Redington Ltd, a major distributor of IT hardware, entered the business of stocking up solar modules in 2016, aggregating demand from 3,000-odd systems integrators. It buys modules from three Chinese manufacturers – Trina, JA Solar and Longi – and stocks them for systems integrators who install rooftop solar power plants. 

The company recently tied up with SBI for provision of solar loans of up to Rs 5 crore at interest rates linked to rates that the bank charges its best customers. Today, the interest rates for these solar loans ranges between 9.5 per cent and 10 per cent, according to Pradeep Srikanthan, who heads the solar business at Redington. 

Also read: Consumer business has saturated but commercial market is growing: Redington CEO

In a move that is believed to be aimed more at protecting the fledgling domestic solar manufacturing industry, the Centre has mandated that all solar modules, whether domestic or imported, should be approved and put in ALMM. But when domestic supply could not meet demand, the government last month suspended the ALMM requirement for 2023-24. It is generally expected that the ALMM relaxation would be extended by one more year. 

For Redington Solar, this is good news because it can buy, stock and sell solar modules. Asked if this opportunity would disappear after ALMM becomes mandatory, Srikanthan said Redington is talking to Indian module manufacturers to stock up their products. 

Today, there is price parity between imported and domestic solar modules, with the ruling rate of around 31 US cents a watt peak. 

Redington also has tie-ups with other financiers, notably ICICI Bank, U Gro Capital and SIDBI, who provide loans either for putting up rooftop solar plants, or to systems integrators (channel partners). 

In the first three quarters of 2022-23, Redington achieved a turnover of Rs 57,624 crore and net profit of Rs 1,082 crore. On the NSE today, the Redington share of face value of Rs 2 closed at Rs 166.50.