Dissertation Topic:Development ofcase in social entrepreneurship (Ecozen Solutions) Under the Guidanceof Dr.
Nisha BhartiHOD – Agribusiness Submittedby Arvind KumarPRN – 16020242010MBA – AgribusinessBatch 2016-18 Symbiosis Institute of International BusinessPune, MaharashtraJanuary 23, 2018 Table of Contents Introduction. 3 Background of founders. 3 Current Scenario. 4 Cold Chain Scenario in India. 4 Technology Overview..
4 A step towards Micro Cold Revolution in agriculture. 6 Micro Cold Room Key Features. 6 Innovation and IP. 7 Working Explanation.
8 Unique Features. 9 Technical Specification of Solar Cold Room.. 10 Ecofrost v/s Traditional Cold Storage. 11 Subsidy Details as per MIDH Operational Guidelines Ecofrost – Cold room with pre-cooling & staging facility 12 Installation Details of Ecofrost 13 Future prospect 13 Challenges need to be resolved. 14 Introduction One fine morning in Pune neither too cold nor too warm, Co-founder& CEO of Ecozen Solutions Devendra Gupta was thinking of his Startuppresent situation with a cup of tea. He has a meeting today with Prateek Singha(Co-founder & COO) and Vivek Pandey (Co-founder and CTO) alone with seniorleader of the company.
Today’s meeting will decide where company want to goahead. The first product of Ecozen Solutions is solar irrigation controllerwhich was launched in 2010 was a great hit in the market and has acquired 95%of the market share in Chhattisgharh. But in other part of the country due tohigh competition product is not quite popular. The 2nd product whichwas launched in 2014 is solar micro cold storage (ecofrost) which has acapacity to store up to 5 tonnes of fruits, vegetables and flowers. But nowthere social entrepreneurship venture is not going well as This product isstruggling in market due to low acceptance because of various reason such ashigh price, delay in subsidy approval, lack of right value proposition or manybe wrong business model. Various question are going on in the mind of DevendraGupta are mention in the last page of this case. Background of founders Three entrepreneur from IIT Kharagpur, Devendra Gupta, Batch2006 -10, Prateek Singhal Batch 2006 – 10, Vivek Pandey batch 2006 to 2012,dual degree B.tech plus M.
tech. they joined hands together as a collagefriends. By nature, they were fun loving not at all serious but in the finalyear they got the idea of product and motivated for doing something thatprosper the lives of Indian farmers by solving the right problem. Now they haveentered in the cold chain segment in India with their innovative product microCold Storage- a solar powered cold storage system.The founders believe that to invent one needs a goodimagination and great inventions can build on the success for others, butprogress rarely follows a straight line. Considering the field of solar power,innovation doesn’t come knocking. Rather, daunting challenges inspire greatminds to invent ingenious solutions, Ecofrost is one such solution.
The green revolution created a sense of euphoria that wehave solved our production problems. Today we have a problem of underinvestment in rural infrastructure says Devendra Gupta.Current Scenario1. Farmers are not getting better price for theirproduce at mandi.2. India loses agriculture produce worth Rs. 44000crores, majorly at source level3. The value of produce is lost due to improperpost-harvest management4.
India being the second largest producer ofhorticulture still ranks 15th when it comes to the export of thoseproduce5. Development of food processing industriesrequire first mile pack houses and cooling facilitiesCold Chain Scenario in IndiaTechnology OverviewA large percentage of Indian population dependents on agriculturefor livelihood. Though it is important to increase productivity and producemore varieties and products from the same acreage of land it is also importantto manage the produce well postharvest. The wastage is 0.5-4% in food grainsand 4%-18% in different horticultural crops, the latter evidently being highvalue and more perishable. This calls for a clear step for post-harvest management in thefirst mile i.e.
the farm to arrest the value loss. There is a clear co-relation between power availability& the viability of the cold room facilities. Operating cold rooms in any regionswithout at least 20 hrs/day availability of power is unviable. And for this dieselgenerators are used as a power source, which are very costly and unviable too.Solar micro cold room Ecofrost, is a small-scale standalonehybrid solar powered cold room meant to store fresh fruits, vegetables,flowers, processed foods and other perishable commodities. It is a pioneeringproduct in the cold chain space that bundles various innovations together.The unit is a solar powered cold room with thermal storagebackup for storage of fresh produce – fruits, vegetables & flowersspecifically.
The unit has dimensions of 20 ft x 8 ft x 8 ft with solar panelsmounted on the rooftop of the unit. Ecofrost maintains a temperature in therange of 2?C to 10?C and can maintain 80-95% relative humidity.Ecofrost system has battery-less compressor operation. Asmall battery is provided to operate only the auxiliary loads and the controlsystem.Ecofrost product enables both pre-cooling and storage ofperishables to preserve their freshness and maximize shelf life. It comes withevery feature of an ideal cold room and is completely standalone. It ishybridized with any other source of energy as the need to be fulfil.The product Ecofrost fits conveniently at various nodes inthe cold chain, offering lucrative value propositions for each customer.
Itsrobust and smart controls enable maintaining temperature, humidity andair-quality parameters at just the right levels inside the storage volume. Intuitivehuman-machine interface is providing a hassle-free and an unparalleled userexperience.The unique battery-less back-up system provides cooling forseveral non-sunny hours and even on the next day. This thermal storagetechnology entails minimum maintenance and operational costs.A step towards Micro Cold Revolution in agricultureTo address majority of these challenges, Ecofrost, a smallscale (micro) cold room system is developed that will operate on sustainablepower source. Ecofrost micro cold room owned by a farmer will enable him totime the market right. It will de-risk the farmer and give him negotiatingleverage as compared to being forced to sell due to fear of perishingcommodities thereby leading to lower prices.
Ecofrost can act as bothpre-cooler as well as cold room while controlling the humidity of the produce.Having both storage and pre-cooling facilities at source, Ecofrost will also enableexcellent produce quality to last for longer durations thus allowing the producersto pursue farther markets and boosting exports. It will add on to reduce theloss of value which happens at the production source at farm level.Ecofrost can be powered by Solar and it uses innovativethermal storage technology for 24-30 hours’ power backup during thenon-sunshine hours. The passive thermal storage design allows for efficiencyclose to 100% and works on radiant cooling than forced convection alone.
The system is portable and it can be shifted from onelocation to another. The system also has the capability to charge itselfcompletely with just 6-8 hours of grid power. It will automatically detectcritical conditions and switch to grid and charge the system in case of poorsunshine days.
Micro Cold Room Key Features 1. 21 metric cube storage capacity 2. Solar Powered3. Grid & DG hybridization 4. 2 to 10 degrees Celsius, 80% – 95% RH5. Pre-Cooling Capable6.
Battery Less- Thermal Storage Technology7. Portability8. Remote monitoring & Predictive diagnosticInnovation and IP Working ExplanationEcofrost harnesses solar energy from PV panels which is feddirectly to the compressor via a drive that works on algorithms developed bytheir technical team and ensures maximum utilization of solar power generatedwhile accounting for variations in solar insolation, variations in load inside thecold storage (depending on time of day, amount of produce loaded, locationetc.) and user’s set points. Cooling is generated due to compressor’s operationwhich is used to cool the room and create back-up in the form of thermalstorage system.
The thermal storage system and the room cooling system work in tandemto maintain the set-point at all points of time and ensure that the system hasenough back-up to run for the maximum time possible when any power is notavailable. A part of the solar power generated also charges a small batterywhich is meant for control system operation and running auxiliary loads. Belowis a pictorial representation of the working principle of Ecofrost.
Unique FeaturesThermal Storage back-upThe thermal storage back-upprovided by Ecofrost ensures, the system runs for 24 – 30 hr during non-sunnyhours. This is different from a typical thermal storage mechanism where acentral back up is created and then disseminated to the room causinginefficiencies.Predictive Analytics based maintenanceOur technology enables us to dopreventive maintenance of the system.
This is made possible through our remotemonitoring system. The data from this is analyzed to make conclusions on thehealth of the system even before the downtime is triggered.Control SystemThe control system is the brain ofthe product which ensures smooth functioning of the product. Its uniquealgorithms have been developed in-house to enable the system’s operation 24×7.Remote MonitoringThe system is enabled with remotemonitoring features that sends minute by minute data on the operationalconditions and health of the system.Power ElectronicsThe power electronics componentswhich go into the product had been designed for the product that ensureefficient solar utilization, compressor operation and back-up creation.Battery less compressor operationEcofrost operates its compressorand maintains temperature of 2-10 degree Celsius without the support ofbattery. This unique technology innovation helps to work efficiently thatprovide a backup of 24-30 hours during non-sunny days without any battery beingoperated.
Technical Specification of Solar Cold Room Product Dimensions 20 ft by 8 ft by 8 ft Cold room insulation Poly Urethane Foam, 100 mm, 40+/- 2 kg/m3 Cold room body Pre-painted galvanized iron Room door Insulation: PUF Thickness: 100 mm Curtains PVC to reduce Heat infiltration on door openings Operational Data Refrigeration TR (~1.8 TR approx.) @ -5 C Evaporating & 50 C Condensing 21-meter cube 5 MT depending upon commodity Temperature range 2-10 Degree C by using set point control as per req. Humidity range 80-95% by using set point controlled Backup Type Wall Mounted Plate Type Thermal Energy Storage Backup duration 24 -30 hours (non-door opening & 5.5 KW/m2/day radiation) Remote Monitoring Per minute logging, GPRS based, viewable on desktop and smartphones Power Source Auxiliary Battery 24 V 100 Ah Solar Power Capacity 4 kWp Alternative power source Grid or DG Hybrid Ecofrost v/s Traditional Cold Storage SN Parameters Ecofrost Conventional cold room 1 Civil work Min. civil work required, commissioning of system within a day. Max.
Civil work required 2 Intelligent Remote monitoring Available on your hand held devices Not available 3 PUF insulation walls 100 mm PUF 40 – 60 mm PUF, less efficient and consumes more power 4 Portability Easy to transport, portable standard shipping size Fixed structure, cannot be moved 5 Source of energy – Hybridization Solar based system, runs on grid supply too Grid is the primary source 6 Operational cost* Approx. Rs. 39,000 Approx. Rs. 2,34,000 7 Innovation Highly intuitive system and intelligent controls harness the solar energy in the most efficient way Not applicable 8 Temperature and relative humidity range Temp.
: 2 -10 C RH: 80 -95 % Only temperature 9 Predictive maintenance With this functionality Ecofrost technical team knows beforehand which module will breakdown and sends its service team on time Not available 10 Market intelligence Available Not available * Assuming per unit cost of diesel generator is INR 26,Ecofrost will run on DG set for 60 cloudy days, Normal Cold Room will consume25 units/day Subsidy Details as per MIDH Operational GuidelinesEcofrost – Cold room with pre-cooling & staging facilityDescriptionEcofrost is small-scale solar powered cold room, having astand-alone capacity of 5-6 MT. The system contains 1 MT of pre-cooling and 4-5MT of staging /storage arrangement. Once the commodity is precooled, it can bestored in the system depending on the market demand as well as the shelf lifeof it. This unit can also serve as the packaging unit for the commoditiesstored inside. It is a pioneering product in the cold chain space thatbundles various innovations together. It can be hybridized with any othersource of energy as the need be. Using novel technologies developedingeniously, the product is set apart from any of its counterparts.
Coupled with smart control along with user interface, itmaintains temperature, humidity and air-quality parameters inside the room atrecommended conditions thereby ensuring freshness and long shelf life forcommodity that is stored. The unique battery-less back-up system entails verylow maintenance and running costs. Innovative thermal storage technologyprovides 24- 36 hrs backup during the non-sunshine hours. The passive thermalstorage design allows for efficiency close to 100% and works on radiant coolingthan forced convection alone.As per the MIDH Operational Guidelines:1.
PRE-COOLING UNIT – MIDH has clearly defined abenchmark cost of 25 lacs for 6 MT pre-cooling capacity for availing thesubsidy. It has also mentioned that other designs and capacity subsidy benchmarkwill be calculated on pro-rata basis. Hence this product can meet a benchmarkof 4.1 lacs for the same.2. COLD ROOM (Staging): MIDH has clearly stated abenchmark price of 15 lacs for 30 MT for cold room staging facilities.
Hencethis product will meet a benchmark price of 2.5 lacs for the same as it has 4-5MT staging capacity.3. ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY : Solar PV with phasechange material project can be considered 100% with maximum limit of Rs 35 lacsper project. In our product the cost of 4KWp solar system with phase changematerial thermal back up is around 7.5 lacs4. Programmed Logic controller equipment PLC : 50%of the cost as per original invoice can be considered for electronic andelectrical logic controls for machinery and equipment with maximum limit of Rs10 lacs.
In this product the cost of controls and logic is around 1 lac andhence Rs 50,000/- can be considered for benchmarking against subsidy. 5. Hence as per the current guidelines of MIDH, ourSolar Micro Cold Room can meet a benchmark price of Rs 15.10 lacs for availing35% to 50% subsidy. Installation Details of EcofrostTotal of 60 micro cold storage has been sold till now.
Andmost of the client are the agriculture and research institute and corporate.Very few farmers have purchase this product. Ecofrost is also taken by theclient on rest basis from the period range between 3 months to 6 months.
Future prospectCompany is currently looking for expanding the business.Hence, they are hiring interns and special project manager for development ofnew business model and idea that established its food print into the cold chainsegment as a leader. Company as set its vision 2020 as 1 million tons Capacityfor cooling perishables in rural & semi urban areas to reduce wastage bysetting up 10,000 Ecofrost.Company is also thinking on the development of online marketplace for farmers so that they can sell their produce to buyers directly. And thismarket place will be linked with its product micro cold storage. And for transportation they are into development of palatesize cold room, that can be used for the transportation instead of using refeedtruck.Company is also targeting the poly-house fruits, vegetableand flower growers for selling of micro cold storage.
Company is also working towards the development of low costtechnology for this micro cold storage so that the cost of the production canbe reduce their by increasing the viability and affordability of the farmers,the one for whom the product has been designed. Challenges need to be resolved1. How price of the product can be lowered from15lacs?2. while taking subsidy process is very delayand lot of paper work is required also sometimes subsidy does not get approvedresult in loss of prospect client. What can be done about it?3. What should be the business model forEcofrost – micro cold storage, weather company should go toward rest model asthe price of product is high and investment of 15 lacs is too much for thefarmers, or company should sell the Ecofrost but how?4. What is the target market for the Ecofrost?5.
What should be the positioning of theEcofrost?6. How customers acceptance can be increasedfor this product?7. What should be the sales and marketingstrategy?8.
What is the feasible price at whichconsumers acceptance will increase? 9. What can be done so that the cost ofmanufacturing reduces.10.
Is company future prospect right, if notwhat can be done, and how company can achieve its vision 2020?