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Tulsi Tanti built his empire on 'soojh-boojh', loans and one other secret ingredient

Through thick, thin and terrible, the Suzlon Energy promoter has displayed the ability to charm banks and retain control 

Published 2 years ago on Jul 18, 2020 19 minutes Read

The ultimate superpower, if you think about it, is the power to influence. Therefore, Dale Carnegie’s 1936 book on cultivating this superpower has a loyal following. The book’s tips include remembering to smile, giving sincere and honest appreciation, and arousing in the other an intense want. So, you don’t need to shoot webs out of wrists; your smile can charm Spidey into doing it. With it, you don’t need to fight crime in a bat costume; you can simply pick the right ‘thank you’ card to send Batman. Or, with it, you don’t need to be rich; you can trigger a compelling want in a rich friend, like a banker, to get him or her to spend for you.

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When Wind Met Sun

In 2015, Dilip Shanghvi raised eyebrows when he invested ₹18 billion in Suzlon

Five years ago, Sudhir Valia was in a happy state of mind when he spoke to this magazine and made no attempt to conceal it. It had been barely two months since Dilip Shanghvi Family and Associates (DSA) picked up 23% stake in Suzlon Energy at Rs.18 per share in early 2015. Eyebrows were understandably raised about what Shanghvi, the founder of Sun Pharmaceuticals saw in the heavily indebted wind turbine maker as he cut a cheque for Rs.18 billion. That preferential allotment would eventually reduce the holding of the Tanti family from 30.94% to 24%, though control was to remain with them. It was also decided that DSA and Suzlon would form 50:50 joint venture for the development of 450 MW wind farms.  More importantly, the money would come in handy to reduce Suzlon’s debt, which was now at a whopping Rs.170 billion. 


Equity has gone with the wind, but debt is eternal at Suzlon

Founder Tulsi Tanti has found it hard to shake off the sins of commission committed during 2005-08

While founder Tulsi Tanti made a name for himself and his company Suzlon by being one of the first movers in wind energy in India, his bold audacious attempts to catapult the company into a higher orbit ended up dragging it down into an financial crisis, more than once. It’s been more than a decade of struggled existence as Tanti has found it rather hard to shake off the sins of commission committed during the go-go years of 2005-08.