Clean Tech Opportunities in India

Startup Saturday Bangalore, August edition witnessed some fantastic product demos and insights in the area of Clean Tech. You can find a detailed post here.

This article is to highlight the opportunities available in the Clean Tech space, as pointed out by Shashidhar Kumaraswamy, Founder of Blueray Solar who was also one of the panelists.

So, what makes Clean Tech so lucrative?
Well it indeed is a high growth sector. A quick google search reveals over 200 million $ waiting to be invested in Clean Tech in India in the form of VC and PE investments. Add to it, the fact that its a nascent market and the Indian government’s encouraging stance when it comes to implementing anything green.

What opportunities exist in the Clean Tech space?
“Essentially 4 types of opportunities exist in this sector”, points out Shashi.

  1. Manufacturing: Solar and PV (Photovoltic Systems), Bio Fuels, Bio Gas, Power Generation, Fuel Cells, Advanced Batteries, Hydrogen Generation and Storage etc fall under this category. These are capital intensive investments for sure, but with the kind of money that is being pumped into the sector, manufacturing may not seem like a far cry.
  2. Enablers: This set of business ventures capitalize on making equipment that supports the mainstream Clean Tech product. A good example will be devices like Solar Trackers which increase the yield of Solar Panels by tracking the movement of the Sun. Cutting the cost of environmental footprint of building materials like Cement etc too fall under this category.
  3. Software: These are purely software (slightly embedded) based products like “Google Power Meter” or similar smart grid technologies. Green Home software and devices that track energy usage and conserve power where ever possible would comprise this segment.
  4. Deployment: Raw Material Suppliers, Transportation, Transmission and Distribution, Desalinization, Waste Reduction, Recycling etc. This is where all the service providers come in. The Gujrat government recently sanctioned 2.4 billion $ towards 34 Solar projects. Can you imagine the opportunities that exist for everyone in the supply chain.

So you have a Clean Tech Idea, what next?
“You should do appropriate market research, build your Sales Strategy while working also building your Intellectual Property. The IP is critical, protect it. Build synergestic partnerships to go hand in hand with your sales strategy and don’t forget to make use of Government’s incentives” suggests Shashi.

The Indian government is serious about Clean Tech. It has created the world’s first Ministry of Renewable Energy to concentrate investment in the Clean Tech areas that show promise. The government has a budgeted expenditure of 85 Crores for Clean Tech in 2009-1010 which goes up to 160 Crores in 2011-2012. Can you guess how much of the 85 Crore budget has already been utilized? Less than 10%! So go for it.

What could the next big opportunities in Clean Tech be?
Concentrated PV technology, Solar Trackers, Micro Inverters, Smart Grid projects, Social Networking Initiatives for energy audits, Educational tools and programs are some of the fields that you could consider.

After reading this much, I would like to share what John Doerr of Kliener Perkins feels about Clean Tech. “Clean Tech is going to be bigger than the Internet” he says. Check out his inspiring TED talk. Vinod Khosla of KPCB sees a lot of promise in this sector too.

You can get in touch with Shashidhar at shashi AT blueraysolar DOT com. Blueray Solar is an eco friendly company that specializes in getting you off the power grid by generating your own power quickly and efficiently.

By Amit Singh

Amit Singh is the co-founder of Headstart - India's largest early stage startup community. He has a keen interest in startups, technology and design. He runs an award winning product engineering firm called Wow Labz in Bangalore, India. He has invested in multiple startups via Wow Labz as well. He has also cofounded Design Day - a pan India design community

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.