“We have pioneered in solving the twin problems of supply and demand of electricity”, Pranesh Chaudhary, Zunroof

“We have pioneered in solving the twin problems of supply and demand of electricity”, Pranesh Chaudhary, Zunroof

ZunRoof  was one of the early movers on the solar rooftop space, going the start up way with fund raises and an aggressive expansion strategy. From solar rooftops, where the IIT Kharagpur educated founders touted their proprietary tools for tracking and performance to the move into IoT based devices for energy savings, the firm has expanded to be a firm focused on energy, but always on the look out for opportunities to  build on its energy savings and efficiency pitch. The IoT line of products, being marketed under the zunpulse brand, cover everything from smart bulbs, to the zunpure RO water treatment device. Covering a range of pricing from  Rs 590 to Rs 7490 for the RO. The common thread across all is the promise of energy efficiency, and smart functions, be it remote tracking, switch on and off, or times etc. today, the firm calls itself a Home Tech firm offering clean energy solutions.

Founder and CEO, Pranesh Chaudhary, responded to a set of questions from SaurEnergy.


Q. What was the closing turnover of Zunroof in 2020-21?

We closed at INR 42Cr in the financial year of 2021.

Q. With almost Rs 34 crores raised till date, does the company see the need for further fund raises too? 

Since, Clean Energy and IoT are booming sectors in India. Every bit of funding is needed to catapult the mission to bring smart and clean energy choices for the world. (ZunRoof received 28.2 Crs from Godrej family fund in the pre-Series A and Series A combined, approximately 3.25 Cr from angel investors (Ramakant Sharma, Founder of Livspace, Pradeep Tharakan, ADB, Gaurav Gupta, Partner at Dalberg and IIT Kharagpur seniors such as Kundan from Facebook, Nishant from Morgan Stanley and Nitin from FICO- senior executives in USA) and a grant from USICEF.)

Q. When did the firm decide to diversify away from Solar to efficiency driven appliances?

On the mission to make India Clean Energy Driven, Providing access to clean, smart and free electricity via solar was only the first half of the problem. The second half involved efficient utilization of this energy through IoT (Internet of Things). So, to address the same, With two years of research and development for leveraging IoT for efficient utilization of energy, we created an in-house developed IOT enabled hardware range that includes eleven smart devices under four categories – lighting, security, control, and purifiers – all of them working with one single app over wifi and not needing any wiring change at all in homes (a major limiting factor in usual home automation firms)- These are all plug and play devices.

We are currently operating in 3 segments that include- ZunRoof (Residential rooftop segment catering to urban areas, which was founded in June 2016), zunsolar (Offering a wide range of solar products specifically designed for rural area needs, which was launched in May 2020) and zunpulse (a complete smart home solution to utilize electricity in an efficient manner, which was launched in October 2020) – now forms an ecosystem for each individual – from every walk of life –  to efficiently generate and use clean electricity in daily life. 

Q. Share details on the portfolio and pricing (zunpulse and zunPure). Do you have unique selling points for these? Which is the top selling IoT device currently? Where do you source your IoT portfolio from?

Last year in September we launched zunpluse- our home automation range of devices. The first generation of zunpulse has 11 smart home products that are Wi-Fi enabled, plug & play devices that enable the customers to control all their electrical appliances with just one tap on the zunpulse app. The devices include smart bulb, smart plug, smart ac remote, smart TV remote, energy monitor, smart video doorbell, smart camera and smart plug among many others.

Smart products are currently provided in scattered options or select value propositions across the industry. These products work on different platforms and user interfaces- which makes it difficult for the end user to experience the range of smart products. To experience smart products in its entirety zunpulse is offering a plethora of smart products on a single Made-In-India mobile application.


The SunPulse Smart bumb

Zunpulse Smart Bulbzunpure RO

Apart from the core benefits we are also offering comfort and convenience to the users, the products enable home automation for efficient utilization of electricity at homes and offices. The smart bulb, plug, doorbell and ac remotes are our top selling IoT devices as of now on leading e commerce platforms like amazon, flipkart and snapdeal and zunpulse.com

Coming on to the third question, in the world of hardware, there are 3 major angles- software, hardware and firmware. Hardware and software are dependent upon the extent of backward integration one can do, that’s what makes for the differentiating factor and that’s what stops one from being dependent on external help.

We as a company are at different levels of backward integration for different products – for Energy Monitor and Smart Bulb, the pollution sensor is entirely made in India so we develop them in house. But for other products, the hardware side chips and sensors are not currently manufactured in India. So, we are in a way dependent on external sources.

We at ZunRoof are all for “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, and on the solar side we are completely made in India. For zunpulse however, we are sourcing some components from outside India but as we are expanding, we are planning to indulge into backward integration by stepping into manufacturing and be self sufficient in ourselves.

Q. How do you claim to be India’s no 1 Home tech firm? Who else is there in the category?


zunpure RO

We have pioneered in solving the twin problems of supply and demand of electricity. We stand uniquely at the position owing to the plethora of services we provide that covers the wide entire range of solar and IOT products and services.

We today have become India’s #1 residential solar rooftop company with a number of sites installed, saved over 50 crores in electricity bills for our customers, and reached a million USD in monthly revenue from the residential solar rooftop business. We, till date, have installed more than half a million IOT devices,  assessed over 3,00,000 homes, designed over 35,000 rooftop solar systems in 75+ cities in India, and installed 20 MW+ of rooftop solar.

Q. What is the firm’s vision for 2025? In terms of turnover and customers.

So far, we have empowered more than 50,000 Indian homes with IoT devices and are on a mission to empower 5 million Indian homes through IoT in the next 5 years.

Q. What is your preferred marketing strategy? Are there lessons to be applied across solar and IoT for selling?

We are the only player in the industry to have tech enabled online customer acquisition, end to end order management, fulfilment and integrated grievance redressal system that ensures lean and streamlined Pre-Sales and Post-Sales operations for ZunRoof. This ensures that every sale is on unit positive economics even at low selling prices.

In less than 5 years of starting up, we are already the #1 Choice for residential and SME clients in India for solar. An organic growth, fuelled  by tech is the right state to be in for any startup. More importantly, a team with varied complementary skill-sets which has withstood multiple roadblocks and was boot-strapped for a long-time built a lot of confidence. Challenges are inevitable for any startup. In our case, we are creating a category of home-tech products (solar and IoT) and services for home-owners, which by definition is a hard business to build. We had to educate the customers rather than sell to them. Both the solar and IoT categories are segments where business can take up pace only after the customer is well informed and educated.

Q. Globally, who are the dominant firms in the Home tech space?

  • Schneider Electronics
  • Philips
  • TIS Control
  • Legrand
  • Crestron

Q. Do you have any exports?

Not as of now.

Q. How do you feel about the growth of solar since the time Zunroof launched? What has been the biggest drag, biggest plus points? 

The rooftop solar market has grown year on year and is expected to grow at a faster rate because of the favourable regulatory environment, affordable pricing and increasing awareness among customers aided by internet penetration. The immense growth of the Rooftop Solar market in India is combined with the increase in electricity demand per household and regular hikes in electricity tariffs. Lack of single window approval for net-metering often leads to significant delays in certain projects, thus hampering the overall customer experience. At the same time, the increased number of suppliers for every component of the solar rooftop system is easing the process of logistics and order delivery.

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