“Our investments in tech-enabled customer acquisition, order fulfillment, order management, and grievance redressal reduce our operating costs significantly to ensure that we are working at a strong positive unit economics for Design, Delivery and Maintenance of Solar Rooftop Systems”, asserted Pranesh Chaudhary, CEO of ZunRoof, in a tete-a-tete with Poulami Chakraborty of BW SmartCities World. Excerpts below:
In a power expensive territory as Delhi, ZunRoof offers solar rooftop at Rs 30k/ kw. How do you feel this will impact the market in the territory and its neighboring region?
We have had an amazingly positive response from Delhi residents to our Solar Rooftop offering at Rs.29,400/kW.
We have a lot of inbound interest from rest of NCR and over the next 3 months, we will bring similar priced offers for Haryana and UP cities to put solar panels on every roof. As we like to say, “Har Roof, ZunRoof”
Godrej invested $1.2 million in home-tech start-up ZunRoof. How has this major market initiative impacted your business in its expansion?
Every bit of funding helps when your mission is to bring smart and clean energy choices for the world. The pre-Series A funding from Godrej has enabled us to hire and retain great talent and has made us the market leader in over 60 cities across India.
What plans of expansion do you have in the future times? What business strategies are you adopting in a bid to take over the highly competitive market?
We will put solar on the roofs of 1 Million homeowners in the next five years and bring a taste of IoT to these customers along-with saving tonnes of money for them.
Our investments in tech-enabled customer acquisition, order fulfillment, order management and grievance redressal reduce our operating costs significantly to ensure that we are working at a strong positive unit economics for Design, Delivery and Maintenance of Solar Rooftop Systems. We have recently launched a Premium AMC service for our customers and are working on superior value creation for our customers through IoT which will be available at a nominal subscription fees.
What major challenges do you face while operating in Indian market? What method of mitigation do you observe to curb these challenges?
The awareness level about solar rooftops is considerably very low in the Indian market when compared to the first world countries. The challenge is immense for us since we are into the residential segment where we have to create a new category of home-tech for homeowners.
To curb this, we ensured that all our marketing communications are simple, consistent and in a language that our customers understand. We also provide site assessment by a senior solar engineer at very nominal prices to our prospects, a majority of whom are now our happy customers.
Do you also cater to the government’s pet project as smart cities? Please elaborate.
We are in discussions with various government departments across cities to take part in the Smart City revolution - will share more in due time on these.
What global trends do you observe in the solar power market and where is the Indian solar market in contrast?
Indian solar market is still in a very nascent stage of development and is relying heavily on central and state subsidies for adoption. This said, we also have cities like Bangalore where people have adopted solar rooftops without any financial aid from the government, which indicates that rising awareness level has convinced people about the benefits of solar rooftop. Being environment-friendly, cost-effective, convenient and maintenance-free, solar is the future. For the people who have realized it, have embraced it; for those who haven’t, we will ensure we reach out to them.