Currently chief executive officer and executive director of Hero Future Energies, Sunil Jain has been earlier associated with companies like Escorts and Green Infra.
The aspect that Jain finds most thrilling about his current assignment is the sheer level of acceptance of green energy, both in India and globally. For him, what is an important and major development is not the lower tariffs for solar or the new developments in solar storage, or the latest technology developments, it is the “sheer acceptability across the spectrum of renewable energy”. “There is, therefore, the opportunity to grow, which was lacking earlier. And this is across the board, across the world,” he says.
These days he is busy working to push the company to make a quantum leap to become a 1 GW company by March 2017. Currently, it has an installed capacity of around 400 MW. One of his top priorities is to ensure that the company is paid for the energy it supplies. “The financial state of utilities is terrible. But mercifully, the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana should change all that, and for things like these I give credit to the Modi government. Things are moving. However, the taste of the pudding is in the eating, so we need to see how things work out,” he says.
A mechanical engineering graduate from the Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, Jain is happy with his bold decision to join the renewable energy sector without having any industry knowledge or background. It was a steep learning curve initially, but he didn’t take long to understand the business. When Hero Future Energies approached him in 2012, it was one of the few corporate houses (barring the Tatas) to back a renewable IPP. It was, he says, probably the only renewable energy IPP that built an entire platform with only family capital and no private equity.
Jain is president of the Wind Independent Power Producers Association and is also a member of CII’s renewable energy committee. In 2012, he was awarded an excellence award for his contribution to renewable energy and sustainability by the Energy and Environment Foundation.
To relax, Jain likes to read, particularly books on the environment. He is an active member of the local Rotary Club where a number of welfare programmes are organised. His wife, Poonam, is also involved with the club, teaching a class of over 40 underprivileged children regularly. The couple and their two grown-up sons.