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In Exclusive Talk With Mr. VIJAY KHANDWEKAR, Head of Module Mounting Structure Business, Solar, Tata International Limited

In Exclusive Talk With Mr. VIJAY KHANDWEKAR, Head of Module Mounting Structure Business, Solar, Tata International Limited


Mr. Vijay Khandwekar is presently the Head of Module Mounting Structure Business for Solar, Tata International Limited.

His current role is to manage and grow the Module Mounting business in the ever expanding solar sector and to deliver on the annual business plan and targets of revenue, market share and profitability.

Mr. Khandwekar has over two decades of experience in engineering, sales & marketing and business development functions aligning techno commercial solutions with organization strategies and goals. He also has global leadership experience in collaborating with business units in USA, Japan, Europe, South East Asia and China. Mr. Khandwekar has also envisioned and led multiple organizational initiatives to develop and grow multi-disciplinary solutions and technologists.

Prior to joining Tata International Limited in August 2016, Mr. Khandwekar was the Sales Head, Drives at TMEIC Industrial Systems.As the Drive product line manager, he was responsible for driving MV Drives sales for the business with a sales target of INR 700 Million. His expertise lies in strategic collaboration with global business units, sales application, competitive solution development, sourcing and commercial negotiations to secure system and service orders.

Mr. Khandwekar has also previously worked on various global Metal projects and individually contributed with software development, unit testing and system testing functions of the projectsat GE Consumer and Industrial.

Mr. Vijay Khandwekar holds a BE degree in Electronics Engineering from BIT, Bhilai and DBM from IMT Ghaziabad

1.What are the various Mounting Structures you manufacture/supply for the Solar PV Market?

Tata International Solar division caters primarily to utility scale solar projects, offering Fixed & Adjustable tilt mounting structures and Sun tracking solutions, along with associated installation, commissioning services and turn key DC services.

2.Highlight on the importance of mounting structures in protecting the asset life?

Mounting structures form the basic foundation blocks of any solar PV plant. Tata International is adept in optimally designing module mounting structure (MMS) solutions that serve reliability, durability and long life requirement of a solar project (tailored to project specific requirements).

Our solutions offer high quality steel for project specific requirements, while offering price advantage through our innovative design concepts. We have close to 1.2 GW mounting structure solutions installed till date in most difficult terrain and soil conditions.

3.Please present some noteworthy projects, case studies of the projects with your structures?

Few noteworthy projects installed by Tata International include 160 MW of project installations in Kurnool (AP) across two project sites. These two projects accounted for cumulative material supply of close to 4,250 MT of steel structures and employed close to 70 Engineers (TIL & contractor teams put together) & 600 #s of manpower.

Further, TIL also installed one of its first projects with sun tracking solution for a project of 23 MW capacity in Karnataka. With this project, TIL now has products / solutions across technology of a PV solar plant ranging from fixed tilt MMS to adjustable tilt MMS to sun tracking solution.

4.What are your USP’s, distinctive advantages in terms of your technology you offer, your corporate strengths, innovations etc.?

Tata International’s design expertise in optimally designing mounting structures tailored to site & customer specific requirements, provides it with distinct advantage in the Solar market.

Strong relationships with value chain partners enables the division to continuously innovate its products & services to effectively meet the evolving customer & market requirements.

An asset light model, reinforced by key value chain partnerships, leveraging powers of outsourcing business model and borrowing from steel trading expertise of parent company, provides Tata International with distinctive, non-replicable advantages in the market place.

5.What has been your performance last year and what are your plans for the current year?

Tata International has offered its products & solutions to 350 MW solar projects in FY17 and is planning to grow this by 40% to 500 MW in FY18

6.The recent aggressive bidding by various developers keeping Solar Tariffs in the price range of Rs.4.34 – Rs.5 per kWh in various Solar Tenders…Whats your view on the viability, Costs & timeline pressures, Resource Challenges (Materials, ManPower, Execution, Grid Connection, Land Possession) etc…?

We believe that market will align itself to changing market dynamics and constant innovation will bring cost advantage and benefits to the sector. Tata International understands this dynamic market condition and is constantly aligning itself to the evolving needs of the market by means of design and service optimization to meet the aggressive cost pressures of the sector. Continuous Innovation in the sector will position solar power an affordable solution to the growing demand of electricity in India.

7.What will be the cost, technology trends in solar mounting structures?

With continuously declining solar tariffs, cost & margin pressures would continue to increase across the solar value chain. Developers would typically look for best optimized costs for projects. Technology & supply chain innovations would drive cost optimizations in the sector, without compromising on project quality.

Further, developers would also be keen on evaluating solutions that lower the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for their projects with use of new technology such as tracker solution, automated cleaning systems etc.

To summarize, technology & supply chain innovations would go hand-in-hand with competitive bidding process in the continuously evolving solar market.  

8.What is your view on the Government of India target of 100GW Solar and 75GW Wind Power by 2022….Can we achieve that and what would be the challenges?

Tata International values and appreciates GOI initiative of 100 GW solar power by 2022 and respond to market growth conditions by offering its products and solutions. We will prepare and strengthen our supply chain and service capabilities to prepare ourselves to growing demand and expand in the areas of growth.


Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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