Horizon Group, the 1999 established market leaders for the broadcasting service industry, expanded and excelled into the aviation market, the broadband and OTT market as well over the years. Horizon solarize has started to become a crucial part of the group’s endeavour focused on delivering the highest quality of services to their clientele which has been the core value of the entire group. Horizon Solarize is a non-government company targeted to render solar services to those searching for a platform to assist them in making their residential or commercial space(s) solely dependent on the renewable energy source.
With a focus on venturing into the manufacturing of solar modules as well as the vision to make India energy independent to be realised in the coming future, their service and product portfolio encompass thorough and precise solar site evaluations in the industry. This is followed by system design, contracts, PSEG and the building permit, and eventually the installation.
In an exclusive conversation with Purnima Narang, Managing Editor at The CEO Magazine, Ankush Kaul, Founder and CEO, Horizon Solarize Private Limited revealed various aspects of their journey, solar power, challenges a leader could face, the vision for the future of Horizon Solarize, etc.
Ankush Kaul: I studied economics and business management back in my college days and I remember my professor telling me “If you want to sell something, sell water” because there will always be a need for it. The next big thing is energy. We will always need energy, be it to charge our mobile phones, run the fan in our rooms or for the upcoming electric motor vehicles.
In those days, the awareness of the impact of our energy usage on the climate was also increasing. More and more studies have proved that we were affecting our planet in a very negative way by our day-to-day tasks. Thanks to our world leaders who took notice of this and helped boom the renewable energy market. Our current prime minister Mr Narendra Modi also came up with a similar vision for a cleaner and greener India. We, at the Horizon group, are just playing our part to ensure that.
Currently, I lead the company in the roles of Founder and CEO, Horizon Solarize ensuring that we provide services of the highest quality to our clients just like the rest of the Horizon group has been doing for the last 22 years. We are also focused on spreading awareness on how affordable it can be for someone to switch to green energy. In fact, in certain cases, it can even be an investment opportunity for our customers.
Ankush Kaul: Hurdles are inevitable in every journey, especially entrepreneurial and leadership journeys. Which company hasn’t faced some sort or the other? In business, it is my robust belief that there is only one solution. It is to make sure you don’t lose your belief in your core vision and face any challenge as it comes. Being planned, in advance for any deviations that might happen, is key.
Ankush Kaul: Being the most abundant and reliable form of energy, solar power. If transitioned into power, the solar energy that re aches the earth surface in one minute can meet all of humanity’s needs for an entire year. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are used to harness the same which are made of special materials called semiconductors (with silicon being the most used).
The process of converting solar energy into power put simply looks like this: when light strikes the cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. The absorbed energy knocks electrons loose, allowing them to flow freely. PV cells have one or more electric fields that act to force electrons freed by light absorption to flow in a certain direction. This flow of electrons is a current, and by placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the PV cell we can draw that current off to use externally.
However, to produce a usable amount of power, not one but several PV cells are permanently connected to form a PV module. When these multiple PV modules or “solar panels” are connected, PV arrays are created which increases the total power of the system. Arrays comprised of 20-50 modules are usually adequate to power the typical residence or small business.
The client’s service panel will remain connected to the grid, so at times when they are not producing electricity (e.g. night), they will still purchase it from the utility. But at times when they are producing, they will witness the meter run backwards, and the utility will purchase their excess power at the same price they charge the residence or office owner.
Ankush Kaul: It's quite simple. I plan and make sure I surround myself with very smart people. Today, as a leader, I have ensured that Horizon Solarise has a unique stance in the industry through peerless solutions.
We achieve the same by ensuring that we create a standard with our services. Horizon Solar LLC claims its position in the industry provides one of the most thorough and precise solar site evaluations in the industry.
Ankush Kaul: Indeed, along with the various brands around the world, we were affected due to the pandemic outbreak as well. Without mentioning the name of the project, I would like to tell you, that yes, due to the pandemic, one of our projects which was completed more than a year ago has been facing some problems with its payments. You need to pre-plan your budget and on the journey of making mistakes, you will be able to overcome any obstacle.
Ankush Kaul: To me, success should not be measured in monetary terms. Rather, in my dictionary, it is defined by the kind of people you can surround yourself with. Creating a good team is equivalent to success for me. Your team should be your greatest strength, where everyone shares the same vision. Count the number of smart people that want to work with you. Remember I said WITH you not FOR you because then, they just want money and will never be able to give their best.
Ankush Kaul: First thing, which I believe is very important, is to make sure you create a team that doesn’t just work for money but also believes in the vision of the company. The company on its behalf should always be customer-centric in providing its services and to make sure you can maintain high standard of after sales services as well. Our responsibility as a company does not just end after we receive the payment.
Ankush Kaul: The achievement I am most proud of today, if you ask me, would be the fact that in one of our government tenders we were able to make 44 government schools’ energy independent. The kids now could always have a fan running above their heads and light in their classrooms. If they can study, India’s future will get better. This is a reward that is indeed a special one close to our heart at Horizon Solarize.
Ankush Kaul: What’s next on the cards for us at Horizon Solarize is the expansion of our service portfolio. We will be getting into the manufacturing of PV modules and inverters as I mentioned earlier. Our vision to “MAKE IN INDIA” shall be realised just like our prime minister has envisioned. Horizon Group will do whatever it takes to ensure the same.
Ankush Kaul: To reply to this question, I would like to emphasise the fact that, to be very honest, 5 years is a very short time to make the entire country the largest producer of renewable energy. However, yes, I can tell you, as an industry we would have made a more significant impact in the next 5 years than in the last 20. Soon, we are positive that the vision will be realised.
Ankush Kaul: If I were to advise the future leaders in making, I would tell them that just having an idea is not enough. There is no point in working hours and hours for something you don’t believe in.
Think about the answers to the question, “What do I care about?” And, in that endeavour, if you can help your own country that is a bonus. Now, think if you can make the life of billions better. Think big and keep going bigger but remember small steps at a time.
Ankush Kaul: Indeed, we believe in giving back. We, at Horizon Solarize, navigate our journey with “giving” as a core belief. Being one of the leading solar solutions companies, our initiatives have always been directed towards the major goal of making this society a cleaner place for everyone.
I have never quoted anyone to switch to renewable energy for a profit. Our success hinges on making the customers adapt to an environmentally sound solution. Trust me, shifting to renewable energy, of any form, be it tidal, wind, solar etc. would be the greatest gift to our future generations. Our R&D department is working on all those fronts and yes, shortly, you will be smelling flowers, not the gas from a car’s exhaust. Having said that, we continue to strive towards a pollution-free world with sustainable choices.