Chairman, Avaada Power Pvt. Ltd.
President of Solar Power Developers Association (SPDA)
Co-chairman of CII National Committee on Solar Energy.
A serial entrepreneur, Vineet is known for visionary leadership and execution abilities.
His strengths lie in envisioning and implementing large-sized complex projects and building up global organizations. Vineet’s strong emphasis on generating sustainable clean energy has led to the creation of Avaada. He has built one of leading renewable energy companies in India, with a portfolio of ~1 GW solar and wind power projects. These projects further created thousands of jobs which resonates with Vineet’s philosophy of bringing electricity into villages and towns will immediately change their economic profile
An alumnus of Harvard Business School, Vineet is on B20’s taskforce for financing growth and infrastructure and is also a member of its cross thematic group called anti-corruption and responsible business conduct. He is an active participant of key global initiatives like the P4G and the Terawatt Initiative. Vineet is the President of the Solar Power Developer’s Association and Co-chairman of CII National Committee on Solar Energy. He is the former India Chair of World Business Council of Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s program on Renewables Low Carbon Technology platform.
He was felicitated twice as 'The Solar Power Man of the Year' in 2014 and 2012 and named 100 Most Power Solar Business Leaders in Indian PV Market 2017. Vineet has also been recognized with the 'Global Excellence Award in Renewable Energy 2015' as well as the ‘Global Solar leadership Award 2015’, in view of his contributions to the sector.
He has been invited as expert in forum series - IHS Energy's CERA Week, WEF's flagship events in Davos among others, on innovation - low carbon finance - growth through sustainable energy; presented white papers on sustainable energy, incentivizing efforts of forestation and public-private-participation for rural community development.
Manoj Kumar Upadhyay
Founder, Chairman and Managing Director
Mr. Upadhyay, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of ACME Group is responsible for strategic growth and expansion of the company in India and abroad. He has over 14 years of experience in the power and telecom sectors. Earlier, as research engineer and, later, as technical head with the telecom power company, Benning Gmbh, Germany, Mr. Upadhyay successfully led the modification and adaptation of several critical power systems to suit Indian requirements. He started Adhunik Power Systems Private Limited in 1999, to develop lightning surge protection systems for telecom sites. In 2003, he founded ACME Cleantech Solutions Limited (Formally ACME Tele Power Limited) to provide innovative, energy efficient, environment friendly products for passive telecom infrastructure. He is the inventor of five patented product innovations and processes in this area. Mr. Upadhyay is also member of the Expert Committee on Science & Technology and Innovation of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
He is the recipient of several eminent awards, distinctions and citations for his indomitable spirit of enterprise and innovation. These include the prestigious Ernst & Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award, 2007, in the ‘Start-Up’ category, the renowned V&D100 ‘Technovator of the Year’ Award, 2008 and “Dare” Inspiring Entrepreneurs 2011.
Chairman & CEO
From 2008 to May 2010, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Suzlon Energy Ltd, the world's third largest renewable energy company (FY 10 sales of $5.0 billion). At Suzlon, he shared the CEO's responsibilities with Mr. Tulsi Tanti, the chairman/founder and majority shareholder of the company. During this period, he was directly running the finance, marketing, supply chain, and organizational transformation and integration initiatives of the company. Under his watch, Suzlon refinanced its entire outstanding debt worth $3 billion, raised additional funds of approx. $800 million, restructured its $500 million of convertible bonds, generated an order book in excess of $2 billion, and turned the company around in an extremely difficult external operating environment.
Mr. Sumant Sinha set up and was the Founder-CEO of Aditya Birla Retail (ABRL), the Aditya Birla Group's venture in the retail sector in India. During his tenure of two years, ABRL had become one of India's largest retailers with over 600 supermarkets and 2 hypermarkets across India, employing over 12,000 people and managing 1.6 million sq. ft of space. ABRL developed a strong private label program, direct agri-sourcing, an innovative training program for its store employees, and currently operates under the brand name "more.
From 2002 to 2007, he was the Group CFO of the Aditya Birla Group, one of India's largest and most diversified business groups. The Group is amongst the largest players in India in areas as diverse as telecom, financial services, aluminium, copper, cement, etc., and among the largest global producers of viscose fibre, carbon black, insulators, yarn, etc. As Group CFO, he was responsible for making some of the largest acquisitions for the Aditya Birla Group such as Ultratech Cement, Idea Cellular, and Novelis which at $6 billion, is still the third largest cross-border acquisition ever by any Indian company. Apart from M&A for the Group, he was also responsible for portfolio management, business reviews and strategic planning, EVA, investor relations, working closely with the Group's business CEO's on value creating strategies, and being Mr Birla's advisor on all financial matters.
Prior to joining the Aditya Birla Group, he spent over ten years working in international finance. He started his career with the Tata Administrative Service, where he was a member of the elite management cadre of the Tata Group. He then moved on to Citicorp Securities in New York where he was first AVP for the Emerging Markets Group and later, Vice President “CEMEA and South Asia” in London. He also worked at ING Barings in New York where he was the Managing Director responsible for the firm's debt business for Latin America. In his career as a banker, he has advised corporates and sovereigns in emerging markets across the globe with respect to their financing plans in international and local capital markets. His clients have included many governments such as those of Argentina, Venezuela, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, etc., and corporates such as the Telecom company of Poland, ICICI, IDBI, Power Finance Corporation, Development Bank of the Philippines, PLDT, Cemex, etc. In addition to his regular responsibilities as CEO & CFO, he has been responsible for M&A and fund raising transactions totalling over $25 billion.
He has a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and a Masters degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He was a Dean's Fellow at Columbia, a National Talent Scholar, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and is an active speaker at various industry forums in India and overseas. He is currently a member of the newly created Wipro Leadership Council, formerly Chairman of the Renewable Energy Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), as also earlier the Chairman of the National Retail Committee of CII. He has previously been on CII's and FICCI's committees for Capital Markets and Corporate Governance; a member of the Conference Board's India Advisory Council; and is on the Managing Committee of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Advisory Board of the School for International & Public Affairs of Columbia University, New York. He writes extensively on financial matters and writes a regular column in the Economic Times, after having done so for the Financial Express earlier.
Offices Held by Mr. Sumant Sinha
- Co-Chairman, National Renewable Energy Committee, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
- Member, New York and India Societies of Securities Analysts.
- Member, Board of Advisors, School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University.
- National Council, CII.
- Capital Markets Committee, CII.
- Corporate Governance, Compliance and Accounting Standards Committee, FICCI.
- Executive Committee of Indian Merchants Chamber.
- Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
- Board of Advisors, Conference Board, India.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Ranjit has extensive experience in Renewable Energy, Thermal Power and the O&G industry with specialities in Project Management, Business Development, Bidding, and Project Finance.
Prior to Azure Power, Ranjit co-founded and served as the Chief Executive Officer of Ostro Energy where he spearheaded growth through a prudent renewable energy auction strategy entailing an equity investment of $280 million and a debt of about $900 million to build a 1100 MW renewables platform. Prior to Ostro, Ranjit co-founded Orange Renewable where he steered the capital raise of $65 mn equity and executed RE projects of 180 MW on BOO basis and developed a pipeline for another 350 MW. He has also served as founding CEO of Indiabulls Power, leading construction of over 5000 MW of Thermal Power projects. Prior to his, Ranjit worked at Schlumberger for 12 years in various field and management positions across various geographies. Ranjit holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
Director General of SPDA
SHRI SHEKHAR DUTT
Director General of SPDA
A career civil servant who started his working life as an Army Officer in 1967, Mr. Shekhar Dutt was the Governor of Chhattisgarh from January, 2010 to July 2014. He was Deputy National Security Advisor from 1st August 2007 till January 2010. As Dy NSA he was looking after the issues concerning defence and national security as well as the strategic defence. He was Defence Secretary, Government of India from 1st August 2005 to 31st July 2007.
While in the Indian Army, he participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak War in the Western (Sindh Rajasthan) Sector and was awarded Sena Medal for gallantry. Mr. Shekhar Dutt is Science Graduate (Physics) and has an Post Graduate Diploma in Development Policy and Planning from University of Swansea, UK.
Prior to becoming Defence Secretary, he was Secretary, Defence Production and before that he was Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Government of India. During his tenure as Defence Secretary, a number of initiatives were taken towards increasing the pace of modernization as well as bringing about greater probity in the defence procurement. The Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) was reviewed and a new policy, DPP 2006 was evolved. Similarly, Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) was also reviewed and a new policy DPM 2006 was promulgated. ‘Make’ policy enabling conceptualization and manufacture of defence equipment in the country was evolved. A policy of ‘offset’ was brought about for the first time so that the country could leverage its purchasing power
enabling equipment, systems, sub-systems and parts to be made in India. Procedure for ‘fast-track’ procurement was also reviewed and a new procedure formulated. Further, during this period, the New Framework for US-India defence relationship was finalized. In this the following institutional mechanisms for Indo- US dialogue were set up.
- The Defence Policy Group (DPG),
- The Defence Joint Working Group (DJWG),
- The Defence Procurement and Production Group (DPPG).
This paved the way for increasing all round cooperation between India and USA in Defence and strategic matters.
As Secretary, Deptt of Defence Production, he was responsible for overseeing and facilitating production of various land, sea and air systems. Mr. Dutt had earlier worked in the Ministry of Defence as Joint Secretary of Defence Production during 1991-1996. During this period, he was Director in the Boards of Defence Undertakings such as Bharat Electronics (BEL), Bharat Dynamics (BDL), Bharat Earth Movers (BEML), Mazagaon Docks Ltd (MDL), Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) and Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL). He was involved in the partial disinvestment of BEL & BEML which resulted in these companies being listed in the Stock Exchange. During this period, he was also looking after the major projects of the Defence Ministry such as setting up of the Tank Factory at Avadi, setting up of the BMP Factory at Medak, Ordnance Ammunition Factory at Bolangir and the 5.56 mm INSAS Rifle Manufacturing Project as well as the production aspects of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). Earlier in the mid 1980s he was Director (Navy) in the Ministry of Defence. During this period a concept of a Blue Water Navy was evolved, based on which the role of the Indian Navy was increased to looking after our Maritime interests across the seas.
In the early 1980s he was looking after the Command Area Development of all major irrigation dams (84 major projects) of India. During this period, he was
instrumental in setting up Water Users Committees for ensuring proper water distribution in the irrigation command. The concept of ‘Wara Bandi’ i.e. water distribution as per a time table was also developed.
From December 1985 to May 1988 as Shekhar Dutt served as Commissioner, Raipur Division in the state of Madhya Pradesh. During this period he was also Chairman Mahanadi Command Area Development Authority. Member Secretary Chattisgarh Development Authority covering the entire Chattisgarh (Raipur, Bilaspur-Bastar Division) as well as Chairman of Indo-Italian Agricultural Development Project (Raipur and Bilaspur Division) and Chairman of Raipur Dairy Union (Raipur, Bilaspur and Bastar Division). This tenure afforded him to plan and execute an all round development of the territory which is now the present Chhattisgarh State.
On being posted back to Bhopal in May 1988, he was given the charge of the
M.P. Dairy Development Federation. The Dairy Federation, which was on the Amul pattern was made into a profit making concern with meticulous planning and aggressive marketing. The highlights during this tenure was the highest ever milk procurement by the Federation and also winning the milk marketing rights at Ahmadabad.
The posts held by Shekhar Dutt also include Director General, Sports Authority of India (2001-2003) and Principal Secretary, Department of Tribal and Scheduled Caste Welfare and Principal Secretary, Departments of School Education, Sports & Youth Welfare, Govt. of M.P (1996-2001)
During his tenure as Director General of Sports Authority of India (2001-2003), he played a pivotal role in the successful conduct of the first Afro Asian Games. During this period in the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth games, India secured 69 medals which was their maximum medal tally outside India till today.
As the Principal Secretary, Tribal Welfare (1998-2001), Shekhar Dutt was instrumental in drawing up a number of schemes including special projects concerning area development, collection and marketing of minor forest produce and forest village development through Joint Forest Management mechanism.
In his capacity as Principal Secretary in the Departments of School Education, Sports & Youth Welfare (1997-1998), he was credited with the introduction of an innovative programme called Education Guarantee Scheme in which the community panchayats owned and ran the schools. He also developed the ‘Shiksha Karmi Bharti Niyam’ which gave the ownership of the primary school teachers to the Panchayats thereby ensuring teachers to be present in the schools at remote places. The scheme helped in universalizing elementary education in Madhya Pradesh to a great extent.
As Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare in the Government of India he was instrumental in conceptualization and setting up of NORAD Scheme designed for transforming women from unskilled status to highly skilled status in industrial projects such as watch making units, radio & communications, capacitors and other electronics units. This later became a Plan Scheme
As the Governor of Chhattisgarh, Shri Shekhar Dutt had been Chancellor of eleven State Universities and Visitor of six Private Universities. He has shown keen interest in the field of higher education, agriculture, health, environment, economic and social issues of citizens. He has also taken keen interest in promoting and propagating scientific and intellectual thinking among the youth and the teaching community. With the efforts of Mr. Shekhar Dutt, Government of India has sanctioned a National Centre for Natural Resources at Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur, for promoting research on natural resources. He played a crucial role in setting up a Martyr’s Memorial called ‘Shaheed Vatika’ at Raipur in memory of the supreme sacrifice of soldiers and police personnel.
Shekhar Dutt has authored 2 books –
- Reflections on Contemporary India
- India’s Defence and National Security
At present, Mr. Shekhar Dutt is associated with the following as:
- Member of the Executive Council of the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA)
- Member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Joint Warfare, Ministry of Defence, GOI
- Chairman of Angika Development Society for Education
- Member of the Advisory Board of Gujarat Technical University, Ahmadabad for e- Raksha
- Member of the Governing Board of the University of Engineering and Management (UEM),