: A product design company cannot survive without investing in R&D. Given the fast pace of globalization, it is essential to invest in R&D to provide features while maintaining the standards of quality and reliability.
Business Connect: Do you still come back to work with the same zeal, like you did when you started?
Dr. Kushant: Absolutely. Our vision is to create the world of smart energy and we have just set the foundation. There is still a lot of hard work required to achieve our goals. The passion is the same as when we started.
Business Connect: In terms of your market, what do you feel the future holds for entrepreneurs?
Dr. Kushant: Entrepreneurship is growing globally and given access to funds and technology, it is the best time to live your dreams.
Business Connect: How necessary do you feel is it to keep your employees content, how do you ensure it?
Dr. Kushant: Employees are the heart of the company. Happy employees’ results in a positive working environment and the passion always yields great results.
Business Connect: Who is your role model in the business/entrepreneurial world and what have you learned from the person?
Dr. Kushant: There is no single role model. However, people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk have set the bar for product design and innovation and have been a great motivator for me and other entrepreneurs globally.
Business Connect: How are you giving back to society (CSR, if any)?
Dr. Kushant: Our business model is unique in the sense that every system we deploy leads to a triple impact. As of today, we have impacted 2.5million lives, saved over 30mega tonnes of Co2 and reduced electricity consumption by over 20 millionunits.
Business Connect: Apart from work, what else do you like to spend your time doing?
Dr. Kushant: I love spending time with the family watching movies or discussing local or global events. I also love reading books on a variety of subjects ranging from philosophy, fiction, world events, technology, business etc.
Business Connect: How do you see the initiatives of present government with respect to your industry? Have they helped you in any sense?
Dr. Kushant: The government has focused on solar in a big way which has helped create awareness. However, the involvement in creating specs and the tender process ( for ex: matching L1) needs improvement to enable quality products for the users. The segment would benefit greatly if the government focuses on policies which enable commercialization of feature driven and reliable solar products.
Business Connect: What are the achievements and milestones of the company?
Dr. Kushant: The triple impact in terms of social, environmental and economic gains is an achievement we are proud of and a huge motivator. Apart from that, we have established ourselves as one of the most reliable suppliers of solar streetlights and home lighting systems. To date, we have sold over 1 lakh home systems and over 30000 streetlights. We have received recognition in terms of articles and awards from various agencies globally and locally which speaks to our work.
Business Connect: What does the future hold for the company?
Dr. Kushant: Intelizon has set a platform with innovative products as well as proven reliability and quality. We will continue to set benchmarks for innovation and expand globally over the next few years.
Intelizon energy is working on a mission that promotes reliable and quality electricity for all. They are creating a platform for the world that will enable productivity gains for people living in rural areas worldwide, which will further prove as beneficial features for the developed economies.
A number of companies out there will leave the customers to design their own systems with piecemeal solutions on offer, but they work on a different ideology. They channel their focus on eco-friendly energy sources and provide the finest system efficiency through the source and load management and combine it with reliable electronics.
They have successfully created advanced outdoor and indoor solar and grid-based platforms and provided their customers with best in class sales and services.
“Business connect is playing a great role in highlighting innovations and entrepreneurs. The articles on entrepreneur experiences serve to motivate new and upcoming businesses. This serves as a platform for growth of innovation in the country”, Dr. Kushant Uppal