For the past five years, Ramesh Narain Misra has been at the helm of hydropower company SJVN Limited. When he joined the company as director, civil, the 412 MW Rampur hydroelectric project (HEP) was under construction. A number of geological problems were being faced in its development, causing the World Bank to downgrade its rating. However, with Misra’s technical skills and inspiring attitude, the team was able to overcome the challenges and commission the project by end-2014. Prior to joining SJVN, Misra was with NHPC Limited, where he was engaged in the planning, management and administration of contracts from the commercial, technical and legal angles for major hydro projects. SJVN has set a target of achieving 30,000 MW of capacity by 2030. Considering the projects it is taking up, Misra is hopeful that by 2021- 22, it will become a 20,000 MW company. A number of renewable energy projects will be taken up after 2022, especially in solar, to push its capacity to 30,000 MW by 2030. SJVN has taken up the challenge of increasing its activity in the renewable energy sector. It already operates a 47.6 MW windmill project in Maharashtra, and is poised to take up several solar projects.
Misra counts his Uri HEP Stage I project experience in the Kashmir Valley during 1993-95 as one of his most memorable ventures. He says he has always felt more at home in tough situations on the ground than in an air-conditioned office.
Misra did his engineering from Motilal Nehru Engineering College, Allahabad, in 1978. In 1984, he completed his master’s in water resource engineering and followed it with an MBA in 1993. He is an early riser, waking up at 5 a.m. for yoga and a morning walk. “I am thankful to my wife, Nirmala, and my daughter as they have never felt that my office work is occupying their space. I try to spend as much time as possible with my family. I also try to catch up with friends when possible,” he says. While his wife has been very supportive, even when Misra was pursuing a part-time MBA, she has followed her own interests. She teaches children from poor families at home with the aim of nurturing and grooming them so that they can gain admission to better schools. “She has been a great support to me,” he says. “By looking after the home and our daughter, she has let me focus on my work.”