Pramod Chaudhari has over 40 years of experience in various professional and entrepreneurial endeavours. He established Praj Industries in 1984 and has since led the company to become a global leader in renewable energy and other environmental technologies. The company has over 600 references in 60 countries and is now focusing on second-generation bioethanol process development.
As a member of several committees, Chaudhari has been instrumental in developing the market for biofuels in India. He was a member of the erstwhile Planning Commission’s committee on biofuels that formulated the National Biofuels Policy. He served as chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) national committee on biofuels from 2007 to 2011. He was a member of the executive council of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture, Pune, during 2012-14. Chaudhari is currently chairman of CII’s national committee on bioenergy. He is also a member of the executive council of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises in India; a member of the governing board of the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IIT Bombay; and a member on the advisory boards of reputed academic institutes of engineering, technology and management.
As executive chairman of Praj Industries, Chaudhari is intensifying the company’s research activities in the biotech processes and systems domain. He is actively involved in the strategic decisions of the company and considers himself the guardian of the three capitals – human, reputation and financial. “As the founder and pioneering member of the company, I feel that Praj is an essential part of my existence and I value all the relationships that I have created through it – with employees, customers, associates, suppliers and peers,” he says.
Chaudhari has co-authored a book titled As Is What Is, in which he recounts his trials, tribulations and achievements. He has won several accolades for his contributions in the biofuel space, including the BioSpectrum Leadership Award 2013, the Empresario Most Inspiring Entrepreneur Award 2013 from the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai; the Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 from the Sugar Technologists Association of India; and the Outstanding Contribution to Innovation Award from the Chemtech Foundation for leading Praj to develop innovative technologies such as sweet sorghum and ethanol.