Uwe Wehnhardt is president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Voith Hydro. He began his career in 1989 at Procter & Gamble, where he handled various production-related functions followed by his appointment as senior departmental manager for human resources and production. He was later appointed plant manager for the company in Budapest and Istanbul. In 2002, he moved to Alfred Karcher GmbH & Co. KG, where he was director for logistics and production, and later director for category management consumer products.
In 2007, he joined Voith Paper Rolls GmbH & Co. KG as executive vice-president, in charge of the European market. In 2010, his role was extended to include the Division Fabrics Europe. Wehnhardt has been a member of the management board of Voith Hydro since 2011 in addition to being in charge of its order-to-cash functions. His role also extends to operations, purchasing and project management.
During his nine years with the Voith Group, Wehnhardt assumed various roles in the company. He was appointed CEO of the company’s hydro division in December 2015 and as member of the corporate board of management and chairman of the management board of Voith Hydro in January 2016.
Wehnhardt believes that the Indian hydropower segment has huge untapped potential not only for hydropower projects but also as a manufacturing hub for hydropower equipment. He believes that the Indian power sector is going through a critical phase where sufficient installed capacity is available but it is not being used optimally. Nevertheless, Wehnhardt is bullish on the prospects of the sector and says that the country needs to move towards increased automation and digitisation of hydropower plants.
Voith GmbH has positioned India in its portfolio not only as a consumer country for hydropower, but also as a regional hub for its business interests in Southeast Asia. India has become the manufacturing hub for Voith Hydro with the turbines and other equipment manufactured in the country being installed globally.
On the subject of small-hydro power in India, Wehnhardt believes that there is much more that is yet to be done for the segment. He also states that refurbishment and modernisation are an important part of the company’s portfolio in India and his team has developed quick and reliable processes for its execution.
Wehnhardt is an industrial engineer from Esslingen Technical University.