India’s Clean (and green) Revolution: Opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs
“India is a land of opportunities.” I’m sure you must have heard this numerous times, and I am also assuming that Canadian entrepreneurs are making the best use of it. If not, then this blog is an attempt to give a slight glimpse of what’s happening in India and why you (Canadian entrepreneurs) should expand your business to India.
Before I begin, let me share something that I’m happy about and proudly celebrating today—the 66th Independence Day of India!
I would like to start with a fact from a study: “By 2050, India is expected to be the world’s largest economy, surpassing the United States by 2040 and China by 2050.” Imagine how amazing it would be to have your business running in India then. But rather than look forward in time, let’s see what can be done now!
India’s GDP currently exceeds $1.5 trillion and although many of the industries like information and communications technology, biotechnology, cleantech, automotive, oil and gas and infrastructure are booming in India, I would like to draw your attention to the cleantech sector, which is hot at the moment as India is in the midst of a clean revolution and which entrepreneurs can immediately start tapping into with the right approach.
The cleantech opportunities in India include solar energy, biofuels, clean water, renewable power generation, green buildings, smart IT and more. In a power-starved nation, the solar, wind and bio-energy businesses are sure to excel. As a matter of fact, India had approximately $10.2 billion invested in cleantech in 2011 and to be more specific, grid-connected solar investments increased from $600 million in 2010 to $4.2 billion in 2011. Very recently, Gujarat, a state in India, commissioned 600 MW of solar energy projects in a span of just one year. The reason behind all this is very logical—the country is extensively populated with more than 1.2 billion people and a chunk of them have no access to grid electricity. Additionally, India has joined the green revolution and wants to reduce its growing greenhouse gas emissions.
Major US (even German and Chinese) solar panel manufacturers and project developers like SunEdison have already landed in India. But the supply doesn’t match the demand yet. Realizing this, a few startups from the US and Europe have started to enter the Indian renewable energy market, especially in the solar power industry. A few examples include Fenix International, a three-year-old San Francisco based cleantech startup; ToughStuff, a three-year-old UK startup; and MiaSolé, a Silicon Valley startup also targeting India with its copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar panels.
Canadian cleantech companies have all the knowledge and technical resources to enter a market like India and make the best use of the opportunity. I read somewhere that in Ontario alone, there are more than 2,800 environmental industry companies that generate about $7 billion in revenue and employ more than 65,000 people. There is no better time than now to expand cleantech business to India where even the local government is supportive in many ways—be it in subsidy or regulatory policies. Additionally, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has been supporting and promoting this as well through expos, and firms like TaraSpan have dedicated themselves to accelerating and de-risking India market entry for Canadian technology companies.
If this motivation was not enough, check out the report by The Climate Group, which reveals that the rate of increase of India’s private investment in clean energy will be 736% over the next 10 years, three times that of the US or China.
Explore . . . Expand . . . and Excel!
Vijender is the Manager of Online Content at MaRS. He helps entrepreneurs get the online resources they need to grow their companies by project managing and marketing the Entrepreneur's Toolkit. See more…