Ranganath N.K., managing director, Grundfos Pumps India Private Limited, brings to the table over three decades of experience in the power sector, covering marketing, sales, design, project management, finance and human resources. His journey with Grundfos began in 1998, prior to which he was director of IAEC Industries.
At that point, Grundfos had just two or three employees based in Dubai, and they would come and work here in India. Today, Grundfos is a strong 337-member team with a turnover of almost Rs 5 billion. In his current role, he oversees the company’s operations and brand building in India. He is also currently co-chair of the CII national committee on water and the southern region chair for the committee on ease-of-doing business.
Ranganath believes that India still has some way to go before it can be called power surplus. “We can only be called power surplus when we are able to give power 24×7 to almost 95 per cent of India, including villages. We do not have power cuts in the city like we used to earlier and we have enough power for industry. If that is the yardstick we are using to call ourselves surplus, I would agree, but overall I do not think the sector is doing really well,” he comments. On the issues impeding growth, Ranganath feels there has been so much focus on solar that thermal power plants (TPPs) have started suffering. “Solar or wind cannot become base load power till storage technologies are available. For base loads, we have to continue to look at TPPs. Another key issue is the shortage of water for TPPs,” he says.
Ranganath recounts his cross-country cabling assignment in southern Saudi Arabia about 35 years ago as his most memorable one. “I was a year or two out of college and was handling the project on my own in a dessert across the Middle East; there were no roads or people or GPS. It taught me a lot about life,” he says.
On his management style, he says, “Different people have different ways of working. As a leader, one has to take that into account. The only thing that should be constant is one’s value system.”
Ranganath has a degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, and has done his post-graduation in business administration from XLRI, Jamshedpur. His family includes his wife, a medical practitioner, and their two sons. He shares an interest in automobiles and motor sports with his sons. “All three of us are quite hooked to it. It gives us the chance to spend time together,” he says.