Shriprakash Rai joined Hero Future Energies (HFE) in 2013, one of the first to join the company’s solar vertical. In his current role as head, rooftop solar division, he is in charge of the company’s rooftop business from concept to commissioning.
A science graduate from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jabalpur, Rai also has an MBA in marketing from the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar. He started his career in 2003 as a management trainee with Wockhardt Life Sciences. After a two-year stint with it, he moved to the energy sector and joined the petroleum division of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). In 2008, when RIL started its solar division, he decided to move to it to explore new opportunities.
At the time, the major focus was on decentralised and stand-alone systems and Rai was responsible for products such as solar home lights, streetlights and small power plants ranging from 1 kW to 100 kW. In a span of six months, the company expanded its operations and he was given the responsibility for eastern India. In 2011, he moved from Reliance to Lanco Solar, where he headed business development for the rooftop segment.
Amongst the various roles taken up by Rai so far, the two he cherishes the most are his solar tenure with RIL, which marked a career transition to solar and his current role in HFE.
Talking about growth in the solar segment, Rai says, “The major impetus in solar started after 2010 when the JNNSM was announced. With the government increasing the target from 20 GW to 100 GW, a major revolution is expected.” He also believes that there is now greater policy clarity and the overall economics of solar are making sense.
In terms of his management style, Rai says, “While I have a hands-on approach, I also believe in delegating power to the team.” In the rooftop business in particular, he feels it is very important to have a good and cohesive team. “Unless you decentralise decision-making, it will not be possible for companies to achieve major milestones because we have multiple people working at various sites.”
Rai feels that a positive attitude, patience and discipline in what you do are key qualities that a person must have. He has a strong inclination for sports. He enjoys long distance running and has participated in half-marathons. Besides, he likes watching movies (usually sports related), reading books and spending time with his family, which comprises his wife and their two daughters.