Mr. Rajiv Kumar – CEO and Founder of SolarHippo.com, A dynamic entrepreneur and hardcore IT industry professional realizing his corporate social responsibility decided to venture into the solar power market which not only has great business potential but also creates awareness and contributes towards the betterment of our environment.
- Team Estrade: Tell us about SolarHipppo from its genesis? What persuade you to embark in such a niche market?
Rajiv Kumar: The idea of SolarHippo resulted from the environmental awareness and the efforts of my team at Hippo Innovations Pvt. Ltd. I always had a keen interest in all futuristic technologies and innovations. The alarming rate of pollution and its impact on everyday life prompted me to think about clean energy sources. When I searched for some products I could not find a structured marketplace for green energy. This prompted me to come up with the idea of a clean green marketplace where users can have access to the best products that are environment friendly. Realizing my corporate social responsibility I decided to venture into the solar power market which not only has great business potential but also creates awareness and contributes towards the betterment of our environment. SolarHippo came into existence as a direct result of this and my desire to contribute to our society in a clean green way.
- Team Estrade: What is the current portfolio in terms of brand and product range SolarHippo have?
Rajiv Kumar: SolarHippo has a variety of products that begin from small solar torches and lights to large solar installations for home, commercial and mega projects. We are in talks with residential associations for providing complete solar solutions for some residential buildings. We have all the reputed brands and vendors on board and are in talks with some of the best vendors across various regions. We want to offer the best competitive price and opportunity to choose to our customers.
“India is poised to become the biggest solar power by 2022”
- Team Estrade: What is the market size of solar product in E-tailing space?
Rajiv Kumar: As we know solar marketplace is a niche market and there are very few reports available on the exact market size. However, estimates and forecasts clearly indicate that India is poised to become the biggest solar power by 2022. This has generated great interest and brought big investments for solar energy. The recent growth of e-commerce would gradually trickle down to this sector also and in coming years we would be seeing a total shift to solar e commerce. As per reports, KPMG sees India’s cumulative solar photovoltaic market potential by 2016-17 at around 12,500 megawatts, which would include around 4,000 mw of rooftop market. We are encouraged by these figures and hope to see a speedy growth in the market size of solar products in E-tailing space.
- Team Estrade: What’s the competition like? How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Rajiv Kumar: Solar energy is a niche market and currently we have few players in this segment. However with the recent buzz around renewable energy we may see new entrants.
“Existing electricity users can switch to solar and make huge savings and the people who are devoid of electricity can light up their lives with solar power”
- Team Estrade: Who is your target audience? What is the average order size you receive?
Rajiv Kumar: Our vision is to cater to anyone and everyone who is using conventional power in for of electricity or who is not having access to electricity. Existing electricity users can switch to solar and make huge savings and the people who are devoid of electricity can light up their lives with solar power. In nutshell, everyone in India is our target audience. Average order size ranges between Rs1800- Rs.2200.
- Team Estrade: Geographically speaking which key cities are your catering and further planning to expand your reach?
Rajiv Kumar: Our products and services are available across India. Through our logistics and dealerships tie ups we are covering almost all of the PIN codes in the county.
“Indian Government is promoting renewable energy heavily and especially the stress is on Solar power”
- Team Estrade: How do you see the future of Solar Energy marketplace in India?
Rajiv Kumar: Indian Government is promoting renewable energy heavily and especially the stress is on Solar power. It is estimated that India would be one of the chief solar power producing countries by 2022. General public has become very aware about the potential of Solar energy and its huge benefits in terms of cost savings as well as for the environment. Improved technology has brought down the price of solar products and innovative ideas are resulting in very innovative, affordable and useful solar accessories. In nutshell, we can say that solar is going to shine bright in near future.
- Team Estrade: How has the business been for your company over the last fiscal? How are your projections looking for next fiscal?
Rajiv Kumar: Business has registered substantial growth, over the past 6-8 months. Soon after we set up our logistics in place and went live with SolarHippo we started getting queries for various solar products and installations. Initially we began with solar light and saw encouraging growth in this segment every month. Conventional Solar products like solar panels and inverters have a very good potential as more people are becoming aware about the benefits of going solar. Innovative products like garden solar lights, motion sensor lights have also generated lots of interest among our buyers and visitors.
We are very optimistic about the next fiscal and look forward to registering very good growth. Recent government policies promoting renewable energy like, net metering policies of various states, easy loans on minimum interest rates and stringent norms on emissions have made the masses sit up and take note. We are really excited by the kind of interest Solar power has garnered. We have also ventured in solar services and have many reputed vendors on board. We are providing end to end solar solutions to our customers by offering various products that can be ordered directly on SolarHippo and we have services where we connect customers with the best solar vendors in their region. This gives them an opportunity to compare and choose the best services.
- Team Estrade: Please shed some light on your roadmap for next 2 years?
Rajiv Kumar: Solar marketplace is a niche market and there are few players in the field at present. In coming too years we are going to add more innovative and cost effective products and services to our catalogue. We are working hard to make SolarHippo leaders in solar industry and offer a complete solar marketplace. We aspire to make SolarHippo synonymous with Solar Power.
SolarHippo a complete Solar Energy marketplace