Proinso – A Global Leader Transforming the Paradigm of Solar Power


Trusted by blue-chip companies and Governments around the globe, Proinso is a global leader in solar energy market. In a conversation with the MD – Kunal Chandra, he talks about the global footprints and core areas of work along with explaining the current trends, and challenges of the healthcare startups in India
Kindly brief us about the company.

PROINSO was founded in the northern Spanish region of Navarre, the land of the global traveler Saint Francis Xavier, back in 2006. The founders understood that solar power was going to become central to the energy mix in all sectors. Twelve years later, PROINSO is a global leader in the solar energy market with business units in distribution and integration, technology and project development services.

Since our establishment in 2006 PROINSO has supplied over 2.7 GW of projects and has operations in over 20 countries on 5 continents. In recognition of its outstanding performance PROINSO has received the 2018 Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the highest accolade for business success in the UK.

Please tell us something about your Founder/CEO and his/her contribution towards the company and the industry:
Our CEO Mark Randall has graduated from Oxford University and University of London and is holding an MBA degree from Leicester University. Mark’s successful career has taken him around the globe, starting with a period in El Salvador, working with the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission. His next career steps took him back to the UK where he worked in business development at British Gas, followed by Hong Kong, where he headed development and investment in real estate. In 2008, Mark founded a solar EPC company that has been operating throughout the region.
Mark has led PROINSO’s geographical expansion across the globe to South-East Asia, Japan, India, South Africa, Mexico and more. Under his leadership, PROINSO moved into big-ticket projects and saw vertical integration by introduction of the two new divisions – project development services and technology.
You have a strong global footprint. What is your opinion on the current Indian market and how it’s different from the current global market?
We have been in the Indian market since the launch of the JNNSM back in 2010 and it is one of our key markets. Solar market in India is currently divided in two major segments.
The larger part of the market is driven by high price sensitivity. This segment is characterized by CAPEX cost saving and lack of accurate execution. We have been informed that some inverters manufacturers are downgrading components in order to match the price requirements of the Indian market.
Of course, there is another, more mature market segment driven by the long-term investment approach and optimization of OPEX. Blue-chip companies such as Godrej and TATA, and start-ups such as INSPIRE Clean Energy operate in this segment and so it is no surprise they are surging ahead.
Kindly describe in detail about your services and products.
PROINSO is one of the few integrated solar companies offering our clients full support for solar PV products and services.
PROINSO, through its unrivalled global value network, holds contracts with Top Tier-1 partners in the solar industry, including SMA, Huawei, Jinko Solar, Trojan, Omron and PROINSO PV Rack. We supply the full range of solar PV components ensuring the best coverage for all our projects.
On the service side, we offer turnkey project development services ranging from identifying project sites to design, engineering, contracting, construction, financing and asset management. PROINSO has leading in-house experience demonstrated through deployment of over 800MW of solar projects globally.
Being a global leader in the solar energy market with business units in distribution and integration, how is technology helping your organization and what is its impact on Indian Solar energy?
Partnering with leaders in the the solar sector allows us access to the latest cutting-edge technology which we are able to pass on to the market very quickly through our distribution network spread across 20+ countries. Technology is now the corner stone for most industries and solar is no different. It brings increased efficiency reflected in higher project yields and revenue and reduced costs of Operation & Maintenance which can pose a particular challenge for projects located in remote areas. We have recently made an investment in a new R&D facility outside Mumbai for development and testing of our structures and tracking systems. We see the Indian market as responsive and adaptive to technological shifts in the industry.
Explain the industry challenges in terms of evolving new trends, market players and cost?
The industry is currently entering a period of consolidation on the supply chain which will not only lead to some immediate opportunities for developers’ profits, but it will also erase some component manufacturers from the landscape.
We’ve observed some emerging new trends in the industry that are posing new business opportunities, primarily energy storage, distributed generation and smart energy production and management linked with IoT. We expect that data ownership will play a significant role in companies’ future valuations, with large corporations already fighting to acquire the big data available in our industry.
Kindly talk about the critical attributes that make you one of the most trusted solar platforms in today’s competitive market?
Our competitive advantages are derived from the combination of four strategic factors:

  • Long-term investment approach: Product quality and financials of their partners are scrutinized through our strict due diligence procedure ensuring the highest performance, safety standards and bankability of our selected manufacturers.
  • Localized capabilities: We believe that knowledge transfer and project experience is the key for building local experts and strong partnerships that will help us spread solar energy for future generations.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit: Creativity and speed of development fostered by entrepreneurs coupled with rigorous risk management can result in some of the greatest ventures.
  • Unrivalled global reach: With presence in over 20 countries globally, PROINSO offers unrivalled coverage for solar energy demand in both developed and emerging markets.

What are the different projects your company is working on along with some key highlights of these?
PROINSO has a wealth of experience in completing solar projects of all scales for blue chip companies and governments around the world, including PepsiCo, Bosch, Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Tata.
A recent example is the 28MWp utility scale project in Teknaf, Bangladesh – Shortlisted for 2018 Solar Power Portal Award. This is the first utility solar project in Bangladesh delivered in partnership with Joules Power Limited. Another project from our portfolio is the 300kWp off-grid installation in Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia – Winner of the 2016 Solar Power Portal Award for Rural Electrification.

How do you portray the future of Indian Solar industry and how are you preparing yourself for that?
We are optimistic on the outlook of the solar industry in general as there is still a long way to go to achieve the target set out by the government. With the falling costs of solar we are seeing more growth in the C&I space for which we are perfectly positioned to cater to the demand.
In offering to the market through our EPM division we have helped many blue-chip companies and governments around the world understand and setup solar power plants and are expanding on that offering in both B2B and B2C segments. For the utility side of the business we are looking to deploy our new tracking solutions and are also working on some interesting financing models to be offered to our customers.
How the recent initiatives from the Government have has helped the Indian Solar industry along with the participation of private players?
The overall initiative taken by the Government is very plausible as India is now one of the top 3 solar markets in the world. Capacity addition through the reverse bidding mechanism has helped bring down tariffs to a level which is now at par or even lower than thermal power. Most states have adopted Net metering which has given a boost to the rooftop sector as well. However, there are always matters which create a bit of unrest and the latest being with the imposing of safe guard duty on import of modules from China and Malaysia which will impact the cost of power being generated through solar. But overall the industry will continue to grow both in utility and rooftop segments and having seen the growth over the last 8 years, we are fully committed to be a part of the growth story for the years to come.
Kindly provide a quote which describes your company.
At PROINSO, we believe solar is central to an economically and environmentally sustainable energy mix and lighting up homes of over 1.1bn people who lack access to electricity. We aim to be at the forefront of this energy revolution.

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