Customers Need A Transparent Process – Founder, ZunRoof
Hear what Pranesh Chaudhary, Founder & CEO of ZunRoof has to say about his journey to success!
What was your idea behind starting ZunRoof?
I’ll be honest. When I came back from London, I had a talk with Sushant (Founder & CTO, ZunRoof). We always wanted to start something of our own together and it’s not like we decided that will do a business in the solar industry. Honestly.
We felt, in solar, we could change the way it is being produced and consumed our country. Anybody who owns a AC just single AC and operates it even for 2 months a year should go solar.
Why Retail Solar Solutions?
We believe that engineering is our differentiator. That’s the stake that we bring to the entire process. So we approach this entire problem of selling to a customer in a 3D model, as you call it Design, Delivery and Diagnostics.
So when we went to the first few customers to understand why are they not going solar even with the availability of government subsidy and discounts, we realized that customers don’t trust the process that is happening right now.
They needed a transparent process wherein the need for an app came in. They needed to understand how much output is produced from their solar system.
Is there going to be any shadow falling on the panel? What direction the panel should face? What angle of incline should the panel be at?
They had a lot of concern about this structure because the structures need to be really strong since its being installed for 25 years. So customer had a lot of concerns about this as well.
What about our Indian customers ?
Our Indian consumers, from our understanding of their psyche, do realize the green benefits of going solar. And the fact that one kilowatt solar is equivalent to planting hundred fifty four trees, but there is always room for the last penny.
That’s a difference that we have, and I think we should be proud of it. That’s how all our marketing campaigns are structured. We explain to the customer how a good investment scheme would work for them. The money consumers will save from going solar is our focus and theirs as well. I
It was critical couple of years ago or maybe like five years ago. Subsidy was introduced to ensure that people started taking solar up. But the prices were not okay, and I think there’s a mental switch amongst all our residential customers till the payback period was coming out to be greater than 5 years.
People were not going for it. Honestly. I don’t know there is no mathematical reason that I have but I think as soon as the prices came to a level when payback period became less than five years people started to go for it. I think anything which ensures our payback period of four to five years is going to be good enough for residential customers.
The primary driver of which market will take it up is the electricity rate and the consumption which is good for the states where the electricity rates are decently high. Because in Summers there is a lot of usage of AC’s. So that’s why we have good uptake of solar in these areas.
Why are Rooftop Installation numbers not high enough?
One is the high prices just uptill a couple of years ago. There is an inflation point for every market. So the till the payback period was like 7 years 8 years, it was just not making sense for residential customers to go for it. Now with the prices coming down to a level where it’s 4 to 5 years, its making sense.
Second is all the bigger targets are being taken up by like the larger companies of this world, who have gotten capital because that’s the segment they could target first. There is a lack of capital which is flowing around the rooftop segment right now, especially for the capex and Opex businesses.
What makes ZunRoof Different From Others?
We have introduced an app that fully automizes the solar installation process for the customer. So much so that we don’t really need to talk to the customer. We still send a salesperson to the customer’s house because people need to be comfortable with the process.
It’s like buying a car for every middle-class family. So we still send a person to give them the comfort but honestly everything happens with the app. There is complete transparency.
The delivery process is like a pizza delivery process, the app gives updates like your panels are on the way etc. And then the 25-year relationship which is going to be the driver for all the network effect on people getting a good word about it.
This will happen when you have an app which tells you how many units you produced, you are in the third quartile compared to all other solar rooftops installations in Gurgaon, you need to get it cleaned, you are in the fourth quartile column etc.
So all these small wins in the entire chain will give you a margin which will then pass to the Future customers and this will become a self-propagating chain!
Watch the full interview here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqGXU0siJ_Y&t=192s
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