Initially, Vaishali and Sumant were pursuing very different careers. Vaishali graduated from Columbia University and started working at the Wall Street. She also worked for a Japanese investment bank in London. She and Sumant came together in the professional space in 2010 to start an advisory firm. Parallely, they were looking at other ideas as well. In 2011, they set up their clean energy venture, ReNew Power.
Both of them worked in the investment banking space for close to 15 years. After coming to India in 1992, they worked in the investment banking sector in the country. Sumant was the Founder CEO of Aditya Birla Retail and also served as Chief Operating Officer of Suzlon Energy Ltd. Sumant being the founder, Vaishali is engaged in a lot of activities, like social responsibilities, communications, organisational change, innovations, etc.
Talking about her role, Vaishali says, “It took us five years to cross one giga watt to do that. We crossed another giga watt in one year. So, with such pressure I would like to bring some balance in workplace, heading loads of engagement activities, connecting with CSR.” She further adds, “I don’t see a need to be associated with a particular function. Being on board, I ask questions when I feel the need. I don’t really get involved in day to day opinions, finance aspect or valuation part, transaction or the pricing, etc. I think it is important for me to disengage and look at the organisation from a level where I can constantly keep adding value.”
Sumant and Vaishali have a son and a daughter, who are both studying right now. Talking about their career aspirations, Vaishali says, “My son probably wants to become a hedge fund raiser and my daughter wants to write, but will never force them to join family business. They are interested in our business; ask us a lot of questions though.”
As a family, they love travelling and reading. “I enjoy yoga, little bit of spiritual engagement, also spend time doing a little bit of Gita reading. We make sure to plan a long break when kids are back home and love to travel with them,” shares Vaishali on recreation. ReNew Power has gone ahead to raise $200 mn in its latest round of investment.
(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)