-Mr. Manu Bishnoi, Managing Director - India, Technique Solaire

Self and Company Introduction.

I am working as a Partner and Managing Director at Technique Solaire, India since 2014. I started my entrepreneurial journey with Technique Solaire right after my Masters from EDHEC Business School, Lille France in 2013 as an intern and started the Indian business in 2014.

Technique Solaire, India is a subsidiary of French company, Technique Solaire (Groupe JLT Invest), working in the field of renewable energy as an Independent Power Producer (IPP) since 2008. The group was founded by three French citizens, Julien Fleury, Lionel Themine & Thomas De Moussac and has a turnover of over € 200 Million & more than 180 employees as of December 2023. Bpifrance and Credit Agricole Regional Investment are shareholders at group level.

Technique Solaire is active in Solar & Biogas sector in France, India, French Caribbean islands, Netherlands, Spain & Brazil with an operational portfolio of approx.. 0.5GW and a pipeline of over 500MW in various stages of development. At group level, the target is to have an operational portfolio of 1GW by the end of 2025 & 4GW by the end of 2030 out of which India level targets are 300-400MW and 700MW respectively.

In India, the company started its operations in 2014. At present, the company has nine operational solar ground projects in India supplying electricity to state electricity/utility companies (spread across Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Goa). The total India portfolio is approx... 210MW.

What are the business and investment opportunities you see between India and France, specific to your industry?

India & France have a strong long standing strategic relationship at County level across all sectors (namely defence, aerospace, space, smart cities, etc.) but more prominently seen in the Renewable Energy sector where Technique Solaire is active. This can be understood from the fact that India & France were the founding members of the International Solar Alliance in 2015. The Renewable industry in India is vast with immense potential and its good to see not only the large French renewable companies active in India but also French SME’s and medium sized companies are fairly active and growing in numbers.

What are some of the key challenges faced by your industry in the Indian market as well as by your company specifically? Can you describe some of the strategies you’ve implemented to overcome these challenges?

The Indian renewable energy market has huge potential however it has its own challenges w.r.t. ease of doing business, execution & implementation of projects, regulatory and policy ambiguity. These challenges are being addressed by the government however one cannot rule it out completely. Technique Solaire started with greenfield projects in India however since past few years the market is dominated by large players and combined with the policy & regulatory issues, the risk associated was high hence we adapted to these challenges and continued our growth by acquiring some brownfield assets. However, we can closely following the greenfield trends and will be active there once we feel the risk is within acceptable limits.

What have been the biggest accomplishments of your company in the last few years?

Technique Solaire India was awarded the Best SME of the year award in the prestigious Indo French Awards held by IFCCI in 2018 and was also awarded Best Franco-Local partnership award at the annual CCI France International awards held in Paris in 2019. We are one of the top companies in the French rooftop market since few years now and recently started activities in Spain & Brazil. We also concluded one of the biggest fundraise at group level with our institutional shareholders for €200 million in October 2023. Thanks to this, we are very well placed for our 2030 targets.

How has IFCCI added value to your company in India?

IFCCI has been very instrumental in adding value to India-France relationship. As we are ultimately a French company, it was an obvious choice to become a member of IFCCI since we started in India in 2015. IFCCI has helped us to understand the Indian market during the initial years & this platform brings together Indo-French network from time to time which helps us to learn/adapt from each other. The sectorial committees and business meets also helps in giving a stronger Indo-French voice/opinion to the local governments and departments.

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