INDORE, 28 September 2021: In order to produce more food grains for meeting the needs of the global population, India needs to increase its output, but this can only be achieved with technology.
One such company is helping India to meet the power requirements of farmers by moving towards green energy. In order to know more how Indore-based Shakti Pump is helping the central government's policy to provide technology to farmers, as well as also helping reduce carbon emission.
With the growing adoption of solar pumps in India, Solar water pump manufacturer, Shakti Pumps have installed 20000 solar pumps from a total of 50000 in which 30000 are initiated by other players on a pilot basis under Kusum Yojana scheme, chairman and managing director of Shakti Pumps Dinesh Patidar said to the AgriTimes.co.in.
The Kusum scheme is for around 40 Lakh pumps. Other than Kusum the company has also installed 10000 pumps in Maharashtra and 5000 pumps in Chhattisgarh.
As far as subsidy goes with these pumps the central government provides 30 percent on the pumps to the state nodal agency (SNA) and then states decides with the remaining, Patidar added.
Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra bear 90 percent of the subsidy whereas, MP, Rajasthan, and Haryana bear 30 percent. Farmers only have to give 10 percent of the solar pump value to the SNA and through them, it comes to us. All this money comes in advance from all the parties like Central Government, State Government, and Farmers, Patidar added.
Shakti Pumps' main markets are Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, MP, and Chhattisgarh, while Andhra, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu are the new growth markets in a year or two from now.
The current tender for pumps is around 400,000 pumps, however, Indore requires 2 million pumps.
Both central and state govt have done budgeting for all the 4 million pumps but the problem arises at the state level, Patidar said.
In Kusum, there are two parts for the grid which are off-grid and on-grid. In Kusum off-grid, there is no requirement of connection but for on-grid where there is already electricity the solar pump will create electricity for all the 365days but the farmer requires pumps for only 150 days and the rest of the electricity is supplied to the grid through which the farmer gets an extra income but still on-grid in on the pilot project in India.
The pilot projects which the company has done for dairy companies are for Amul in Gujarat and Haryana but are still under progress, Patidar said.
IoT based solar pumps
Shakti Pumps has over 260 pump models and over 1,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) with their capacity ranging from 300 watts to 300-kilo watts. All the pumps are internet of things (IoT) based which makes it easy to manage and keep a watch on each and every pumps functioning through RMS technology. All the pumps come with M2M mobile sim which helps the company and the user to monitor the pump's activity on a real-time basis.
The pump which a normal farmer requires is 5HP with the capacity of 5000 watts and the price of this solar pump comes to around INR 250000 which includes the installation. Solar panels cost around 30 percent of the total value and the rest goes to the pump, motor, structure, and controller (VFD) i.e Solar energy converted to electrical energy.
The solar panel is purchased from Adani and other private solar players in the market. Once the installation is done and the farmer uses the pump the most important part is the maintenance which the company provides free of cost to the farmers, Patidar added.
Increase farmers income
When AgriTimes asked about the increase in farmer's income through these pumps the CMD said that when the company installs the pumps the farmers get guaranteed electricity supply and because of which it automatically goes to micro-irrigation. When it switches to micro-irrigation it saves water and electricity and in return, the income goes up and also the quantity with three crops (teen fasal).
As far as payback goes if any farmer puts a solar pump with subsidy the payback will be less than three months and if it is without subsidy the payback will be one year.
In Rajasthan 50 HP pumps consume 50KW electricity and if the farmer installs the shakti Pump it will require only 20 HP and because of this the farmer will save 60 percent, CMD added.
Since the COVID19 struck last year Shakti pumps have installed 20000 pumps on an EPC basis and 15000 sold to OEM's like Tata, Mahindra, Adani.
In Maharashtra and Haryana, there is a portal for farmers to purchase solar pumps. When the portal is opened within four to six hours all the available pumps get block. It is because of the awareness of the farmers in the region whereas in MP and Rajasthan the purchasing is done on a manual basis.
Revenue touches INR 930 crore
The company closed FY21 with an exceptional of INR 930 crore, which was nearly three times its previous year's revenue. Of the past year's revenue, INR 560 crore came in from solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) business (setting up the full unit) and INR 180 crore from exports, Patidar said.
FY 2020 revenue was INR 350 crore and the revenue which went up is because of solar pumps. For the future outlook of FY2022 the company stake claim of around INR 2000 crore with a net profit of around 8 percent to 9 percent. However last year was INR 75 crore.
Indore-based Shakti Pumps founded in 1982, has manufactured the country’s first BEE 5 star-rated pumps and is also the first domestic company to produce 100 percent stainless steel pumps and energy-efficient motors in 1995.
Shakti Pumps has filed for around 22 patents since it pioneered the solar water pumps in 2010 and it has a team of 150 engineers who only looks out after the R&D of the products. For R&D the company invests around 5 percent to 6 percent of the total revenue earned for the particular year.
As far as the capacity expansion goes the company invests around INR 15 crore to INR 20 crore. Looking at the future expansion company will take stock as per the requirement for the product, Patidar added.
We expect robust demand for solar water pumps this year as there is increasing awareness about the huge financial benefits from them and the good monsoons giving them enough liquidity, Patidar explained.
The CMD urged reviewing about the global warming that if we want to solve this problem then we have to reduce 2-degree temperature and there is only one way i.e solar energy. If we install a 1Kw solar plant we can save one tree. The company has put 400Kw solar in the Pritampur plant however it requires 1000Kw.
At present, its products reach more than 100 countries. The major export is carried out in the Middle East, Africa with 100 percent holding firms in the USA, Dubai, Bangladesh.
There are more than 2000 pump manufacturers. The manufacturing hub for the pumps is Coimbatore, Rajkot, and Ahmadabad. The big players as far as number goes are CRI with others Alpex Solar, Bright Solar, Claro Energy, Conergy Energy, Tata Power Solar Systems, Lorentz, Greenmax Technology, and Udhaya Semiconductors, and so on.
Shakti Pumps has two plants in Pitampur with a cumulative production capacity (solar and motorised) of 500,000 units per annum in three shifts which comes to 135,000 units per shift. The Pritampur plant is spread over 13 acres. Its special economic zone (SEZ) unit nearby can produce 150,000 units per annum. As of now, there is only one and a half shift is going on in both the plants. The total number of employees on contract and permanent basis for both the plants are 2000 in which around 1500 are under contract and 500 are permanent. Also, the company is under the hiring process for 100 positions.
Note: The Agriculture Times (AgriTimes.co.in) reporter was on a visit to the plant by the invitation of the company.
Ravi Kumar: Reporting and writing news stories on agriculture and allied sectors since 2020 prior to this worked as sub-editor for IIICorp for five years.