Warm up to idea of solar energy

BENGALURU: When Srinivas Potukuchi started Glowship in 2015, with five years of work
experience, his goal was clear: Having seen the growing requirements for solar and home utility solutions, he wanted to provide an end-to-end utility solutions marketplace, which he noticed was lacking in the city. Coupled with which he noticed that a household with a `3,000 monthly bill can achieve 90 per cent reduction in energy bills with the solar. The three-year-old startup now looks into the home needs of
energy generation, back-up power, water, air and environment management while providing the convenience of a single platform for consolidating purchases across these needs. Besides, they also
offer solar products such as a solar water heaters, solar kits for UPS, solar rooftop system, solar water pumps and solar outdoor lights.

But the road hasn’t been easy as Potukuchi himself says that when they started out there was a “huge confusion in the market about solar products.” “The biggest advantage of solar power is that power can be distributed at the point of consumption. The market for solar products is huge. In fact in Bengaluru, it is mandatory to install a solar water heater if you buy a property of 500 sq ft and above. So we decided to cash in on the growing demand.”

The company’s USP is selling solar and non-solar utility products, including some biggies is that they take care of everything from the lead generation to the final setting up of the product. With solar products being costly, another major issue the company faced was creating awareness and breaking the apprehension of buying costly products online. While things haven’t changed drastically since they started, Potukuchi’s business partner Raghuram Panyam, says that orders from remote places across the country, is a step forward. “We recently got an order of `2.5 lakh as a single order of solar products.We’ve noticed that farmers too are placing orders on our website,” says the co-founder and CTO, adding that the 20-employee strong company has served about 2,000 households since its inception.

Currently, the company in the investment and growth phase is yet to become profitable. They plan to invest aggressively in technology and expand their platform across India. “Our target is to break even in the next two to three years. Right now, we are receiving around 150 orders a month, the total value of goods sold is around `40 to `50 lakh a month,” says Potukuchi.

Potukuchi started the company with his own capital and made borrowings from former companies/colleagues whom he had previously worked with, including Infuse Ventures, backed by IIM-A, its Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). While the initial funding from all these sources stood at `1.1 crore, last year the company received another round of funding from Infuse Ventures and the family office of the founder of Luminous, Ncubate Capital. The company is now targeting another round of funding of 3 to 5 million dollars in the next five to six months, talks for which are on with investors.