CHENNAI : When Srinivas Potukuchi started Glowship in 2015, with five years of work experience, his goal was clear. Having seen the growing requirements for solar and home solutions, he wanted to provide an end-to-end utility solutions marketplace, which he noticed was lacking. He noticed that a household with `3,000 monthly bill can achieve 90% reduction in bills with solar power.
The three-year-old start-up now looks into the home needs of energy generation, back-up power, water, air and environment management while providing the convenience of single platform for consolidating purchases across these needs. Besides, they also offer solar products such as water heater, solar kits for UPS, rooftop system, water pumps and outdoor lights.
But, the road hasn’t been easy as Potukuchi says when they started out there was a “huge confusion in the market about solar products.” “The biggest advantage of solar power is that power can be distributed at the point of consumption. The market for solar products is huge. In fact in Bengaluru, it is mandatory to install a solar water heater if you buy a property of 500 sqft and above. So we decided to cash in on the growing demand.”
The company’s USP is selling solar and non-solar utility products. They take care of everything from the lead generation to the final setting up of the product. With solar products are pricey, another major issue the company faced was creating awareness and breaking the apprehension of buying them online.
While things haven’t changed drastically since they started, Potukuchi’s business partner Raghuram Panyam, says that orders from remote areas across the country, is a step forward. “We recently had an order of `2.5 lakh as a single order of solar products. We’ve noticed that farmers too are placing orders on our website,” says the co-founder and CTO, adding that the 20-employee company has served about 2,000 households since inception.
In its investment and growth phase, the company is yet to become profitable. They plan to invest in technology and expand their platform pan India. “Our target is to break even in the next three years. Right now, we are receiving around 150 orders a month, the total value of goods sold is around `40 - `50 lakh a month,” says Potukuchi.
He started the company with his own capital and borrowed from former companies/colleagues, including Infuse Ventures, backed by IIM-A, its Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). While the initial funding stood at `1.1 crore, last year the company received another round of funding from Infuse Ventures and the family office of the founder of Luminous, Ncubate Capital. The company is now targeting another round of funding of $3 to $5 million in the next five to six months, talks for which are on with investors.