Interview: Prateek Gupta

Prateek Gupta,
Founder & CEO at Revayu Energy
 

“Most of Our Innovations are driven out of Our Problem Solving Approach”

No doubt there have been challenges, but more challenges we faced, stronger has been our determination to overcome those. Moreover, we truly believe that if there is a problem, there has to be a solution and most of our innovations are driven out of our problem solving approach. Telecom industry emits 6 million metric tonnes of CO2 annually and by using our hybrid energy solution the carbon footprint can be reduced substantially. In an exclusive interaction series with startup companies in the energy sector, Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Energetica India, interacted with Prateek Gupta, Founder & CEO, Revayu Energy. Here’re the edited excerpts from that interaction

“Brief overview about Revayu Energy”

Revayu Energy is a hybrid renewable energy (wind and solar) start-up company founded in July 2017 with a special focus on targeting remote and less accessible regions and under-privileged community. The company’s vision is to provide reliable and affordable power to the global community, while it provide maximum value proposition to its clients. It would be simultaneously contributing towards reducing carbon footprints and inclusive growth of the community it serves. As of now, the company is having a 15-member team with an estimated turnover of Rs 3 - 4 crore in this COVID affected financial year 2020-21.

“Details about founders and directors of Revayu Energy”

Revayu Energy was founded by Prateek Gupta in July 2017 and Siddharth Arora is the Director & CFO of the company.
Mr. Prateek Gupta, who is a mechanical engineer from Punjab Engineering College and then pursued his Master’s Degree in Management from University of British Columbia, Vancouver Canada followed by Master’s Degree at Harvard University, International Business Stream in 2014-15.
Mr. Siddharth Arora was the first Director to Join Revayu post incorporation, in May 2018, who did his Masters in Strategic Business Management from Thames Valley University, London.

“Investment and funding details”

The company is running a seed investment round and have not closed the funding. It is looking forward to raise USD 4 million combining debt and equity from the potential investors.

“Product and services offered”

In India Off-grid & unreliable grid telecom towers account for 1.5 lakhs out of the total 5.5 lakhs telecom towers that exist in the country, with the number increasing every year. These sites lead to substantial carbon emission with telecom sector being the second highest consumer of diesel after Indian railways with almost 2.5 billion liters of diesel consumed annually. Remotely located telecom towers face similar challenge throughout the world. Moreover these sites needs power 24/7 with very limited space enclosure. Hence with the company’s engineered and patented 5KW telecom tower top micro wind power solution at the top and combining solar structure at the ground, it is utilizing the additional capacity of the telecom tower without consuming any additional space for that additional 5 KW of wind power.
And since peaks and lows of solar and wind are complimentary to each other, energy yield throughout the year is more reliable and consistent. Utilizing the pre-existing tower structure, SMPS and battery infrastructure also makes this application the most suited and cost effective application of micro wind. The company has indigenously developed the solution comprising of micro wind turbine, tripod tower top assembly etc. The tripod assembly for tower top is used for coupling wind turbine with telecom tower. This assembly is very critical as it is designed to take the horizontal and vertical thrust induced due to the working of micro wind turbine.

“Focus and targeted markets for Revayu Energy”

Starting with India, the company is eyeing global telecom market especially the telecom towers in the regions with annual average wind speed of 4.5m/s and above. Once this niche market provides the company with initial sustainable volumes, it is likely plan to penetrate into B2C markets as well with world-class quality product at most affordable prices. And the company is very clear about it is not substituting solar. The company believes that it is complimenting solar energy and providing hybrid energy solutions with micro power-grids to consumers and communities. Starting with neighboring countries in Asia like Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia etc., in the 3rd year of operations, Revayu plan to enter European, South & North American and African countries by the 4th & 5th year of operations post funding.

“Market scope and future plans”

Even with mere 10 percent market penetration of the niche potential telecom market with no existing competition, the company is eyeing to capture 50,000 telecom towers in next 5-6 years. As a part of its 360 degree approach the company is integrating rpm governed automated breaking system clubbed with artificial intelligence to minimize human intervention required in managing thousands of remotely located tower top micro power units and to keep O&M self sustainable, for the company and its Global channel partners. After consolidating on telecom market in next 3-4 years, the company would also emerge as hybrid renewable energy player at global pedestal for B2C market.

“Start-up ecosystem challenges and solutions”

Even though the telecom market has been receptive including telecom giants like Bharti Infratel and Reliance Jio, the company has few challenges to address prior to reaching to the mass scale. At this pre commercialization stage, it is dependent on third party manufacturing for micro wind turbines and its components with no fully equipped in-house R&D lab. Secondly, due to limited working capital, some very critical development work is happening at a relatively slow pace. To address these challenges the company is running a seed investment round for expansion of its operations and set up a manufacturing unit.

“Government support for Start-up ecosystem”

Due to COVID 19 pandemic and lockdown that stuck everyone by surprise, we are facing challenges in getting any kind of government support or grants. However, we have so much conviction in our idea that we are also looking at soft loan options offered by various agencies as pre-commercialization stage at attractive rate of interest as our venture aims at addressing environmental issues as well as social issues that too in a self sustainable and profitable manner.

“How you saw your journey so far?”

Overall journey has been extremely satisfying. It was good to receive labeled status from Solar Impulse Foundation, Switzerland and being included among world’s top 1000 most energy efficient solutions. No doubt there have been challenges, but more challenges we faced, stronger has been our determination to overcome those. Moreover, we truly believe that if there is a problem, there has to be a solution and most of our innovations are driven out of our problem solving approach. Telecom industry emits 6 million metric tonnes of CO2 annually and by using our hybrid energy solution the carbon footprint can be reduced substantially.

Interview 26/10/2020 by Manu Tayal
 
 
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