In an exclusive interview with TimesTech, Mr. Tanmoy Duari, CEO of AXITEC Energy India Pvt. Ltd, discussed the remarkable journey of the company in the renewable energy sector. From entering the Indian market late to now selling over 150 MWp annually and establishing a 600 Mwp production capacity, Axitec is setting new standards for quality in a price-competitive market. The company’s commitment to promoting quality in solar modules and its expansion into lithium-ion storage and inverters in Europe are key elements of their business model.
Read the full interview here:
TimesTech: Can you highlight Axitec Energy India’s journey and key milestones in the renewable energy sector?
Mr. Tanmoy: Starting with a single sales employee in 2017, now Axitec in India is selling 150 MWp and above each year and now putting up its own production lines totalling 600 Mwp in India. Axitec is an outlier in terms a European Solar company succeeding in a very price competitive Indian market.
Axitec entered the Indian market very late as compared to a lot of other big solar module manufacturers, the primary reason was that we were very apprehensive if we would be able to have sustainable business model in a the Indian market where the primary criteria for buying solar products is the price, and in such cases generally quality takes a backseat, But Axitec being a solar module brand from Germany our primary focus and our pride is the quality of our products, hence we were very apprehensive if we would be able to survive in the Indian solar market. But when we started our operations in India, we realised that there is indeed that select segment of customers here in India who understand the value of a quality products especially where the life span of the product is as long as 25 years.
The idea was to shift customers in India from the cheap lower quality Asian imports to high quality solar PV modules with warranties backed by a company which has been in the solar business for more than 2 decades, and once we did that , there has been no looking back.
TimesTech: How does Axitec plan to contribute to India’s renewable energy goals, and what strategies are in place to promote sustainable energy adoption?
Mr. Tanmoy: India has very aggressive goals for renewable energy especially with solar where we are planning to do a 400 or 450 gigawatts up till 2030 and while this is a huge quantity of solar , however what is a growing concern is the quality of the equipment used.
Up until now we have seen that India is a very cost sensitive market and prices are the primary factor for buying a particular product, however with Axitec and our quality standards we are trying to set up a benchmark in the Indian market where people understand the value of the quality and for a product that is designed would last 25 years and your financial calculations are based on lifetime of 25 years it is very important that you have a good quality product hence our focus in terms of contribution to the Indian market is that we are not looking to sell huge quantities what we are here is to set a benchmark of quality minimum quality standards that customers should demand for and that other suppliers should strive for.
TimesTech: Tell us about Axitec’s involvement in solar panels in space and how it aligns with your vision.
Mr. Tanmoy: Space is a different ballgame altogether so you have to understand the commercial solar plants and solar module or a solar generating system that goes up in space there have very different functions, while yes of course the primary function is power generation but in in the sense that a solar plant which has been put up in on earth its primary motive is to you know generate electricity for people and provided for homes for businesses at the same time bringing down the carbon footprint also very importantly it’s generating money or economic benefits for the user or the buyer however in case of solar module in space the primary motive is to get the maximum power out of the sun’s solar radiation so that you are able to power up the critical equipment in space, the sun is your only refilling stationed space South it’s very important that you use the that you extract the maximum power out of the solar radiation and for that to happen you efficiencies of these solar modules that you are going to use in space are the primary deciding factor in terms of the technology that you need to use however here on earth we have to have a balance in terms of caustic economics the materials that he use are the commercially available are they viable when you put them up and also when you recycle them how efficiently you are able to recycle them so for us in acetic we are focusing on things here on earth while of course you know whatever is used on space is you know we have seen in the past that whatever it is used in space has eventually come down to you know things being used on earth here on earth we would wait and see what kind of technologies which is being used in space futuristic technologies which are being used in space and eventually can be used here on you know here to power our earth we’re on the lookout for that but for now space is a different ball game as I said earlier and that is something that we currently not focusing on.
TimesTech: What are Axitec’s plans for diversifying into Lithium-Ion Storage and Inverters in Europe and India, and how does this fit your business model?
Mr. Tanmoy: At exotic we have our own we have in fact launched our own portfolio of lithium ion batteries as well as hybrid inverters and this we have done fairly recently I think over a period of past year or year and a half right now the focus market is of course European Union this is primarily because you know contrary to popular belief lithium and storage is are very complex devices and you have to treat them with the kind of respect that they deserve and being a European company we just cannot sell sub-standard equipment and we have to live by the warranties that we have so for now we are looking in we are primarily looking to focus on the European markets and not once we have a certain level of understanding how the products and systems work and how well they work for our customers we will then be launching this for the Indian market but for now this is restricted to the European market.
TimesTech: How is Axitec engaging with the G20’s commitments to promote solar power and renewable energy, and what impact do you expect on the solar market?
Mr. Tanmoy: So when you look at g 20 as a group of nations India included is set out very aggressive target in terms of in terms of you know adoption of renewable energy and phasing out of conventional carbon spewing energy sources however you have to understand each of these countries has its own set of you know complexities that needs to be addressed so yes there is a common target and this is I think primarily driven by the fact that you know now even the most hardcore climate change deniers they are scared and climate change is happening it’s not even no longer in at a doorstep its already there and its happening and its careers and if we do not take any actions right now I do not have a very pretty picture for us in the future anyways the point is that that each of the participating countries and their own individual targets has to be addressed and you know separately you just cannot have a common strategy for each of these nations for example here in India we have a different set of climates and different set of you know land utilization rules whereas if you go to European country it would be something that is totally different hence I personally think that while there is a common goal but you must look at each governments individual initiative to incorporate I mean how they are incorporating renewable energy and particularly solar in their you know mix of India energy mix and then go about putting your efforts in in that direction however with exotic as mentioned before our focus is quality we are not looking to you know produce mass volumes of solar energy product rather we are looking to set benchmarks in quality of which people said benchmarks in quality which should set a minimum standard for the market.
TimesTech: Could you share recent investments and partnerships that support solar adoption in India and globally, and what are your future plans for public-private partnerships in renewable energy?
Mr. Tanmoy: This is an interesting question interesting point of time so to answer that Axitec is selling its solar products in 93 countries with 7 subsidiaries across the world we have manufacturing locations in China Vietnam Turkey and of course the EU,
However now we are coming up with our own production facility in India.
Everyone knows India has very aggressive solar and renewable energy targets and we are going about it in in a way where manufacturing is included as a part of the eventual goal and there is strong focus and encouragement by the Government of India towards this
So what we have decided is that we are setting up manufacturing in in India. And by Q1, 2024 we are we should have an operational capacity of 600 megawatts of solar module manufacturing and this would be of course with the latest technology we are not looking we kind of trying to leapfrog here instead off manufacturing the usual commercially available monopolistic modules we are leapfrogging to start production of N type Topcon modules, which will cater to the next generation of solar power systems furthermore we are looking to have the Indian production facility hey where we are manufacturing really high quality solar modules and potentially selling to the rest of the world as well.