Sumant Sinha, 58, is the Chairman & CEO of the Nasdaq-listed ReNew, a leading clean energy company. As a first-generation entrepreneur, Sumant has built ReNew into an organisation that is a partner of choice for governments and businesses alike, for their de-carbonisation efforts.

Sumant hails from a family of bureaucrats, and originally aspired to become one too. Like most IITians, he was good in academics. While in school, he was awarded the NTSE scholarship. In 1983, he joined IIT-Delhi for an engineering degree, choosing it over a Bachelor’s in Economics at St. Stephens College. He went on to earn a Business Management degree from the Indian Institute of Management - Calcutta, before joining Columbia University in New York on a Dean’s Fellowship. After finishing a Masters in International Finance, Sumant worked at Citibank as an investment banker in the USA for a few years, and later joined ING Barings in London. A decade of investment banking gave him global exposure and expertise in capital markets.

Despite a successful career abroad, Sumant wanted to return to India and help play a role in the country’s transformation and economic development. The opportunity emerged during a holiday in Goa in the winter of the year 2001, when he met Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group (ABG). Mr. Birla offered him the role of Group Chief Financial Officer. He took it up.

The transition from working for global investment banking institutions to an Indian conglomerate was exciting, yet complex. Sumant leveraged his expertise to help the Aditya Birla Group companies chart global strategies. He played a pivotal role in the high-profile acquisitions by the Aditya Birla Group of UltraTech Cement, Novelis Inc. and Idea Cellular. Sumant advised Mr. Birla to diversify into the retail business, and thus, Aditya Birla Retail was born. Sumant was appointed as its first Chief Executive Officer.

The year 2008 presented an opportunity for Sumant to enter the renewable energy sector. The sector was nascent, but full of opportunities. At the request of the late Tulsi Tanti, he joined India’s largest wind energy firm Suzlon Energy as its Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he helped the company navigate the global financial crisis. During this stint at Suzlon, he identified opportunities in the Independent Power Producer (IPP) business and conceived the idea of setting up a pure-play green power producer. A year later, after he had left Suzlon, ReNew was born.

Entrepreneurship came with its own set of challenges. The biggest of them was to get backing from investors. The Renewable energy business is capital intensive, and there was no successful playbook available at the time in the Indian subcontinent. Sumant’s decade-long experience in investment banking came in handy here. After a brief period of struggle, Sumant secured the backing of marquee investor Goldman Sachs, who agreed to invest up to Rs 1000 crores initially. This was the largest investment in India’s renewable sector at the time, and a path-breaking one.

Thus began his journey of building India’s largest renewable energy company - with a 25 Mega Watt (MW) wind power project in 2012 being the first one. India’s current Prime Minster Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, hugely praised this project.


There was no looking back. Under Sumant’s leadership, the ReNew team soon managed to bring on board additional investors like the Canadian Pension Fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), leading Japanese utility JERA and the Global Environment Fund. These helped ReNew scale up its capacity to 13,400 MW within a decade – a trailblazer for many milestones along the way, and becoming the first Indian renewable energy company to list on NASDAQ in 2021, with an enterprise valuation of $8.5 billion.

Sumant has always believed in India’s growth story and shares Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India “AatmaNirbhar” (self-reliant) for energy. Since 2008, he has personally engaged with policy makers across governments and states in improving the investment environment for clean energy. He has written a book Fossil Free praised by leading global and Indian luminaries including Nobel laureate Al Gore. He has walked the talk – and invested thousands of crores of capital to put renewable energy capacity on the ground. ReNew is the leading contributor so far to India’s meteoric rise as a global clean energy super power.

Sumant recognises that going forward, tackling the climate change problem at speed and scale requires a variety of clean energy solutions. He is steering ReNew from being a pure-play renewable energy Independent Power Producer to becoming an end-to-end provider of solutions across the decarbonization spectrum. ReNew’s portfolio of these solutions now includes green hydrogen, energy storage, carbon markets, and solar modules and panels. Sumant emphasises leveraging the power of digital technologies and has made ReNew a pioneer in leveraging them to meet the unique requirements of the B2B segment in India, where it enjoys market leadership. Global giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Toyota have partnered with ReNew to accelerate towards their net zero goals. As an outcome of its efforts, ReNew today also helps curb 1.1% of India’s Power sector emissions, while contributing to 2% of overall electricity generated in India.

He has now set his sights globally and aims to build ReNew as a global company with strong Indian roots. The beginning is already made. Last year, ReNew signed a framework agreement with the Government of Egypt to set up a Green Hydrogen plant in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

Given his vast achievements and thought leadership, Sumant has served on the boards of IIT-Delhi, IIM-Calcutta and the Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). He has been recognised as a Distinguished Alumnus by each of these premier institutions he studied at. He has been conferred several awards and recognitions, including the 2022 USISPF Global Leadership Award; ‘Chairman Of The Year’ at the Stevie International Business Awards 2020, ‘ET Energy’s Chief Executive of the Year 2022’; the ‘Economic Times Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ 2018, ‘EY Entrepreneur of the Year’, 2017’. Sumant has also been recognized as an SDG Pioneer by the United Nations Global Compact, a first for any Indian business leader, for his work in the areas of energy transition and gender equality.

On the personal front, Sumant is married to Vaishali Nigam Sinha and has two children – Tarushi and Siddhant. Like her father, Tarushi became an investment banker in the US after graduating from Wellesley College. Son Siddhant is a second-year student at Columbia University.

“We have been together since our student days at Columbia University and then in the ReNew journey as well. Sumant’s drive to always give his best along with his unassuming demeanour is what makes him stand apart” says Vaishali Nigam Sinha, who has been a member of the founding team and serves as Chief Sustainability Officer at ReNew.