Vivek Taneja: Business Head, Waste-to-Wealth, Thermax Limited

Business Head, Waste-to-Wealth, Thermax Limited

Vivek Taneja brings to the table over two decades of experience in sales, marketing, product management and business development across the conventional and non-conventional power sectors. He is currently business head, waste-to-wealth, at Thermax Limited. In this role, he is incubating a new business line to offer complete solutions in the field of waste-to-wealth, and to improve efficiency and reduce carbon intensity in the process industry through optimal design of utilities in an integrated manner. He has earlier worked with Suzlon Energy in its international business development department, and with Jost’s Engineering as a technical product manager.

On the key challenges facing the sector, Taneja says, “The biggest issues in the sector are non-clarity in long-term policies for conventional power and the slow pace of reforms in the distribution segment. These will not only slow down growth in conventional power, but will also affect the growth of grid-connected non-conventional generation.” The sector is going through a transition phase. New policies and unique business models are being introduced, there is increasing automation of processes, and the share of renewables is growing. With this, experiments with capital-intensive processes have become risky, he adds.

Taneja’s own most challenging, though memorable, assignment was testing the large rotor assembly at NHPC’s  Dulhasti hydro project during the peak militancy days in Jammu & Kashmir. Working to a strict timeline on ground zero amidst all the tension was a huge learning experience for him, as was the close interactions with some of the reformed youth. He also feels that his business trips to Africa and Southeast Asia for formulating entry strategies taught him a lot. Taneja describes his management style as “the rub-off of the classical Thermax culture of freedom and trust in your team”. Nothing motivates individuals to give their best more than being trusted and given the freedom to operate and experiment, he says.

Taneja is a mechanical engineer from the University of Pune and has a master’s in management. He has a keen interest in sports and grew up playing squash and horseriding. He enjoys swimming, going on nature treks, surfing and angling. He would love to do backpacking trips in the coming years and pen his travelogues. Taneja’s family comprises his wife, who is an economist, and their schoolgoing children.