Base Corporation aiming to dominate battery market“Becoming customer focused, not product focus is the key to sustain business and remain profitable,” emphasises Aditya Arora, Chief Operating Officer, Base Corporation Ltd.Base, which is on the verge of becoming one of the largest battery manufacturers in India, has restructured its organisation to maximise efficiency. Aditya Arora shares how Base has decentralised its operations to improve productivity by proper delegation of authority through systematic channels. Leading peopleA key characteristic any leader should possess is the ability to differentiate between ‘leading people’ and ‘spoon-feeding people’. A good leader will always aim to build a self-sustained team which is able to come together and achieve a task, without much operational involvement of senior colleagues. An effective leader should be able to define overall working guidelines to his subordinates, and his team should be able to reflect his vision with too much operational involvement of the leaders. This enables better succession planning as well as activates thought leaders amongst individual departments.Biggest achievement One of the biggest achievements has been the growth in customer foothold in country. Base products were ramped up from 8,000 to 15,000, generating revenue of ` 900 crore in the FY 2012-13. In the previous year, Base had clocked revenue of about ` 2 crore, which is 28 per cent, when the industry growth is at 17 per cent.Improving service efficienciesWhile the growth in automotive seems sluggish at the moment, the growth in the auto-battery sector will be drawn from the replacement market. The replacement market thrives on service, and service standards to customers. Hence, to gain a larger stake in the aftermarket, one must continue to focus on improving service efficiencies.Doubling in next 5 yearsOver the next 5 years, battery market will grow about 17-25 per cent, yearly. There is an excessive demand for battery today, where all battery manufacturers are not able to fulfil the demands. The current market is about ` 22,000 crore, which is expected to grow to 50,000 crore in the next 5 years. Hence, industry will double in next 5 years.Aggresive expansion plansBase is looking at export to Middle East and Africa in the coming year. Base will also cater to government, defence, telecom, railways and infrastructure supplies in the country. Base aims to become a power house for power products as well as diversify into eco-friendly power solutions like solar batteries and inverters which will have huge potential in the ‘green space’.BORG Finance SchemeBORG’s micro solar power plant is the 1st of its kind to be introduced in India. Therefore, its main objective was to adopt innovative marketing strategy with an emphasis in creating awareness about the product and smartgrid technology among customers. Customers who had installed the Astra Home Series in their rooftops have reported substantial saving in their EB bill with the same energy consumption pattern as before the installation. In order to provide easy access to finance, BORG Finance Scheme has been recently introduced to provide customers with flexible payment options. Those states where net metering is permitted in their Solar Policy, transparent policies will provide an impetus for growth of solar PV rooftop systems beyond captive consumption segment. To counter the challenge of funding for utility scale mega solar plant, BORG customers will have the option of availing funding through BORG Capital to the extent of 70 per cent of the project cost. If the delay in getting regulatory approvals is addressed by respective authorities, the turnaround time for commencing and completing the project will be reduced drastically.What were the most important decisions you made as a leader of your organisation?With hardly any facility for a power backup earlier, customers did not have much choice except diesel generator. Customers can now walk into BORG Power Play showroom and experience live product demonstration and get hands on experience of the product. To ensure customers have easy access to pay, a significant decision has been the recent announcement of BORG’s financial tie-up with Shriram City Union Finance and Bajaj FINSERV Lending. Through this arrangement, customers can avail loans on purchase of BORG’s Astra micro solar power plant under the BORG Solar Finance Scheme. This makes it easy for the customer to purchase the product with lesser hassles and also enables individuals to contribute to a green environment and add green footprint.Gaining momentum in tough timesThough National Solar Mission has set an ambitious programme for adding solar power in the country and the REC mechanism is yet to gain momentum as it is not traded to the expected levels, the major constraint being that there is no compulsion on the obligated entities to purchase solar power. The government needs to do more to enforce compliance to ensure Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) are met, and this should result in improved performance of solar REC trading.For commercial rooftop systems, export of solar power produced on to the grid network of utility should be permitted. Appropriate implementing mechanism for net metering infrastructure should be defined, which will provide sale of solar energy to third party at market price or sale to local utility boards under feed in tariff regime.The government may look at the option of providing tax breaks to individuals installing solar PV systems in their households, in lieu of subsidy scheme, which is difficult to implement and administer.Future with rooftop PV systemsThere is tremendous potential for solar power generation in our country because India enjoys 300 sunshine days in a year. Erratic power supply and non-availability of power in 40-50 per cent of villages are major causes of concern. With the right framework of green energy policy by the central and state government, the solar industry will be on the right track to realise its objectives under the National Solar Mission.With 140 million households having adequate rooftop facility and consumers having access to correct product information, huge investments on the anvil for rooftop PV systems and net metering on grid systems will also witness surge in investments.What is your vision for your company in future?BORG Energy has a unique business model in India. Being the manufacturer of solar PV panels, power conditioning unit, multi-capacity inverters and MW TESLA central inverter, BORG has made its presence felt in every solar market segment globally. In India BORG will be in retail market for home series products, off-grid and on-grid rooftop systems and solar PV solutions for farming community as well as an EPS contractor for MW utility projects. BORG sees tremendous growth potential in all these sectors.BORG’s vision is to provide “power to the people” by connecting people with technology to offer an empowered, inspired living. In the short term, BORG aims to provide micro solar power in 1 million homes within the next 3 years to enable people to produce their own electricity as part of green revolution. BORG envisages reaching the leadership position in rooftop PV as well as EPC segments.