Icon Solar Aims To Touch USD 200 million sales by 2025: Shakti Dubey, Director 

Highlights :

Shakti Kumar Dubey, Director, Incon Solar

Shakti Kumar Dubey, Director, Incon Solar

Icon Solar Aims To Touch USD 200 million sales by 2025: Shakti Dubey, Director 

Shakti Kumar Dubey is the Director of Icon Solar-En Power Technologies Private Limited (En-Icon), an Indian solar module manufacturing company. The company started its operations nine years ago and has expanded its base since then in the country. En-icon has also been important in supplying solar pumps under the PM-KUSUM and other solar pump schemes. 

In a short interview with Saur Energy at the sideline of the RenewX exhibition in Hyderabad, Dubey shared the company’s journey in the last nine years. In addition, he touched upon several key issues concerning the industry. Excerpts from the interview: 

How much has the Indian solar module manufacturing industry transformed in the last decade?

Shakti Dubey: We stepped into this industry around nine years ago. Since then, the Indian manufacturing industry has significantly transformed, increasing its growth and acceptability. With time, consumers’ demand, scale, and willingness to switch to renewable energy have increased manifolds. For example, when we started, we were manufacturing only 200 kilowatt solar modules per month, and there was a shortage of demand in the market. 

Currently, we manufacture around 20 Megawatt (MW) of solar modules per month and readily get orders for selling them. With increased awareness, the demand from the public has increased. As a result, the solar market has become more mature now with increased demand. At the same time, the support from the government in terms of policies and incentives has also expanded to the local solar manufacturing industries in India. 

Several new designs and technologies of solar panels are now coming into the picture. But, do you find enough takers of the latest technologies?

Shaki Dubey: Yes. The technologies are changing rapidly in the sector, and more advanced and improved ones are entering the industry. For example, we are using monocrystalline today, likely to use Topcon next year, and something else from the year after.  

Consumers in the private sector are more willing to adopt the newer technologies. They are on their toes to know about the latest improved technologies and are ready to accept them and include them in their projects. Government norms are often technology neutral and rely more on their performance outputs. So they are okay with the new technologies. However, we must ensure compliance with their main demands, like the Capacity Utility Factor (CUF), generation demands, and others.  

How much hand-holding support is the solar manufacturing industry getting, and do you find any policy-related hurdles?

Shakti Dubey: The government earlier supported the local solar manufacturers by imposing Basic Customs Duty (BCD) to safeguard the interests of local manufacturers. The Approved Local Module Manufacturers (ALMM) scheme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy also helped protect the local players from foreign players’ intrusion into the market. However, its halting is creating new challenges for the local players. It is because many countries with whom India has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are now dumping solar modules at significantly lower prices. 

Govt data claims that the PM-KUSUM scheme pace is slow. What are the main reasons you see behind this?

Shakti Dubey: Different schemes for solar pumps started around 2015. We have already supplied more than 2 lakh solar pumps to farmers, including PM-KUSUM. It is a wonderful scheme with massive potential for developing solar energy in rural India. However, the main hurdle we see in the slow pace of PM-KUSUM is the low level of profits for solar developers. That is why many developers would prefer not to venture into it. 

One of the prime reasons for this is the lower bid quoted by many developers. The solar industry often faces price fluctuation vulnerability. If, in any year, the project cost crosses more than 10 percent, the projects become unviable for them. Thus the solar developers must refrain from bidding for significantly lower prices which can make such projects unviable in such situations. 

What are the future plans of En-Icon now?

Shakti Dubey: We plan to touch USD 100 million in sales by the next financial year. After that, we have planned to touch USD 200 million by the end of 2025. Later we might go for an IPO or some equity investor. 

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