Co-Founder and CEO of Greentek Energy Systems
Sahir Molu was a student at the University of Georgia when he and his father were exchanging ideas about starting a company.
“My dad is an entrepreneur. He’s had a few successful businesses,” Sahir explained. “So I was just trying to wrap my brain around what we could do together.”
In 2011, they started Greentek, a manufacturer of LED fixtures. They began by working on smaller businesses and buildings, Sahir explained, pitching ROI analysis to facilities such as gas stations and mom-and-pop stores.
Sahir looked to scale quickly in this market, so they left the project side of the business and sold primarily through distribution.
“It was actually the perfect time,” he said. “The traction for LEDs was building.”
Greentek wasn’t intimated by being a smaller company, Sahir explained. In a way, it gave them an advantage.
“Since we were a small company, we were able to move and be agile in bringing the latest LED technology that was evolving exponentially at the time,” he explained.
One important decision the company made right away was to sell through distribution.
“We put a lot of work into it and really we just took it to the next level,” he said. “Our main bread and butter is the distribution market. We sell to all the top distributors.”
For three years in a row, Greentek has hit the Inc. 500 list for the fastest growing companies in the United States with sales revenue improving by more than $20 million.
“It’s a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck,” he said. “We try to grow as fast as we can.”
Sahir explained the industry is becoming much more educated than lighting customers years ago. The ROI analysis has reduced significantly.
“Most of the time when they’re calling us, they already know the advantages of LEDs,” he said.
As COO, Sahir devotes much of his time to overseeing company sales and overseas related matters.
Greentek has grown enough that he can delegate responsibilities more than he could a few years ago.
“I communicate with my sales team obviously on a daily basis,” he explained. “I mean, every hour there’s something going on where they may need an approval or me to answer some questions.”
Greentek deals with factories based in China.
“Most of my time goes into dealing with all the factories overseas,” he said, “and really bringing in new products, the best products possible.”
Sahir genuinely enjoys working with his father each day.
“Some may talk about how working with family can be tough. But I feel differently about it. I think first and foremost my dad’s personality and my personality work well together. One of us is either skeptical about something while one of us is more optimistic,” Sahir explained. “We have that kind of flow. We can always bounce things off of each other.”
Sahir and his wife, Sabrina, enjoy an active lifestyle in the Atlanta area and a couple of days each week he enjoys playing pickup basketball with a group of friends.
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. Something I’ve taken out of this experience is that the lighting industry didn’t change in the past as much as it is changing now and learning about the evolving LED market is going to really help advance your company and career.
Q. How do you see the industry attracting a more diverse workforce?
A. The lighting industry was very niche. Before, it was just a filament light bulb or fluorescents, but now it is a technology based industry that is becoming networked into our everyday lives. This change in the industry is bringing more talent than ever before.
Tagged with 2019 30 Under 35, 30 under 35