The SOFAR group is No.1 in the GPS industry and has devoted itself to the communications and renewable energy fields since 2007. Seeing the constantly growing global PV industry, the group formed SOFARSOLAR in 2012 specifically to cater for R&D, production, sales and service of grid-tied inverters ranging from 1kW to 7.5kW for residential installations, 4kW to 70kW for commercial installations. They also supply AC connection storage inverters and true hybrid units from 3kW to 5kW and other related renewable products.
SOFAR already provides units to more than 30 countries worldwide and has established itself as a leader in PV technology, with experienced technical staff always looking to improve their inverters. With more than 3.5GW of units installed and six subsidiaries (Australia, Wuxi, Beijing, India, Shenzhen and Henan), the company has forged an excellent reputation in the PV industry.
It was in 2016 that companies in India began to contact the company and enquire about their product offering for use in India. In response to these enquiries, SOFAR’s marketing people started to explore the opportunities in India and they found that there was great potential for PV installations of all sizes, both residential and commercial, throughout the country. The Indian government was also in favour of PV and was introducing subsidies to help potential customers.
SOFAR immediately started gaining all the necessary certifications to enable grid connection and testing the units to ensure excellent performance in India’s changeable weather. The marketing department began talking with existing distributors and EPC companies to get a better knowledge of the market.
Both residential and commercial projects proceeded quickly and the first commercial rooftop project was completed by the end of 2016.
The size of the project was 280KW, and 7 units of 40KW inverters were used in the finished project. The SOFAR 40000TL unit used has a high-power efficiency and runs without problem in India’s variable climate.
After the power station was completed, the daily power generation averaged 62MW/h. Such high efficiency not only provided normal power usage, but also earned the customer extra income. The customer remarked that the technology service and support provided was very professional and very quick. This was an excellent cooperation for SOFAR’s first commercial project and a good beginning for SOFARSOLAR to enter into the Indian commercial PV market. The news of the success of this project spread quickly and helped SOFAR to gain more orders.
With inverters suitable for all sizes of installations, SOFAR decided to increase their presence in the country and become part of this rapidly expanding market.
The marketing department quickly identified the areas with the most potential for business and two offices were opened, one in Ahmedabad and one in Hyderabad. Both offices have engineers to provide technical support for all customers and are used as a local base for customer relations. Having established the offices, work then began on the formation of a distributor network throughout the country. Marketing and sales people now regularly visit distributors already in the PV business and also EPC companies to make them aware of SOFAR’s presence and intentions in the Indian market. Stands at exhibitions, advertising and brand awareness programmes followed.
SOFAR has long term plans for India, including manufacturing in country and intends to be a reliable supplier for all PV inverter needs for India in the coming years.
Managing Director, David Zhong also said: “As the head of the international sales market, I am very confident about the quality of our products and after-sales service. Each machine is tested at different stages during assembly. Our R & D team also constantly improves the technology. The quality and reliability of our inverters has always been our first priority. They are of paramount concern to us. They are what every customer wants and we will provide them.”
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