Ravi Sharma will focus on small firms across verticals

Ravi Sharma, former chief executive officer and executive director of Adani Power, is moving into the role of a mentor for a number of start-ups firms.

Spread across industry verticals, these range from solar power companies to private equity firms, and oil and telecom players, among others.

Sharma had in June 2012 resigned from Adani Power, India’s second-largest private power producer, to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams.

An alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee, Sharma had been the CEO with various firms for the past 15 years.

Energy storage

To start with, he will now be an adviser and director with Deeya Energy, a company working on energy storage systems and backed by venture capital firms such as Technology Partners, NEA, BlueRun Ventures, DFJ and Element Partners.

“Deeya is into green technology and this will help countries, including India, reduce fuel subsidy bills. It will cut operational expenses for industry which uses expensive diesel as a fuel,” Sharma said, adding that the company is targeting a $50-billion grid electricity storage opportunity across developing markets, including India.

Sharma is moving into a mentorship role at a host of start-ups.

“These are all start-up firms, and my role will be primarily to help these companies find funds, mentor them and grow them,” he said, without divulging the firms’ names. Recently, he had set up a funding initiative for the students of his alma mater, IIT Roorkee.

Angel investors

The initiative, known as Student Alumni Association of Roorkee (SAAR), will enable alumni of the institution to become angel investors and directly fund student projects.

Sharma is not new to start-ups. He was instrumental in setting up United Breweries’ telecom start-up Unitel Communications, and BT’s (formerly British Telecom) South Asia operations.

He had also set up satellite operations for Alcatel-Lucent in Asia and Europe Star. He later led the South Asia operations of Alcatel-Lucent and the Indian operations of Datacom, a Videocon group company.


(This article was published on February 5, 2013)
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