Saurabh Marda – Co-Founder & Managing Director, Freyr Energy

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Saurabh Marda

“While farmers, rural India and healthcare were the main focus of Budget 2018, FM Jaitley has made some significant announcements in the energy space.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or the Saubhagya scheme, INR 16,000 crore has been earmarked to provide electricity connection to nearly four crore poor households which is a commendable move. The government has further identified 115 aspirational districts taking various indices of development in consideration wherein rural electrification will be one of the focus areas for these districts along with sanitation, irrigation and potable drinking water. We hope that this will open up some avenues for solar which is cleaner and cheaper. Incentivizing uptake of solar power by state discoms for the benefit of farmers using solar pumps for irrigation is another encouraging step in the adoption of solar.

On the startup industry front, while the Finance Minister did mention in passing that the government is in the process of creating a robust tax regime for alternate investment funds and angel investors, the exact measures were not discussed. The budget fails to address the longstanding appeals from startups such as extension of tax holidays and providing additional working capital. Reduction in corporate tax rate to 25% for companies with turnover up to INR 250 crore in the financial year 2016-17 offers the only silver lining providing some relief to startups falling in this bracket.”

Freyr Energy is a Hyderabad based full service solar solutions provider with operations in India and Ghana. The company’s products range from Rooftop Systems, Petrol Pumps, Solar Water Pumps to Microgrids. In the last three years, Freyr has installed over 900+ solar systems across 14 states, impacting over 40,000+ lives in rural India and Ghana. FreyrSunPro, which is the company’s proprietary software, is the driver of its rapid growth and differentiation. It allows their sales team and channel partners to instantly design and price solar systems based on the end-customer’s needs. In addition to this, Freyr Energy also helps its customers secure loans from banks and PPA’s.

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