Rutam Vora | January 07, 2019
Gensol venturing into mobility solutions by introducing electric cabs
Anmol Singh Jaggi, 33, is not a Gujarati by birth, but he is no less a Gujarati when it comes to business acumen. Right from the beginning of his first venture in 2007 as a carbon credits consultant, this son of an army officer has carved a niche for himself by venturing into uncharted territories over the years.
Co-promoted by Anmol and his younger brother Punit Singh Jaggi, Gensol Ventures Private Ltd (GVPL) has come a long way from being a carbon credits consultant to the drone-based digital solutions provider for solar farm monitoring. The ₹250-crore services-oriented player today employs about 900 people, mostly engineers at multiple locations in India and abroad.
In a latest, Gensol is now embarking on the EV (electric vehicle) revolution with plans to introduce a fleet of EV cabs in and around the National Capital Region.
“After telecom revolution we saw it happening in solar. The next revolution we look forward to is the EV revolution. We are planning to come up with a greener alternative to Olas and Ubers through our fleet of EV cabs. For the purpose, we recently acquired an 80 per cent stake in a mobility app start-up Blu Smart,” says Anmol.
Through Blu Smart, Anmol plans to deploy a fleet of about 500 cars in two phases by March with the first phase to be launched in February. The company is in talks with EV carmakers such as Nissan to buy vehicles. These cabs will run from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi Railway station and Inter-State Bus Terminal to places such as Manesar, Ghaziabad, Sonepat, Greater Noida and Gurugram.
“We did a market research and discovered that a lot of existing radio cabs decline trips to these locations because they have apprehensions about long distance and getting a return ride. We decided to put our own cabs at the three key travellers’ points and run shuttles to those locations,” says Anmol, adding that the Blu Smart app will use Artificial Intelligence to track flight and train timings and allow cab booking accordingly.
“We are providing assurance that our driver will not refuse a ride. We want to elevate customer services,” he says adding that, “we may face initial challenges and there will be a lot of learning too. But our costs are far lower at ₹1.2 a km as against radio cabs’ ₹5-6 a km.”
The company plans to invest ₹50 crore to purchase 500 vehicles and employ an army of drivers, maintenance men and technicians. It is setting up 60 charging points across Delhi. When Anmol consulted his wife before taking such a risk, she just pushed him to venture into it. “She told me, if not now, when?” he said.
For Gensol, a journey from being a carbon credits consulting firm to a smart mobility provider was rather a bumpy ride.
“We incurred heavy losses in our carbon trading business. In 2012, the global carbon trading market crashed and we had to retrench about 100 people in a single day; otherwise, the company would have sunk. This was a learning experience for us that over dependence on a single sector can make us vulnerable. We decided to get rid of these vulnerabilities and hedge business against uncertainties,” he says.
Gensol ventured into EPC business for solar power and then to rooftop solar projects. EPC projects, being one-time revenues, Anmol decided to add a vertical for operation and maintenance (O&M), which provides sustained revenues with annual contracts. For this, Gensol inked a joint venture agreement with Spanish player Soloric. The O&M arm was named Soloric-Gensol Utilities Private Ltd. Gensol has over 2200 MW under O&M of solar projects, about 9-10 per cent of India’s solar maintenance business.
“We were clear about one thing. We wanted to be a services company. We couldn’t afford to have capital-intensive ventures. For us, our knowledge was our capital and that led us into services sector,” says Anmol.
The Four Pillars
The four operational pillars of EPC, O&M, digital technology and smart mobility have put the company on a high growth trajectory.
The consolidated revenues for the group are set to cross ₹250 crore in 2018-19. Anmol had set his eyes on ₹1,000-crore target. While the target appears ambitious, he is confident of achieving it “as early as possible” with his young team of employees having average age of less than 26. Anmol attributes the energy, creativity and efficiency in the company to his team.
“Smart technologies are from where, we believe, the next billion dollar company is going to come.
“We are in solar EPC, where we have consolidated our position, we broadened it to renewables, then comes the Internet of Things platform, which is taking us to smart. We feel this is a good diversification taking care of uncertainties of policy and business cycles,” he says.
The company is planning an SME IPO later this fiscal. “We are planning to raise ₹30-40 crore through Gensol Engineering Ltd. We have a strong balance-sheet with negligible debt. We will wait to hit the markets considering the overall scenario,” he said.
Currently, GEL is fully-owned by Gensol Ventures Private Ltd, which is further 91 per cent owned by the two brothers and remaining stake is owned by the senior leadership of the company.
Published on January 07, 2019