Colonel Narendra Verma has over 37 years of leadership experience, having worked with military services as well as corporates such as IBM, Enercon, Suzlon, Vestas and GE. He is currently executive director and head of projects, Asia Pacific, for onshore wind, GE Renewable Energy. In over a decade, he has led teams across geographies to commission over 13 GW of wind farms in India and abroad. He has also been on Vestas India’s board of directors.
Verma believes that the empowering environment GE provides to its leaders for growth has been very enriching. “Leading highly complex projects successfully against the Covid-19 backdrop across the biggest regions by geography and complexity, including South Asia, ASEAN, China and Northeast Asia, has been a very exciting and satisfying experience,” he shares.
In his view, onshore wind development in India is at the cusp of massive growth. “We see the sizes of deals won in the SECI auctions increasing and providing momentum for growth. Meanwhile, the corporate PPA market is expanding. However, cost escalation due to inflation in commodities and supply chain is hitting OEMs and posing a major challenge to the overall profitability. This must be addressed through a fresh look at commercial risk allocations among stakeholders if the industry is to remain viable,” believes Verma.
In terms of management, Verma is a strong proponent of the “servant style” of leadership. He says, “I believe in selecting the right talent, and grooming, coaching and mentoring them to succeed. I rarely micromanage but I am always ready to jump into the trenches to provide support as required. Being an army man, I always try and lead from the front by example. I espouse fearless leadership and encourage people to take calculated risks and make decisions instead of sitting on problems.”
In his spare time, Verma enjoys reading and listening to timeless classics. He has also taken up writing and created his own webpage and blog (www.fearlessleadership.in), where he shares nuggets of wisdom that have helped him succeed. He recently authored a book, Fearless Leadership – Lead to Win, which was on top of Amazon’s bestseller list.
Verma has master’s degrees from Cranfield University, UK, and IIT Kanpur. Going forward, he wants to continue to lead in the renewable energy space and make a meaningful contribution to help people and communities succeed.