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Cleantech requires Government push, say experts

According to reports, opportunities like innovation for reduction of T&D losses, financial innovation and technologies for carbon capture are areas within the ambit of clean tech that entrepreneurs must focus on, clean tech experts said at the TiE Entrepreneurial Summit today.

With a lot of players coming into other renewables such as solar and wind, one must really pick his niche and look at different business models, getting across the supply chain, Mr Pravan Malhotra, part of the clean technology Investments business at IFC of the World Bank Group said.

Sustainable bio energy, energy efficiency and carbon are areas that are great to stay in, said Mr Vivek Sharma, Ventures Associate-Asia, Emerging Business and Ventures of BP.

“Clean tech requires government regulations, support and we are now seeing things heading in the right direction,” Mr Malhotra said, speaking at a session on the investment in clean technologies. According to him, clean tech is a nascent market with a lot of wealth creation opportunities for entrepreneurs and one which sees a lot of Government push.

In terms of funding, however, the ecosystem for investments in clean technologies still has a lot of challenges, he said. “There are challenges like returns, which are lower than in China and Africa, and there are difficulties in valuations,” Mr Malhotra said at the summit.

Another issue is that there are not many venture capitalists present in the early stage, Mr Sharma pointed out .The issue is that clean technologies are capital intensive and VCs are to a large extent like banks where enough risks have to be addressed before funding is given, added Mr Mohanjit Jolly, Managing Director of early stage venture fund DFJ India.

Also, a missing bit is that entrepreneurs have to be oriented to the market at an earlier stage during research, Mr Sharma said.

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