Going Green, Going Big
When Vivek Subramanian, Saif Dhorajiwala, and Vikas Saluguti decided to start their own venture, they were unsure of what exactly they wanted to do. Months of brainstorming led to ideas being created and abandoned, ranging from creating an impact in the nation’s favourite pastime (cricket) to building a gaushala (cow ranch). Since they weren’t really ‘techies’, a software based startup wasn’t an option. Instead, they resolved to address a basic need of the Indian population — power. Specifically, sustainable, renewable, and green energy for all. This was an idea they felt connected with, and one that had the potential to impact millions of lives. With focus on building decentralized solar power assets in India, they started Fourth Partner Energy in 2010.
Their chosen path was a difficult one. As Vivek says, the power sector had largely been a neglected one in India. There were few people willing to invest in renewable energy at that point in time. Everyone including customers, investors, and partners refused to meet them. Banks refused to talk to them. They were unable to set up their operations. They often questioned themselves — would we be able to make it? Under an acute resource crunch, they even had to borrow money from their aging parents, something that greatly dampened their spirits. Those first few years were very difficult and immensely tested their grit and determination.
“There is no place for ego in an enterprise!”
Marching on through the tough times, facing every adversity, they ultimately overcame every challenge by devising new and innovative solutions to cure their financial woes. They, now, strongly believe in the power of people and feel they’ve made it this far due to the sheer commitment displayed at every turn by their team. Vivek proudly points out that their team could easily secure higher-paying jobs with MNCs but choose to work at Fourth Partner Energy due to the satisfaction they derive from seeing the impact of their efforts.
Today, Fourth Partner makes as much revenue in a day, as it used to do in a year when it started.