We all know that China is the world leader in relatively low-tech solar panels. Now a clutch of tiny Indian start-ups are proving that global warming’s business opportunities will not be the exclusive preserve of the developed nations.
EnNatura of Dehli has developed washable,bio-degradable printing ink from vegetable oil.The offset printing industry in India alone consumes one million tonnes of petroleum products and emits 500,000 tonnes of volatile organic compounds every year.
“I can see a company like this growing into a billion dollar global business,” says Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University, who studies entrepreneurs.
Solar-based LED lighting start-up Pegasus Semiconductor of Rajasthan makes off-grid home and street lighting systems using LED lights and solar for the power. It has done about 1,200 installations in Rajasthan and about 35 with companies and government and is expecting to reach revenues of $250,000 by the end of fiscal 2009.
Aura Herbal Wear makes textiles using organic cotton and processes it using only herbal dyes.”Traditionally, there are about 8,000-odd chemicals used in processing textiles. Our patented process does away with these,” says Arun Baid, who became an entrepreneur about five years ago and is already making annuals sales of $350,000.
These green companies have caught the fancy of VCs. EnNatura has already been funded by a group of mentors, Navam Capital, and the government. Aura Herbal Wear has been funded by Gujarat Venture Fund Ltd.
Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) has already made five cleantech investments in India in the areas of power from waste, e-waste recycling and solar LED lamps. Sachin Maheshwari of DFJ says that post-Copenhagen, there would be a lot more in clean technology companies, especially in the efficiency and emissions space.
As the government comes up with new regulations that corporates will need to meet, the demand for such products will soar. These cleantech companies might also get additional subsidies from the government, which is keen to promote green technologies. India has already seen 49 investments in the cleantech space over the last three years.