Suhas Baxi, co-founder of BiofuelCircle, received his initial professional grooming and learning at Thermax and spent 14 years in various leadership roles across Asia and the US. His interest in technology resulted in a stint with a US-based start-up, Triple Point Technology, which focused on software products for energy trading and risk management. Baxi led the company’s Asian business and helped establish its India Development Centre. Prior to founding BiofuelCircle, Baxi was managing director of Konecranes and Demag Private Limited, and led the South Asian business of the Finnish-German multinational corporation. As president and chief executive officer of Pennar Industries, Baxi led the company in its diversification from processed steel to engineering products. He was also chairman of the CII-Pune Zonal Council in 2010-11, and is an independent director on the board of Praj Industries and a member of the board of advisers for kPoint Technologies.
At BiofuelCircle, Baxi is steering the company as it creates disruption in the bioenergy industry through a marketplace model. The company is driving change through supply chain digitalisation tools and promoting rural biomass enterprises. “Using digitalisation to transform conventional businesses is one of my oft-stated goals. The other passion is building organisations that are socially conscious. With BiofuelCircle, we are trying to merge these two ambitions,” he says.
Baxi believes that India’s bioenergy sector is yet to achieve its potential as a green energy alternative. “One of the reasons for this is the unorganised and unreliable supply chain. Reach, logistics and inadequacy of incentives are the key issues for this industry in India,” he notes.
Baxi believes that the key task of a business leader is to convert the organisation’s vision into easily understandable development projects. Encouraging people across different levels of the company to participate in these projects and thus making the team a strong believer in the company’s vision can form the bedrock of human capital development. “My management style has focused on a strategic alignment with my team, and on rigorous planning, feedback and feedforward,” he says.
Baxi studied mechanical engineering at VNIT, Nagpur, and did his management training at IIM Ahmedabad and the Harvard Business School. In his spare time, he likes to read, run, play badminton and golf, and indulge in photography.