Rajeev Kumar Vishnoi, director, technical, THDC India, is a hydro expert with over 33 years of experience in the design, engineering and construction of project structures. He started his career as an engineer with THDC in 1989 and worked on the Tehri hydro project during the early stages of construction. This helped develop his interest in the execution of mega projects and helped him in on-site decision-making and quick commencement of construction activities. He recalls how he helped steer the ailing Koteshwar and Tehri pumped storage hydro projects and commissioned them efficiently in spite of geological and contractual complexities. He provided insights on innovative and safe technical measures, which have been successfully implemented in various operational power plants without resorting to plant shutdown and with minimum impact on time and cost in under-construction projects.
Vishnoi conceptualised, articulated and included the widely appreciated risk-sharing mechanism as a part of the contract document of the Vishnugad Pipalkoti hydro project with help from World Bank experts. Under his leadership, a geotechnical baseline report was also incorporated for the first time in India in the recently awarded contract agreement of the Vishnugad Pipalkoti project to make risk sharing more realistic. He also led a team to prepare the detailed project report for the Sankosh project in Bhutan.
On his management style, Vishnoi says that employee support is key. “Employees can be trusted to work to the best of their abilities provided the management can be trusted to support them in their failures.” His mantra is: “Be a good listener, but when the time for listening is over, you need to be a decisive commander.”
A civil engineering graduate from BITS Pilani, Vishnoi has an MBA and has done a professional upgradation programme in design and construction of hydro structures and hydropower constructions from the State University of Moscow. He represents India on the International Commission on Large Dams technical committee on the seismic safety of dams.
Vishnoi spends his spare time with his family, which includes his wife and a daughter. He tries to maintain a healthy work-life balance by meditating, which helps him stay focused. He enjoys reading biographies and has recently finished Lee Iacocca and was impressed with the leader’s ability to steer his organisation through turbulent waters.