Lighting industries aka, Illumine-i recently announced that it has become the world’s largest independent digital design engineering firm in the residential solar PV industry.
The key parameters taken for the assessment were the stature of the clients, the overall ability to undertake projects and the strength of the team.
“It’s surreal to see our company sitting at the very top,” said Nithish Sairam, CEO of Illumine-i. “For a start-up that started operations in a cramped garage in Chennai not too long ago, this is a phenomenal achievement. I still remember sleeping with 5 roommates and using the benches in the public park to organize my team’s training at the start.
At the time, Illumine-i was a 5-employee company providing production and performance analysis for EPCs and developers, before evolving into a company that could also offer engineering support. What has enabled the company to make this transition is its proactive approach to business. “Even in our very first year, we were as focused on identifying the critical issues customers were facing as we were on achieving operational excellence. This conscious practice served us well as we added engineering services to our directory,” said Nithish.
Recounting one of the main challenges the company faced during this time, Nithish said: “Initially, we did well to take advantage of the boom in the US solar market, which was sort of a launching pad for we. But once we hit a certain threshold of growth, we had to be very specific about how we scaled, like not making the mistake of scaling too fast or too slowly. So we focused on getting a consistent average of 100%. YoY annualized growth rate for the first 5 years, which happens to be a good pace for an early-stage startup. He also noted that the current five-year plan is to “maintain a stable average of 80% annualized growth rate.
If there’s one playbook that continues to prove effective for the company, it’s its focus on diversification. According to Nithish, the firm follows a “three-prong diversification strategy” that has not only helped it mitigate risk, but also identify new markets to disrupt.
Indeed, Illumine-i has come a long way since its inception. But those in the business are in no mood to rest on their laurels. Plans are already underway to cement the company’s reputation as one of the best sustainable engineering companies around. The company only recently opened a new office to maximize its service capabilities. The latest workplace, located in Pune, Maharashtra, is Illumine-i’s second office in India and third overall, having already established fully functional office spaces in Austin, Texas and Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
With the addition of the new office, Illumine-i hopes to bring more stability to its operations. “As a customer-centric company, we are constantly exploring new ways to better serve our customers. It’s something that’s in the very DNA of our business,” said Chitharthan, Customer Experience Manager at Illumine-i. “As our client list grows, we want to ensure that each of our client’s needs are met, without compromising on quality and timeliness. To this end, our Pune branch will be instrumental,” a- he added.
What started as a promising start-up is now a multinational company with room for expansion. Shedding light on the future of Illumine-i, Nitish noted, “Over the years, we’ve done really well in making significant inroads into the US solar engineering markets. Now our goal is to go all the way and tap into new geographies like Canada, Australia and Europe.
Illumine-i is a sustainable living company with design and engineering expertise, specializing in energy and construction engineering services. The company supports the development of renewable power plants (solar PV), energy-efficient buildings with advanced construction methodologies, clean transportation, and advanced agricultural and manufacturing technologies. Since its inception, Illumine-i has grown both horizontally and vertically, offering new services and expanding its customer base.