Sunil Wadhwa: Managing Director, IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited

Managing Director, IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited

Sunil Wadhwa is managing director (MD) of IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited (IEDCL joined the IL&FS Group in 2012 after a quarter of a century with the Tata Group, where his last assignment was as MD of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), formerly North Delhi Power). He Limited.

At IEDCL, Wadhwa spearheads the IL&FS Group’s initiatives in the power sector. Wadhwa’s 25 year-long innings with the Tata Group began in 1986 as chief financial officer (CFO) of Hitech Drilling Service India Limited, a joint venture of Tata Industries and Schlumberger of France in the oil and gas drilling business.

He was also involved in the setting up of Tata Petrodyne Limited, the oil exploration business of the Tata Group. After 15 years in the oil and gas business, he moved to Tata Chemicals as CFO. In 2002, he moved to the power sector taking over the reins of TPDDL as director, finance, and then became MD.

Another memorable phase of his career was in his offshore oil and gas days. “Sometime in 1992, we had a challenge tiding over a financial crunch caused by the idling of an offshore oil production platform. A financial restructuring plan was executed with the help of IL&FS around a sale and lease-back arrangement with IL&FS. This restructuring gave us the much-needed breathing time to regain our business and the company went on to become the most profitable venture of its time,” he says.

Wadhwa is pleased with the government’s focus on the power sector, but stresses that distribution reforms will have to be undertaken in earnest if India is to unlock suppressed demand. He also believes that off-grid power generation will have an important role to play in providing access and service reliability and contributing to the government’s goal of 24×7 Power for All by 2019.

An alumnus of The Mother’s International School in New Delhi, Wadhwa topped the school in 1977. He went on to pursue his undergraduate studies at Delhi University’s Shri Ram College of Commerce, and is a rank-holder chartered accountant. His family includes his wife, Rashmi, who is a doctor, their two sons and daughters-in-law, and their dogs. For relaxation, the family head off to the hills for frequent breaks. Recently, Wadhwa revived an old interest of his – oil painting. Classical and Sufi music are his other two loves.