Samir Ashta: Chief Financial Officer, Apraava Energy Private Limited

Chief Financial Officer, Apraava Energy Private Limited

Samir Ashta is chief financial officer at Apraava Energy Private Limited. He has over 36 years of experience in project finance, treasury, investment and risk analysis, accounting and taxation, and policies and compliances. He has held le­a­dership roles at Escorts, the Max Group, ICI and Demag Cranes. In his current role at Apraava Energy, he oversees the company’s financial operations and controls, and has been leading its ESG-focused initiatives.

With respect to the green energy in­vestment ecosystem, Ashta says, “As the world faces the challenges posed by climate change, it is essential for businesses to embrace green financing. Buil­ding a robust green energy investment eco­system is crucial for achieving India’s net zero and sustainable development go­als. As a diversified provider of low-carbon en­ergy, Apraava Energy will continue to invest in renewable assets and low-ca­rbon businesses. Going for­ward, we would like to get in­to the consumer-facing bu­­si­ness starting with smart me­tering and then power distribution.”

According to Ashta, clean energy projects today generate a great deal of interest am­ong investors. However, there are some financing-related challenges, inclu­ding interest rates the mismatch between PPAs and loan terms, and getting an investment grade rating that en­courages debt capital markets to invest in projects. As most energy PPAs are long term in nature, these assets are ideal for long-term investments, he notes. In this context, the bond markets for renewable energy need to develop better frameworks and safeguards to att­ract and en­courage long-term investors.

Ashta cherishes the moment when he led the team to issue the first asset-specific bonds in the Indian power sector for the company’s Jhajjar power pla­nt and the first corporate green bond issuance in the South Asian and Southeast As­­ian power sectors for Ap­raava Wind Farms. Regar­ding his management style, he encourages his team to always learn and be future-ready, especially in the areas of digitalisation and sustainability. He believes new jobs and roles are rapidly em­erging, and the wo­rkforce needs to focus on constant up­skilling to keep pace with the trends and needs of the time.

Ashta is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accoun­ta­n­ts of India and has an MBA from the Faculty of Management Stu­dies, Delhi. He has also completed the Senior Executive Lea­der­ship Program fr­om Harvard Bu­siness School.