Friday, 8 December 2017

Patanjali Ayurved forays into solar power business.

Patanjali Solar India

Swadeshi FMCG giant Patanjali has decided to venture into renewables energy space. The company which aims to hit a turnover of more than Rs. 25,000 crores by 2018 have planned to diversify its business into solar power equipment manufacturing.

“Getting into solar is in line with the swadeshi movement. With solar, each household in India can have an uninterrupted power supply, and we are here to make that happen,” Acharya Balkrishna, managing director of Patanjali Ayurved, said in an interview with Mint.

This will be the company’s first exposure to the infrastructure sector and comes after its runaway success in consumer products.

Patanjali Ayurved, which was set up in 2006, has grown at a stunning pace, increasing its revenue more than fivefold to Rs10,561 crore in the year to 31 March from Rs. 2,006 crore in 2014-15; it aims to cross Rs. 20,000-25,000 crore in sales by 31 March 2018. Today, Acharya Balkrishna, the face of Patanjali is a director of 18 companies associated with Patanjali group.

Patanjali’s newest acquisition is Noida-based Advanced Navigation and Solar Technologies Pvt Ltd (ANST). The company pioneers in manufacturing of solar panels, solar sun trackers, solar maritime equipments and rooftop solutions. ANST has a manufacturing unit in the state of Uttar Pradesh with the capacity of 120 megawatts. Patanjali plans to invest around Rs100 crore in solar equipment manufacturing and its factory in Greater Noida is expected to be fully operational within the next couple of months.

Acharya Balkrishna, of Patanjali, revealed that the idea of venturing into solar power business came when we started with our plan to use solar as a source of power at all our factories. That time we understood that most of the solar modules were indirectly imported from China. And there was no quality consistency even in India-made ones”.

With the average efficiency of a solar panel usually at just 16-22%, sub-standard quality will impact generation. The announcement of Patanjali’s acquisition of ANST comes at a time when India plans to auction solar EPC contracts of 17 GigaWatts by March 2018. India has committed to awarding 175 GW of clean energy by 2022, of which 100GW would be solar contracts.

“Solar energy can help us achieve ‘Power To All’. We started with making solar modules for our captive use initially and then decided to utilize existing capacity to manufacture solar modules and sell in the market. This unit is at a nascent stage at this moment,” said Balkrishna.

By March 2019, every household in India is expected to get uninterrupted supply of electricity. With the menace of pollution and arrival of electric cars, Patanjali aims to fill the void of demand and supply. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) is also planning to issue an expression of interest (EoI) for setting up 20 GW of manufacturing facilities for the renewables sector and is “exploring innovative ways” for the addition of more renewables capacity through floating solar plants, offshore wind farms and hybrid installations. MSME companies get 30% capital subsidy under MNRE rating policy.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

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