Less than a year after rolling out its partner program in India, REC Group this week completed the first wave of training for solar rooftop installers for close to 100 companies nationwide. Active in many countries worldwide, the hugely popular REC Solar Professional Program promotes and rewards long-term alliances between REC and the EPC companies which install the solar systems, ensuring excellence along the downstream value chain.
The REC Solar Professional Program is one of two platforms of support for the company’s partners in India and around the world. The REC Global Partner Program provides distributors with a range of services, tools and benefits to grow business profitably with REC products. The REC Solar Professional Program offers installers a unique package of training, skill-building and certification to ensure global best practice in system installation. Alongside India, the successful channel programs are in operation in several countries in the APAC region, including Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and the latest addition, Taiwan.
Training and certification under the REC Solar Professional Program, which wraps up in India this week, was held in six cities across the country: New Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Pune. 156 solar professionals from 95 companies are the program’s first graduates in India, gaining expertise on the technical and commercial aspects of rooftop solar installations, aligning them to the global best practices of rooftop solar. The freshly-certified installers are eligible for a range of benefits, including an extended product warranty and a range of sales and marketing tools to promote their own business.
These results were achieved in a remarkably short time. It was only last September that REC launched its channel programs in India and certified Redington, as the first Platinum Partner. With its strong supply chains Redington provided a robust platform to help secure solar installers and system integrators for installations with REC’s award-winning solar panels.
Feedback from training participants in India has been consistently positive, with many applauding REC for its commitment to engaging directly with installers.
Rohit Kumar, Head of Indian Subcontinent at REC Group, on speaking about why the program is such a success said, “The REC Solar Professional Program is unique as it works on two levels: it forges a direct connection between the small installers and REC as the manufacturer and it also gets everyone on the same platform, connecting the end consumer, installer and manufacturer with one another. It’s also unique in that it provides a structured approach to rooftop installations. This is becoming crucial in India, as there are many skill gaps since it is a relatively new segment.”
To date, more than 1300 installers have come through REC’s Solar Professional Program worldwide, with numbers set to surge in 2018: training and certification for a further 300 installers is planned. The focus on training solar professionals in India reflects the country’s importance for REC. Shipment volumes have surged upwards in this rapidly expanding market, with REC recording year-on-year shipment growth in excess of 120% to year end 2017. As stated in the REC’s Q4 2017 Solar Market Insight report, cumulative shipments to India totalled over 260 MW to the end of 2017, making REC the largest European player in the market.