Company name: Alternergy
What they do: Green and solar energy
The Boss: Rajiv Bhatia
Latest turnover (£,000): 45,938
Four-year compound sales growth (%): 137
Latest Ebitda (£,000): 2,445
Alternergy, last year’s number one company, fell by just one place to claim the silver medal in this year’s Hot 100. Steered by former tax consultant Rajiv Bhatia, the company more than doubled its turnover in 2011/12 to £45.9m.
Founded in 2006 by Bhatia, Alternergy is a wholesale distributor of solar panels. Bhatia admits that the last 12 months have been tough on the solar PV sector. The industry’s explosive growth in the late 2000s, due to the government’s tasty subsidies and Feed-in Tariffs scheme, came to a grinding halt as cuts in these same subsidies and tariffs have come into force.
“The industry has fallen off the cliff. As a sector, demand for solar panels has fallen by 95 per cent,” he says. “It’s been very tough, but that’s how it is.”
Thankfully, he adds, the business has virtually no fixed assets, so it hasn’t been as badly affected as other, more stock-heavy, companies. “We outsource everything. Our variable cost structure and our good relationships with suppliers allowed us to maneuver and scale down easily. When things start to pick up, we’ll be in a position to pick up the business again.”
While there are no guarantees that the industry will recover to its 2010 levels any time soon, Alternergy’s future still looks bright.
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