Empowering nationwide impact through niche energy solutions

As the world embraces renewable energy, solar power and lithium-ion batteries have emerged as pivotal components driving this transformation. Solar panels harness sunlight to generate electricity, revolutionizing how we power our lives while significantly reducing carbon emissions. Paired with lithium-ion batteries, these systems store excess energy for use during non-sunlit hours, enhancing grid stability and enabling more efficient energy consumption.

Amid this evolution, India Business and Trade interacted with Mr. Amod Anand, the Co-Founder and Director of Loom Solar who is acting as a driving force. Armed with a determination to stand out, he identified the niche product market as the key, focusing on cutting-edge, high-efficiency solar panels that marked its distinct identity. 

loom solar

Image Source: Loom Solar

IBT: What inspired you to start your company in the solar manufacturing industry? 

Amod AnandThis journey started during my corporate tenure of almost ten years. Initially, my objective was financial independence while working in the corporate sector. Around 2014-2015, I began exploring opportunities with the limited funds earned from our salaries. During those times, venturing into business without much capital was a challenge.

Around that period, the concept emerged that I needed to transition from a job to entrepreneurship. This idea aligned with the rise of online businesses like Flipkart. Seeing people start businesses from home without significant capital investment intrigued me, leading to my own journey.

The central idea was to leave my job and step into the world of business. The exploration of products on platforms like Amazon and Flipkart followed. Slowly, I understood the importance of differentiation and positive contribution amid competition. This exploration gradually led me to products with futuristic aspects and longer life spans.

While exploring, I came across rooftop solar and solar energy. The challenge was that these products, being heavy and bulky, weren’t suitable for online sales due to transportation hurdles. This realization sparked the idea of offering forward-looking products for the industry. Moreover, the online market’s focus on margins pushed me to creatively navigate competition.

This marked the beginning – realizing the need to stand out and find a scalable path. From this point, the journey unfolded, leading me to where I am today.

IBT: How do you differentiate your company from the existing solar manufacturers in the industry?

Amod Anand: Our company’s foundation is built upon a fundamental question that has become our guiding principle. To not only survive but thrive in a competitive market and scale our company, we’ve focused on identifying the X factor – the competitive advantages that can propel us to the next level. In an industry like ours, which demands significant capital, maintaining a continuous flow of funds is vital. Right from the outset, our approach has been distinct.

We veered away from mass-produced goods, concentrating instead on niche products that cater to a specific audience. While this might limit our reach to a smaller segment, it provided a source of revenue, a crucial aspect considering we didn’t have backing from investors initially. Our focal point became clear – the prevalent product in India at the time was the poly solar panel, known for low efficiency and affordability. In contrast, we adopted the monofacial technology, a newer and more efficient approach. This choice formed our distinct identity.

The strategy paid off. When we introduced our product, its novelty compared to existing competitors granted us a competitive edge for a year or two. Rapid promotion through various channels, especially social media, helped cement our place in the market. This two-year advantage bolstered our unique identity.

Today, our advantages have multiplied. We offer a comprehensive solar solution, a rarity among Indian solar manufacturers. Additionally, our power backup solutions have further set us apart. Our solar panel range, spanning from ten watts to a substantial 570 watts, contributes to our uniqueness. Our customer base predominantly comprises tier three and tier four customers, a demographic that continues to choose us.

These factors have acted as our lifeline, ensuring our presence and success in the industry. Recently marking our fifth anniversary has provided reassurance of our sustained existence and the prospect of a promising future.

IBT: What challenges did you face while establishing Loom Solar? Do you have any success stories to share with us while you were coping with those challenges?

Amod Anand: Reflecting on our journey of the past five years, we have successfully installed solar systems in the homes of 50,000 diverse homeowners. Our clients encompass a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Venture into rural India, and you’ll encounter a multitude of customers – from small-scale rural entrepreneurs like “atta chakki” operators to residents of remote regions like Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. In such areas, acquiring and accessing power backup solutions presents a notable challenge. However, we’ve been able to provide these customers with a consistent 24×7 power backup solution, addressing their specific needs.

Even in urban markets, the impact of our work is evident. The solar systems we set up five years ago have now effectively paid back the initial investment for many homeowners. Consequently, their present electricity bills have dwindled to virtually nothing. This financial relief is expected to continue for a significant period since the return on investment has already materialized. Our industry’s success stories revolve around two types of customers.

The first category comprises individuals who, despite having AC connections and monthly bills in the range of 5000 to 6000, seek ways to curtail costs. Upon adopting our solar systems, their electricity bills undergo a substantial reduction, signifying a remarkable shift in their financial landscape. The second group seeks power backup solutions, particularly in areas where electricity supply is intermittent. These customers encounter power interruptions for varying durations, sometimes even hours, particularly in rural regions. In these scenarios, our installed solar systems step in to bridge the gap, effectively serving as a lifeline of power during outages.

Watch the exclusive interview:

IBT: Are there any collaborations or projects you are currently working on? What are your future goals for the company right now? 

Amod Anand: Our direction remains unchanged. Our focus is on ensuring everyone gets the opportunity due to the price. In the last ten years, the price has come down, but it’s still not affordable for everyone. The price is still high. In the next ten years, the price will come down more. Our job is to make sure every household in the country gets solar energy so they can reduce their electricity bill and enjoy 24 x 7 power. We’ll focus on building a large distribution network and our brand. We’ll keep innovating our products, introducing new high-efficiency products with complete solutions for homeowners. This is a big industry, and in the next two to three years, at least 1 million, around ten lakh customers, will be added by 2030. I can say this confidently.

IBT: How does your company address the issue of recycling and disposing of lithium batteries when it comes to your business model?

Amod Anand: In the realm of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries, two aspects come into play: recycling and disposal. When it comes to both solar panels and the lithium-ion batteries we manufacture, our focus lies on recycling and responsible disposal. To address this, we’ve established collaborations with recycling companies. Once we receive these products, they are stored in dedicated spaces within our warehouse. Within a targeted timeframe of 180 days, we ensure these products are handed over to the recycling company for proper recycling procedures. The recycled materials then return to us, completing the cycle.

For items that cannot be recycled, we’ve partnered with a disposal company. They visit our factory premises to collect these items for proper disposal. It’s worth noting that we have a well-defined e-waste management policy in place to guide these processes. This comprehensive approach enables us to effectively manage the recycling and disposal of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries in an environmentally responsible manner.

IBT: Are there any suggestions that you want to give to the policymakers to further develop and support this industry?

Amod Anand: From a small enterprise with ambitions to evolve into a medium-sized and eventually a larger enterprise, my foremost concern centres around the need for opportunities and governmental support. While the Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is prevalent, its current implementation largely caters to the larger corporate entities within the chain. Regrettably, companies like ours, situated within the SME segment, aren’t reaping the benefits it offers. This discrepancy is noteworthy.

Secondly, the availability of a robust raw material ecosystem for the solar industry remains a challenge. Establishing such an ecosystem is a gradual process, and I believe it requires the government’s consistent and sustained commitment. The key here is policy consistency, extending over a span of at least three to five years. Such a steadfast policy framework would instil a higher level of confidence among potential investors, like ourselves, fostering reliability and long-term stability.

In essence, if the government addresses these aspects, companies in our category can stand to gain significant advantages, ensuring our progress and prosperity in the times ahead.

Amod Anand has done his MBA in Marketing from IMT, Ghaziabad, India. He is meticulously building synergies in the extensive growth of Loom Solar in India and Export from India. Prior to establishing Loom Solar, Amod had worked for some renowned brands like Reliance, Airtel and HomeShop 18. 

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