New Delhi: Suzlon Energy founder Tulsi Tanti, popularly known as India’s ‘wind man’, died of cardiac arrest at 64 on Saturday evening, the company said.
One of the pioneers of the wind energy business in India and a globally renowned expert on clean energy, Tanti envisioned the opportunity in the renewable energy industry back in 1995 when the global wind energy market was dominated by international players.
Under his leadership, Suzlon Energy grew to become the country’s largest wind energy player with 19.4 gigawatts (GW) of cumulative installed capacity, 33 percent market share in India, and a presence in 17 countries.
It has over 2 GW installed capacity in its second-largest market, the US.
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”With profound sadness, we inform you of the untimely demise of Shri Tulsi R Tanti, the Founder, the Chairman and Managing Director, and one of the promoters of Suzlon Energy Ltd on October 1, 2022. Shri Tanti suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away the same day,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.
Before foraying into wind energy, Tanti owned a textile business which he sold in 2001. Suzlon got its first order in the US in 2003 from DanMar & Associates for the supply of 24 turbines in southwestern Minnesota.
”In this difficult time, the company continues to be supported by its highly experienced board of directors and senior management who are both able and committed to taking Shri Tanti’s legacy forward and realise his vision for the company,” the firm said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too condoled his death. ”Shri Tulsi Tanti was a pioneering business leader who contributed to India’s economic progress and strengthened our nation’s efforts to further sustainable development. Pained by his untimely demise. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.
Tanti complained of chest pain in his car in Pune after returning from a press conference in Ahmedabad. He asked the driver to take him to a hospital but died before getting any medical help. He is survived by his wife Gita, son Pranav, and daughter Nidhi.
Born in 1958 in Rajkot, Tanti graduated from Gujarat University with a bachelor’s degree in commerce. He founded Suzlon Energy, now valued at Rs 8,535.9 crore, in 1995.
He was also the chairman of Belgium-based turbine parts maker ZF Wind Power Antwerpen since May 10, 2006, and the president of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association. Sumant Sinha, founder, and CEO of ReNew Power took to Twitter to condole his demise.
”Very saddened to hear about the passing away of Tulsi Tanti. He was such a visionary and a pioneer of our industry. Many of us owe a lot to him. Truly a loss for all of us. Deepest condolences to the entire @Suzlon family.” ”He was the one who got me into the renewable energy industry and made it more interesting through the sheer force of his personality. He was truly one of a kind,” he added.
Tanti’s death comes at a time when Suzlon Energy was set to open its Rs 1,200 crore rights issue on October 11. The group was looking to repay debt, fund working capital, and deploy the rest for general corporate purposes.
He was widely known as the visionary who pioneered the renewables revolution in India. He spearheaded the wind energy revolution in India with the founding of Suzlon Energy in 1995. He envisioned the opportunity in the Indian renewable energy industry at a time when the global wind energy market was dominated by international players and characterised by expensive and complicated technologies that were largely unviable for traditional businesses.
Instituting a new business model, he conceptualised an end-to-end solution to create realistic avenues for businesses to ‘Go Green’ and thus emerged as a strategic partner in developing sustainable businesses. Under Tanti’s leadership, Suzlon emerged as a prominent player in the global renewable energy market. His vision led to Suzlon setting up R&D centres in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and India that employ over 200 engineers.