Suzlon CEO Chalasani stands down

Suzlon CEO JP Chalasani has resigned after the company's full-year net losses widened to INR 26.9 billion ($361 million) for its last financial year.

JP Chalasani joined Suzlon in 2016. He resigned effective 7 July 2020
JP Chalasani joined Suzlon in 2016. He resigned effective 7 July 2020

Chalasani tendered his resignation effective 7 July at a board meeting on 6 July. He will continue with the company as a strategic advisor.

His resignation follows the company reporting its results for India’s last financial year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March.

Suzlon recorded a full-year Ebitda loss of INR 42.3 billion and an Ebitda margin of -14.4% - indicating that despite generating revenue of INR 293.3 billion, it still made a loss.

CFO Swapnil Jain explained that this was mainly because Suzlon’s wind turbine business was “almost at a standstill” while the company underwent its debt restructuring process and was constrained by a lack of working capital.

Suzlon’s net loss has nearly doubled in the past two financial years — from INR 15.3 billion to INR 26.9 billion.

Jain added that after the completion of restructuring, Suzlon would have an improved balance sheet in the next financial year and would be more capable of executing orders.

The company completed its debt restructuring process earlier this month, easing its cash flow and enabling it to ramp up business operations, he said.

Suzlon installed 350MW in India’s last financial year, down from 582MW in 2018-19.

It was also overtaken as India’s top turbine supplier in 2019.

Suzlon had struggled during India’s shift from a feed-in tariff system to energy auctions with lower prices, but the outgoing Chalasani is optimistic about the company’s future. 

He said: “The market is now on a path to recovery and tenders from earlier auctions are yet to close. The company is very well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity post the debt restructuring.”

Chalasani added that Suzlon stands to benefit from the Indian government’s Athmanirbhar programme,  whereby India would become a “self-reliant” nation.

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