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Pioneer In Green Energy: Kushagra Nandan, Co-founder & President, SunSource Energy
This major solar energy venture has been spearheaded by a first generation entrepreneur.
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Green energy is among the most talked about sustainable development goals (SDG) of the United Nations. It is also a goal in which India is leading from the front. BW Businessworld’s 40 under 40 categorisation thus picks a pioneer in the sector SunSource Energy, founded by Kushagra Nandan. The company touches many benchmarks in the sustainable energy space. SunSource Energy was born of a dream of powering the entire world with clean energy and envisions building world class solar and clean energy assets around the globe.
The renewable energy sector being capital intensive and highly regulated, not too many young talents, particularly those with no prior experience in working in a regulated sector in India, venture into it. Nandan was only 29 when he decided to come back to India and set up SunSource Energy. The company’s footprints have since expanded across six countries, making it one of India’s leading ‘distributed solar organisations’.
Nandan has played an important role in making solar power the preferred choice of energy for more than 150 customers. His company now has a presence in 24 states in India and six countries around the world. SunSource Energy is an independent solar power producer with 500 employees, including contractual employees who work at multiple project sites. The company provides and distributes solar power and solar power storage solutions to commercial and industrial customers.
What is now one of India’s largest solar energy ventures in terms of distribution has been successfully spearheaded by a first generation entrepreneur. less than a decade ago in 2010, this clean and renewable energy venture began at Co-founder Adarsh Das's living room, when solar energy was still a fledgling business in India. Today of course, the company is on a global expansion mode.
Nandan has been able to successfully change the company’s business model thrice – from an engineering consultancy to a design and engineering firm to an EPC, and then on to an IPP. The move was so swift that SunSource became the fifth largest distributed solar independent power producer (Solar IPP) in India within a year of moving to the IPP model. He is very enthusiastic about the Union government’s efforts at digitisation of systems and Mudra loans, which he feels, have added to the ease of doing business in India for new entrepreneurs.
Even though the shadow of the all invasive economic slowdown has spread to the power sector too, it has scarcely touched SunSource, possibly because the company has selected customers prudently. “We only partner with clients who have a high credit rating and are in industries that are expected to be least affected by the slowdown,” says Nandan. “Further, we don’t bid an aggressive tariff for our projects. We don’t go down to the tariffs that are not sustainable as our focus is always on developing projects that deliver long term value to our customers,” he goes on to say.
In the long run though, the clean energy sector has tremendous potential, especially since the government strives for a green energy ecosystem. “The Prime Minister aims to have a rooftop solar capacity of 40 GW by 2022,” points out Nandan. “We are still sitting at an installed capacity of close to 5 GW,” he says adding, “Further, the Government of India aims to have a renewable energy capacity of 500 GW by 2030 which makes renewable all the more important for assisting the country’s growth”.
Nandan’s message to upcoming entrepreneurs is: keep working on the details but always have the larger goal and perspective in mind – and work hard towards reaching that goal.