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With many plans to expand its business front, Ledax is expanding its market share in the area of distributed power generation. Initially working in the field of manufacturing and installation of LED solutions, the company saw new opportunities in the solar market, which has grown considerably in recent years. "This new business unit has the same focus as Ledax, which is to offer solutions to reduce the energy costs of our customers. While the lighting acts around 15% to 20% in the energy bill, the solar source can act on the whole account, "said the CEO of the company, Rodrigo Travi. Ledax will work from the importation of photovoltaic panels to the installation and delivery of the system. The executive also reveals plans to begin manufacturing and installing one of the components used in photovoltaic projects, which are so-called fixing structures. Meanwhile, the company maintains attention in its home market, the lighting, where they expect to grow between 80% and 100% this year. Finally, Travi still comments on the new factory unit of Ledax. "We opened an industrial unit in Bahia, which began operations in March. It will give us greater proximity to the Northeast, there are some competitive advantages in Bahia, "he commented.
I would like you to talk about the company's fronts in the market.
Ledax was born as an LED lighting industry, focused on providing solutions and energy efficiency, focusing on corporate clients of large and medium size, industries, shopping centers, among others. We realized that customers were always asking for something more, seeking solutions to improve energy consumption. In this sense, photovoltaic solar energy has been growing a lot in Brazil in the last three years. And in 2018, we decided to get into the photovoltaic business. This new business unit has the same focus as Ledax, which is to offer solutions to reduce the energy bill of our customers. While lighting acts around 15% to 20% on the energy bill, the solar source can act on the entire account of the customer. So, in this way, we offer a solution that reduces spending as a whole.
Broadly speaking, does energy represent how much in business spending today?
That depends a lot on the customer. When we speak of corporate clients, we are dealing with various types of consumption. Some factories, for example, have 5 to 10 percent of their energy costs. Our client portfolio is very large. There is no way to specify the cost with energy, they are different types of customer.
What window of opportunity did Ledax see to enter this solar energy market?
Lighting, as stated, affects between 15% and 20% of the energy bill. This is because it depends on the consumption profile of each company. And since we have always had this bias to offer the best solution in efficiency, customers have come to demand more types of solutions. Photovoltaics has a characteristic of importing solar panels and frequency inverters. There are few national manufacturers yet. And we have great import know-how, mainly from China, the United States and Europe. From this expertise, we came to the conclusion that to expand our business was to enter the photovoltaic market, which is growing a lot.
One of the components of the photovoltaic system is the fastening structure. Our idea is to manufacture and operate with our own fastening structures.
And what are the cost reduction estimates when deploying enterprise solutions?
In the lighting part, when switching from the conventional system to the LED, the customer can reduce their energy expenditure by up to 80% when adding with intelligent solutions, such as systems that decrease or increase the intensity of artificial lighting according to light of the day. As for the solar issue, it's a bit different. As I said earlier, the photovoltaic source acts on the light bill as a whole. The payback (investment recovery period) in the industry today is 4 to 6 years on average. There are some cases in which it occurs in the third year itself.
What are Ledax's growth plans going forward?
In the first year of operation of the solar source business unit, we are estimated to reach R $ 8 million in sales. Speaking of lighting, we are maintaining an average growth of 80% per year. Our expectation for 2019 is to continue growing between 80% and 100%.
We opened an industrial unit in Bahia, which began operations in March. It will give us greater proximity to the Northeast and competitive advantages in Bahia. In addition, we have commercial offices in Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and also in Bahia. They are the states of greatest performance. In the photovoltaic part, we started in Bahia and we are now in Pernambuco, Minas Gerais and São Paulo. The next state that we must enter is Rio de Janeiro.
Article by Davi de Souza and originally published in Petronotícias' site, on March 19, 2019.