Changes at the Top

Key moves in the past year

With the mainstreaming of renewable energy, the sector today boasts of a large number of players, both domestic and international, supported by a large manufacturing base and an effective supply chain. The ever-increasing number of players implies a greater demand for experienced top management personnel. As a result, the industry has been attracting talent from diverse backgrounds while also witnessing higher-than-usual churn during the past year. At the top government level too, there have been a number of changes in 2018. Renewable Watch takes a look at the key movements in the sector over the past year….

Upendra Tripathy, Director General, International Solar Alliance

Upendra Tripathy was unanimously appointed director general, International Solar Alliance (ISA), at ISA’s first general assembly in October 2018. He has been serving as interim director general of ISA since March 2017. Earlier, from April 2014 to October 2016, he was secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Tripathy is an IAS officer of the Karnataka cadre and has worked with the local, state and central governments for the past 36 years.

J.N. Swain, Additional Secretary, MNRE

Jatindra Nath Swain was recently appointed additional secretary, MNRE. He has also been serving as managing director of the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) since November 2017. A 1988 batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, Swain was appointed joint secretary, MNRE, in May 2017. Prior to that, he was joint secretary, Land Records and Survey Department of the Government of India.

Gopal Krishan Gupta, Joint Secretary, MNRE

Gopal Krishan Gupta, a 1987 batch officer of the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineering, was appointed joint secretary, MNRE.


P.K. Pujari, Chairperson, CERC

Former power secretary P.K. Pujari was appointed chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in February 2018 after the post fell vacant last December following the retirement of Gireesh B. Pradhan. Pujari, a Gujarat cadre IAS officer, has previously handled assignments in various departments/ministries including power, commercial taxes, finance and industries, in the Gujarat government as well as the central government. He was secretary, Ministry of Power, for more than two years before his superannuation in 2017, after having served the government for 36 years. During his tenure as secretary, he was closely involved with a number of initiatives such as the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana for discoms, the revised Tariff Policy, 2016, the new coal linkage policy for power plants, the revised National Electricity Plan, the 19th Electricity Power Survey, the draft hydropower policy, policy guidelines for the integration of renewable energy into the grid, and revised rules for captive generators. The guidelines for cross-border power trade with neighbouring countries was also finalised during Pujari’s tenure. He was also closely associated with the signing of the ISA Framework Agreement at COP22 in Marrakech. Currently, as the CERC readies the tariff regulations for the next control period starting 2019, which is expected to introduce a number of changes in the sector including moving to a three-part tariff structure, Pujari has his work cut out for him.

P.S. Mhaske, Chairperson, CEA

In October 2018, P.S. Mhaske was appointed chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) in place of Pankaj Batra, who had been serving in this position since July 2018.


Tarun Kapoor, Vice-Chairman, Delhi Development Authority

In a bureaucratic reshuffle, Tarun Kapoor, additional chief secretary, multi-purpose projects, and power, non-conventional energy sources, forest, environment, science and technology, Government of Himachal Pradesh, was appointed vice-chairman, Delhi Development Authority, in place of Udai Pratap Singh. Kapoor is a 1987 batch IAS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre. In the past, he has served as managing director of Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, and as director of personnel and director of SJVN Limited.

Prabodh Saxena, Principal Secretary, Himachal Pradesh

Prabodh Saxena was appointed principal secretary, multi-purpose projects and power in October 2018 in place of Tarun Kapoor. In addition, he heads the urban development, town and country planning, and housing departments in the Government of Himachal Pradesh. He is also chairman of the Himachal Pradesh Appellate Sales Tax Tribunal, and a nominee director in a number of state government corporations including the Beas Valley Power Corporation, Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited, Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Limited, and Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited. A 1990 batch IAS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre, Saxena has over 26 years of experience and has served in many key administrative positions in various ministries and departments of the central government and the Himachal Pradesh government. Saxena has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in law and economics. He has contributed a number of articles and research papers on diverse subjects.

Praveer Sinha, MD and CEO, Tata Power

With effect from May 2018, Praveer Sinha took over as chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of Tata Power, succeeding Anil Sardana. Prior to this appointment, he was CEO and MD of Tata Power-DDL. Sinha has over three decades of experience in the power sector and has been credited with transforming the company’s distribution business, and developing and setting up greenfield and brownfield power plants in India and abroad. He has a master’s in business law from the National Law School, Bengaluru, and is an electrical engineer by training. He is also a member of the faculty board of the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University, and a member of the board of governors of the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. He is a research scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA.

Tulsi Tanti, Chairman, IWTMA

Tulsi Tanti, founder and chairman of Suzlon Energy, was appointed chairman of Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) during its extraordinary general meeting held in January 2018. Known in the industry as the “Wind Man of India”, Tanti has played a key role in developing the country’s wind power sector. He has also led the development of public policy for energy use and is a key adviser on policy issues. Tanti was one of the early movers in the Indian wind power sector, with the founding of Suzlon Energy in 1995

P. Vinay Kumar, Former MD and CEO, India Renewables Business, Brookfield Asset Management

After a brief stint as MD and CEO of Brookfield Asset Management’s renewables business in India, P. Vinay Kumar left the company in October 2018. In this role, he was responsible for the management and growth of the company’s clean energy portfolio in India. Brookfield is an owner-investor and clean energy independent power producer. Its portfolio companies currently operate 302 MW of clean energy assets (comprising solar and wind plants) across four states in the country. Prior to Brookfield, Kumar was chief operating officer with the Greenko Group and headed its project development and construction business for the solar and wind verticals.

Varun Sivaram, Chief Technology Officer, ReNew Power

In October 2018, ReNew Power expanded its leadership team with the appointment of Varun Sivaram as chief technology officer. In this role, he is responsible for the integration of new technologies into the existing infrastructure while creating an environment driven by technological innovation in the company. Sivaram has served as the director of the energy programme at the Council on Foreign Relations, and as senior energy adviser to the mayor of Los Angeles and to the governor of New York. He is an alumnus of Stanford University and Oxford University.

Mayank Bansal, President, Strategy and Operations, ReNew Power

With his appointment to the position of president, strategy and operations, in October this year, Mayank Bansal is responsible for developing and driving ReNew Power’s future strategy and growth. He has about 20 years of experience in consulting across verticals such as automobiles, metals and mining, infrastructure, and consumer goods. In the past, Bansal has been a partner with AT Kearney.

Rohit Dhar, Director, Sales, EPC, Vikram Solar

In February this year, Vikram Solar Limited appointed Rohit Dhar as director, sales, EPC. He has vast experience spanning almost three decades, with a proven track record in sales, marketing and business development. Earlier, Dhar had worked for close to five years as CEO, solar PV power with C&S Electric Limited. A mechanical engineer by training, Dhar also has a postgraduate diploma in marketing management from Annamalai University.


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