Saturday, March 31, 2007

Orb Energy - A Focus On The Solar Scene

Orb Energy is a firm in Bangalore which seems to have a clear focus on building up the Indian solar retail market.

Business Model

Orb Energy is a newly established solar energy company (as a spin-off from Shell Renewables), based in Singapore. Last August they tied up with a clutch of cleantech investors including CleanTech Europe, Renewable Capital and the Singh Family (founders of New Look, a UK-based ladies fashion retailer). In October, they announced a $2.5 m investment in a plant in Bangalore to assemble and market solar systems for power backup and heating. The business plan was to set up 25 service branches within the state and have sales to 100,000 residential and commercial customers in five years.


The company seems to have a well-focussed approach to the Indian market. Dozens of players in India already offer what Orb is offering. However the difference seems to be in the approach, where there is a focus on branding and an effort to tailor the solutions for specific needs, whether in the residential sector or in variety of commercial requirements, from IT to hospitality to the manufacturing industry. The company also provides financing via its tie-up with Karnataka Bank. Considering the spread of its branches in Karnataka there seems to be a strong emphasis on reaching out to the rural customers.