Emani V.S. Rao is chief commercial officer with Pipeline Infrastructure Limited (PIL). He has over 40 years of experience in the hydrocarbons sector, relating primarily to natural gas and gas transportation commercial matters. In the past, he has worked with leading companies such as Reliance Industries Limited for 12 years and GAIL (India) Limited for 22 years, and with the Comptroller & Auditor General of India for two years. During this time, he has handled all facets of the business including finance and accounts, contract negotiations, operations and management, project management including due diligence, and coordination with the regulators and the ministry.
Rao notes that the Indian national gas markets are evolving continuously, and it is necessary to keep pace with the changing dynamics to stay relevant. “We cannot be monotonous while everything around us is evolving constantly,” he remarks. “To succeed, we must stay ahead of the times.” Developments such as gas trading through the exchange, the national gas grid, unified tariffs and the gas access bulletin board have prompted pipeline transporters like PIL to be prepared with robust systems and processes to ensure smooth operations. At PIL, his role is to envision such sustainable solutions and develop the requisite capabilities to cater to future needs in line with the growth of natural gas.
Rao has had a rich and fulfilling professional life. Some of the experiences that he recalls in particular are renegotiating a deal with Qatar Gas for liquefied natural gas import, and reviewing the Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur pipeline tariff with the Tariff Commission and the east-west pipeline tariff with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board. He believes that for success, one has to have a passion to excel and, importantly, enjoy the journey of the task rather than the result only. He encourages and advises his team to be persistent and passionate about their work. He follows an inclusive approach in his management of people and motivates his team to take charge of their tasks.
Rao is a commerce graduate and a qualified chartered accountant. In line with his desire and belief to constantly learn and evolve, he has attended several management courses at business schools such as MDI Gurgaon, IIM Lucknow, ISB Hyderabad, Kelloggs-Florida University, and Oxford. Outside of work, he likes to spend quality time with his family. He also likes to trek, jog and play lawn tennis with friends and colleagues.