Mr. Balan’s Journey:From a Small Village to a Renewable Energy Entrepreneur

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Mr. Arul Balan R is the Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of CALS Renewable Energy India Private Limited and its affiliated companies, SML Energy and SML Travels. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Administration. With over 20 years in the Renewable Energy industry, he has held leadership roles in companies like Siemens Gamesa India, Vestas Wind Technology, and NEPC.

Driven by a strong belief in the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, he founded his Infrastructure and Resources company in 2003. CALS Renewable Energy India Private Limited focuses on delivering high-quality, environmentally friendly projects for customers and the society, reflecting Mr. Balan’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions.

CALS, with its seasoned management team, has introduced an innovative and sustainable approach to wind and solar projects, setting high industry standards. We provide top-notch technical guidance across all project phases, including regulatory insights into the renewable power sector, covering licensing, generation, transmission, distribution, supply, and trading regulations.

Tell us about your journey (personal & professional), when you started your journey in this industry and how it is going and what is the future plan.

Born in a middle-class family in a small village of Kanyakumari district in southern India, I was
exposed to the sight of towering windmills in the Aralvoimozhi region while traveling between
Nagercoil to Tirunelveli town during my school days. My interest in windmill power generation grew during my final year at Sree Krishna Polytechnic, where it was a subject of study. I began delving into books, both from my college’s resources and the local library, to satisfy my curiosity.

My passion for windmills made me talk to my parents about taking up a part-time job at
a windmill company. While they were initially concerned, I eventually persuaded them. During my last semester, I joined an Operation & Maintenance firm as a night shift operator. The experience was exhilarating, juggling daytime classes with nighttime work at the windmill site. I even studied in the security cabin by candlelight since electrical yard lights were scarce.

With determination, I completed my Diploma in Electrical course and immediately embarked on
a career in the renewable energy industry. I made a conscious decision to pursue my dream, ready
to make sacrifices to achieve it. Today, I am an entrepreneur heading an EPC company dedicated
to serving renewable energy projects.

I am inspired by the many achievers who have contributed significantly to India’s economic growth and development. I aspire to excel in the renewable energy sector, contributing to the nation’s long-term economic growth and creating employment opportunities for young talent.

Share an insight, if any challenges you faced while running the Cals Renewable Energy and how you overcame them. What Inspired you to get into this industry?

Indeed, we’ve encountered numerous obstacles along the way. Nevertheless, we were prepared to make sacrifices from the very start, allowing us to confront stress head-on and steadily progress towards our ultimate goal.

Our mission centers on tapping into the vast potential of environmentally friendly and sustainable energy sources. Our objective is to provide a cleaner, greener environment for both
present and future generations.

Being an Indian start-up entrepreneur, what message would you like to give? Your motivational mantra?

To all entrepreneurs, my message is clear: Embrace honesty, stay loyal, and dedicate yourself to hard work in your business endeavors. My personal motivational mantra is, “My journey towards excellence”.

What, according to you, is the advancement in this industry in terms of technology? Do you think adopting such advanced technologies has brought you and your company to this elite position?

We’ve witnessed significant advancements in the renewable energy industry. Wind turbines are
becoming larger with the average size installed in 2023 at 3.4 MW up from about 30 kW in the mid
1970s. turbines of MW size are being developed and commercially available. Alternatively, Solar PV cell technology is also being developed, with the average size in 2023 at 600 Wp modules up
from about 50 Wp modules. The technology is being improved and indirect costs have come
down so that the number of power & micro-projects increased. Further, AI helps many in renewable energy projects that help operation & maintenance in the most efficient ways and supply chain management. This creates lots of job opportunities in this renewable sector.

We’re proud to incorporate & utilize these cutting-edge technologies in equipment and software applications, resulting in cost reductions and higher efficiency. Ultimately, these advancements have left our investors delighted with the outcomes.

What are the products / services provided by your company?

Our expertise lies in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction across various sectors, including transmission lines, switchyards, transmission line bays, and pooling substations. We also specialize in procuring suitable land for wind and solar projects, sourcing Solar PV Modules, installation and commissioning of MMS systems, securing land permits and approvals, and catering to the commercial and industrial market (C&I).

Furthermore, we have a strong presence in Solar rooftop projects and offer comprehensive Operations & Maintenance services.

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