Abhay Kumar Singh

Chairman and Managing Director, NHPC Limited

Abhay Kumar Singh has been a part of the hydropower sector for over 35 years. He has played pivotal roles in the development of many hydroelectric projects (HEPs) including Tanakpur (120 MW), Dhauliganga (280 MW), Teesta Low Dam Stage IV (160 MW), Parbati Stage II (800 MW), Parbati Stage III (520 MW) and Kishanganga (330 MW), with responsibilities ranging from construction management of key project components to project head and regional head roles. As the CMD of NHPC, Singh has steered the company through the pandemic, and the organisation has seen sustained growth in the past two years.

A civil engineer from the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur (formerly Regional Engineering College, Durgapur), Singh started his professional journey in 1985, joining NHPC at the Tanakpur HEP as a probationary executive. With a firm belief in the role of the entire team in delivering outcomes for the corporation through ownership, responsibility, competency, knowledge and a one-company mindset, Singh has the qualities of a collaborative leader.

For the future, Singh has a lot of priority areas for NHPC, and the most important among them is commissioning as many megawatts of power in the next five years as done in the past 47 years. This includes commissioning Subansiri Lower (2,000 MW) and Parbati II (800 MW), which have been under construction for almost 20 years and have been delayed due to various reasons. Now, there is good progress on both these projects. While the construction of hydropower projects is a highly challenging and difficult task, the generation of clean and green power and the overall socio-economic benefits brought by these projects give him a lot of satisfaction. “Our projects are generally located in extremely remote areas and in most of the cases, we are the harbingers of development for the local community, and to see development in these areas is emotionally rewarding,” says Singh.

Singh maintains a healthy work-life balance through skilful time management and prioritisation of tasks. He believes, “When you follow your passion, there is no imbalance in life. Hydropower development is my passion, and it drives me forward with full energy and vigour on a daily basis to meet all targets and goals set for NHPC.” He also strongly believes in maintaining physical fitness, which has a profound impact on one’s professional life. He practises yoga and meditation, and maintains that these are essential for overall physical and mental health. W

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