HomeIndiaSuzlon Founder Tulsi Tanti, the man who harnessed wind, passes away at...

Suzlon Founder Tulsi Tanti, the man who harnessed wind, passes away at 64

Tulsi Tanti, chairman of wind energy firm, passed away on Saturday evening in Pune due to a cardiac arrest. He was 64.

Tanti was on his way home in Pune last evening from Ahmedabad after attending a series of meetings on his company’s ongoing Rs 1,200 rights issue when he felt uneasy and died soon after. He is survived by his son Pranav and daughter, Nidhi.

Tanti had made his fortune by investing in wind energy projects in the mid-90s when renewable energy was not in fashion. Suzlon acquired Senvion Energy in Germany for Euro 1.4 billion in 2007. But his good run soon ended as customers pointed out serious quality issues with the blades and Suzlon started delaying its debt repayments to banks. In 2015, Suzlon had to sell Senvion to use the proceeds to repay bank loans and seek a debt restructuring plan.

Tanti, who studied commerce at Gujarat University, started his business journey as a textile trader but diversified into renewable energy after rising electricity costs hit his main business. In 1995, Tanti started a wind power venture and later listed Suzlon.

In recent years, Tanti managed to get a financial restructuring done with lenders even as his own stake fell in the company.

Company insiders say the COP26 pledge by India to become a net zero nation by 2070 and the role of renewables to fight climate change had enthused Tanti to re-engineer his company.

A firm believer in creating sustainable businesses and economies through energy independence and security, Tanti was a visionary and world-renowned expert on clean energy and also championed the cause of affordable and sustainable energy, say Suzlon insiders.

Tanti envisioned the opportunity in the Indian renewable energy industry at a time when the global wind energy market was dominated by international players and characterized by expensive and complicated technologies that were largely unviable for traditional businesses.

Instituting a new business model, he conceptualised the end-to-end solution to create realistic avenues for businesses to ‘Go Green’ and thus emerged as a strategic partner in developing sustainable businesses.

India transitioned from a fossil fuel nation to a renewable energy nation — thanks to the contribution of ‘Tulsibhai’ as he was popularly known. It’s no surprise that many consider him the “Father of Indian renewable Industry” — the man who foresaw the future, say officials.

For his efforts to fight climate change, Tanti received several awards including ‘Champion of the Earth’ by the United Nations, ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 by Ernst & Young, ‘Hero of the Environment’ by TIME magazine and many more.

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