Shri B. Prasada Rao
Chairman, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.
B. Prasada Rao views recent events in North Africa and the
Middle East with trepidation. As the domestic market grows ever more
competitive, the regions become increasingly important to his company’s
bottom line. BHEL is India’s largest manufacturer of power generation
equipment. The company is now lobbying to supply equipment for mining
projects in Burkina Faso (gold), Niger (uranium) and Sierra Leone (diamonds).
The New Delhi-based company is one of India’s 16 navratna enterprises – parastatals given wide autonomy to pursue their fortunes
in international markets. However, power supply remains an urgent
concern at home. BHEL stands to grow further as India commissions as
much as 80,000 megawatts of additional capacity in its Twelfth Five-Year
BHEL and Patel Engineering bid for the 120-MW hydropower project at Itezhi Tezhi in Zambia in 2010. A US$50 million credit line from the Export-Import Bank of
India failed to tip the decision in BHEL’s favour and the project went
to China’s Sinohydro. BHEL is now trying to persuade Sinohydro to
purchase its equipment for the project. BHEL also faces Chinese
competition on the home front. In August, Heavy Industries and Public
Enterprises Minister Praful Patel offered a testimonial to the
efficiency that BHEL’s equipment offers over the Chinese equipment
bought by private enterprises such as Reliance Power.
studied mechanical engineering at Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University
in Kakinada. He also holds a postgraduate degree from the National
Institute of Industrial Engineering in Mumbai. He joined BHEL in 1978 as
an engineer. He became Director of Industrial Systems in 2007, and
Chairman and Managing Director in October 2009.