ENFRIEN: PAVING THE WAY FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE IN INDIA WITH SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS
The founding principles of Enfrien are to develop solutions that assist in reducing and reversing climate change.
The essence that builds a person's capability to introduce new ideas, conceptualise it on the ground and nurture its success is nearly impossible to delineate. Two such leaders, Vijay H Madhusudan and Varun H Madhusudan, armed with insights and fortitude carried a vision of identifying, prospecting and promoting sustainable and environment-friendly technologies to satiate the burgeoning demand for energy in India and laid the foundation stone of Enfrien Innovations LLP in 2016.
The vibrant engineering solutions company, Enfrien Innovations LLP is focused on exploring innovative, clean and efficient solutions for industrial, commercial and residential users. "Naavi", its flagship product enables installation of Floating Solar PV power plants, which saves water by cutting evaporative losses, generates green power and solves the issue of land use associated with PV power plants.
With an initial focus on providing alternative solutions and optimizing existing systems for various applications, Enfrien now aims at reducing the carbon footprint and developing a sustainable and green future. Naavi, serves EPC companies, solar project developers (government and private) and process industries using large amounts of water and energy by enabling installation of robust, long-lasting & lowest costing best in class Floating Solar PV power plants.
THE SECRET OF PHENOMENAL SUCCESS- 'THE BEST COMPANY OF THE YEAR'
Being boot-strapped and having limited resources, the team has come a long way in developing Naavi, the specialised, cost-effective, modular mounting structure for the installation of Floating Solar PV power plants. Moreover, it is the lowest costing product amongst competitors, giving the lowest Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for the solar PV power plant. The vast experience gained in developing Naavi enabled them to partner with Fichtner and Co. GmbH, Germany and successfully complete a feasibility study for 550MW of Land-neutral Solar PV power plants in Kerala and Maharashtra.
THE CREATIVE HEADS BEHIND THE VENTURE
Vijay H Madhusudan
Vijay H Madhusudan, an alumnus of IIT Madras is the CEO of Enfrien Technologies. He is a Qualified Energy Auditor under BEE and is Certified by the Government of Germany in Foreign trade under the Indo-German Manager training program organised by GIZ, Government of Germany. Vijay holds extensive experience in different business domains including big data, data analytics, software integration, product development and renewable energy. He started his career in 2009 with Global Analytics working on big data, data analytics and software integration and then moved on to developing sustainable solutions.
He took his first step in the entrepreneurial field in 2010 and has been instrumental in developing over 200 products; servicing over 300 clients and helping them save over 500MWh of energy. Vijay's expertise in R&D and sales makes it a rare lethal combination in guiding the company to develop solutions that have high adoption and acceptability.
Varun H Madhusudan
The second guiding force of the company, Varun H Madhusudan, COO graduated in Civil Engineering from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, with a Masters in Construction Management from Texas A&M University, USA. Varun comes with diverse experience in estimating, planning and handling large infrastructure projects. In his first job with Soma Enterprises in 2009, he was instrumental in the timely execution and completion of a 12km elevated roadway .
He later worked with MCM, Texas USA and was involved in the estimation, bidding, and planning of projects worth over half a billion USD. His experience is invaluable in planning &, streamlining operations along with executing projects in a timely manner.
"Naavi has 3 key USP's i.e it is a land-neutral PV solution, helps in water conservation through reduction of evaporative losses and generates renewable energy. Our target market is defined by clients and industries that need any of the above solutions. Our natural clientele are process industries with raw water ponds, thermal power plants, hydel power plants and government departments handling water bodies and power generation," states Vijay.
TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSFORMATION
The industry has definitely transformed over the years. With innovation, comes greater competition and complexity, and with greater complexity comes greater demands from the industry. Hence it has definitely become more demanding rather than becoming generous.
At Enfrien, the brand is a bi-product of technology and innovation. They invest in people for developing technology and innovating new solutions that are their enablers to develop sustainable, economically viable and long-lasting solutions. This automatically gives Enfrien a high recall value amongst clients and defines the brand.
MARKET STRATEGIES & COMPETITION
Enfrien is marketed through known networks and word of mouth. As the founders are alumni of IIT Madras and Texas A&M University, they have been blessed with good alumni networks that have opened doors to various organisations.
Competition is always healthy and makes companies realise where they lack in their products and solutions. It helps them benchmark themselves against others and inturn, helps them stay ahead of the race through their innovation. It is also one of the driving factors for growth as all companies in the space are simultaneously creating a market for the solution.
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES AND CHANGE
The government definitely plays a major large role in the industry. The sad fact is that all governments are reactive rather than proactive. The core focus of the government has been to reduce costs rather than set standards that are viable in the long term.
"Here, we definitely need to take cues from the European countries, where a great emphasis is laid on the technical solution, environmental impact and social impact while shortlisting a vendor and solution. In these countries, cost economics is a great influencer for decisions but not the only influencer. Unfortunately, in India the lowest bidder makes it to the end of the race, irrespective of the technical solution offered, their social impact and their environmental impact on the project. This inturn creates a serious dent on the long term quality and sustainability of an industry", explains Varun.
CORE VALUES AND COMPLIANCES
The core values at Enfrien include innovation, adaptability with continuous improvement, transparency and strong relationships with stakeholders. This ensures that the team always stays a step ahead of the market and has a cordial relationship with all stakeholders to enable them to move forward sustainably and inturn create a strong brand and recall value.
JEWEL IN THE CROWN
Enfrien was selected as one of the top 20 companies in Amrita TBI Pitchfest 2018, has been incubated by Amrita TBI.
They were recognised by Govt. of India as an innovative startup under Startup India Initiative and have received a grant under Nidhi Prayas (a scheme of Govt. of India) for commercialising Naavi.
They were recognised as one of the 10 most promising Cleantech Startups by a reputed business magazine in May 2019.
Varun further adds, "A German company partnering with an Indian company is itself a very tough feat and an even tougher feat to partner with a startup. Hence, we consider our biggest and most priced accomplishment as our partnership with Fichtner and Co. GmbH for the consulting project."
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
"One of our founding principles is to develop solutions that slow and reverse climate change. Our initiative through our solutions in handing over a clean and green environment to our future generations is the biggest effort that we are making for the society", Vijay proudly shares.
The founders are aggressively looking at growth in their company as they expect over 10GW of floating solar projects to be tendered out in the next 5 years. Besides, they are looking at raising capital for expansion alongside making key partnerships with various stakeholders of the solar industry to enable them to scale rapidly and sustainably.