- 13 January 2012
Tulsi Tanti Founder, Director and Chairman, Suzlon - and Clean Revolution Ambassador - shares the secrets of Suzlon's great success, defines 'cooperative competition' and pinpoints what the world's business leaders must do to realize the Clean Revolution.
- How did you decide that wind energy was the solution you wanted to pursue in order drive sustainable development?
The world needs more energy. Wind is free and abundant and increasingly cost-competitive as an energy source – it is also a central power source for any low carbon economy.
- What challenges did you face in rolling out your company?
Many! The wind market in India was pretty non-existent when we started Suzlon, but I think wind is now seen in many countries as part of the solution to the crises we have: global warming, energy shortages, the lack of water and food in many parts of the world. So, we are having a positive impact.
- Why has Suzlon been successful?
From day one we have remained true to ourselves: outcome-focused, confident of the sector and our place in it, learning as we grew.
- Was there a moment when you doubted your strategy? If so, how was this doubt overcome?
The global economic crash probably made every government and company in the world question and change their strategy, because nobody saw it coming. However, we are now in a good place once again and have created a strong platform for responsible growth.
- Do you see other emerging-economy CEOs replicating your conviction that clean energy is critical to the development of India and Africa?
Yes, and that is extremely welcome. I believe in ‘cooperative competition’ – the majority of markets where we operate are still in growth phase, so there’s business for everyone. What matters is the outcome: clean and affordable energy for all.
- What do business leaders need to do to make a Clean Revolution happen?
We need to be out there making the case for it. Organizations like The Climate Group, World Economic Forum and others are critical to enabling the Clean Revolution to become a sustainable and lasting reality.
- Where will Suzlon’s focus be in five years?
Helping countries get to a place where 25% of their energy requirements are met by wind! Suzlon is a member of The Climate Group. You can read more about Suzlon's Clean Revolution leadership at TheCleanRevolution.org.
Mr. Tulsi Tanti, Founder and Chairman & Managing Director, Suzlon Energy Limited, first ventured into business with a textiles company in Gujarat, India. In 1994, faced with escalating power costs and using his background in commerce and engineering, he soon found wind energy to be the most economic and sustainable power solution. He set up two wind turbines to supply electricity for his textile unit in Gujarat which rapidly prospered. Recognizing the great potential wind energy offered, Tulsi Tanti created Suzlon Energy Limited in 1995.
In just 14 years, Tulsi Tanti has led Suzlon to rank third as a wind energy world leader, with 12.3% of global market share and revenues of over US$ 5 billion in the financial year 2008-2009, with plans underway to extend its presence across 21 countries on five continents.
Building on this commercial success, Tulsi Tanti has since set forth a goal for Suzlon of not just being a successful wind energy company, but also being a socially responsible enterprise, with sustainable development at the core of the business. His commitment to social and ecological development, and his vocal advocacy of climate change mitigation has been honored numerous awards including ‘Champion of the Earth 2009’ by the United Nations Environment Program, ‘Hero of the Environment’ by TIME Magazine and ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2006’ by Ernst & Young, among several others.