Interview: Nidhi Gupta

Nidhi Gupta,
Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at Rays Experts
 

“Self interest of Discom’s and their aim to retain monopoly is hurting the long-term perspective of renewables”

Sudden policy changes and complex regulatory aspect is the biggest challenge we face today. The self interest of power distribution companies (Discom’s) and their aim to retain monopoly in power management business is hurting the long term perspective of renewables in India and this needs to be taken care of.
On International Women’s Day, in an exclusive interaction series with women influencers in the power sector, Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Energetica India, interacted with Nidhi Gupta, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Rays Experts. Here’re some edited excerpts from that exclusive interaction:

“Tell Energetica India readers in brief about yourself, your educational background and by when and how you decide to join the renewable energy industry?”

I am the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Rays Experts, one of India’s leading private solar park developers and one of the largest solar power Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and development company. In my current capacity, I spearhead strategy, execution, business development, and growth at the company. I endeavour to establish Rays Experts as the most preferred choice of solar developer and solarise 1,00,000 homes in the near future.
Since 2012, after finishing the last semester of my Graduation in Computer Science, I am working with Rays Experts. From starting the first private solar park to winning the Asian Power Award 2013, and completing 500 MW solar plants in our solar parks, spread across 2500 Acres of land, I have always tried to contribute my 100 per cent in growing my company organically in the last 9 years. The company has executed and managing assets worth Rs 3500 crore (USD 500 Million), however, even today I consider that our biggest triumph was in 2012 end, when we set up the country’s foremost private solar plant of 250 KW at Rays Experts’ first solar park in Kolayat, Bikaner which ultimately shaped the business model and made me firm on my decision to be in solar business. Unlike other start-ups who raise millions and burn cash before going profitable, we have reached here without raising any equity till date and keeping company profitable all across.

“What is the most important lesson you have learnt with your experience as an entrepreneur?”

There is no shortcut when it comes to setting up a good quality focused business. We need constant monitoring of every detail minutely while working on it. Goals are important, but processes are the most important aspect of gaining success. Even though we do things multiple times, we can never be complacent as an experienced person. In current scenario, we need to be an improving person each day.

“Biggest supporter and critic who helped you in making you stronger? Any role model or inspirational person?”

My parents. They always believed in me and never let me hold on my dreams because I am a girl. They gave me complete freedom. At the same time, I always wish to give my best and be rightful in their eyes through my work, because I know they are my critic also. They won’t ignore my mistakes at work or in projects just because I am their daughter.

“How do you see the role of women in the renewable energy space with changing times?”

I know several friends of mine, women, who derive large corporations at the top and in routine. In our team, we 5 women are always the reason for every needle moving changes. Our will power, courage and mental strength are good enough to take up any task, be it execution, sales, procurement or even managing entire company. And not only in renewable, across industries, it’s the same trend.

“What is your message for other women on joining the renewable energy industry in terms of scope/opportunities in the sector? What skill sets they require?”

When we say renewable energy industry, its not just solar and wind. In my view, anything supporting sustainability and helping people resolve power issue comes under renewable energy. Be it energy storage solutions or green buildings, or electric mobility, the opportunities are huge. We have one of the world’s biggest market in India, and opportunity for all exists here. Let’s utilise it. I would just say to my fellow women friends, “Just do, move fast, crave for success, just be on right path, goals will automatically be achieved”.

“In your view, what is the biggest challenge of the solar sector?”

Sudden policy changes and complex regulatory aspect is the biggest challenge we face today. The self interest of power distribution companies (Discom’s) and their aim to retain monopoly in power management business is hurting the long term perspective of renewables in India and this needs to be taken care of.

“Your outlook on the present state of rooftop solar sector in India?”

While the current debate on Industrial and commercial solar sector is ongoing, I would like to see the possibilities which exist for all. India has 330 Million Households. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest business opportunities present and hence it makes all the sense to be optimistic about it. Today the costs have fallen and subsidies are still present. States coming up with 40+MW tenders dedicated to the residential sector, and then banks making lending easy, it has all the reasons for the residential solar sector to flourish. The only hiccup is that there is no standard quality parameters or testing happening and bad work of some companies is creating hindrances for good players too. I would say that residential solar is still a sunrise industry and few companies will emerge to be big enough to make an impact in this opportunity. We see ourselves as one of the potential names in this aspect. Till now, the residential solar industry was marred by high CAPEX, lack of awareness, and unclear policies. Now, while these issues have also been addressed to a great extent, I feel this segment has long way to go.

Interview 08/03/2021 by Manu Tayal
 
 
 
Next events

 

Last interview
 
 
 Energetica India is a publication from Editorial Omnimedia. No reproduction in whole or part of content posted on this website.