The journey to become the chairman and managing director of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), was not easy for a man from small town of eastern Uttar Pradesh. In an interview to M Rajendran of Sunday Express, K M Singh CMD, NHPC shares his vision for the company and the methods he adopts to keep the focus required for the top post. Excerpts:
What is your leadership mantra?
People confuse between leadership and manager. A manager has to work within given resources, while a leader has to create the necessary resources. A leader, in my dictionary, is the one who commands respect even when he is not around. Because he has faith in the team and the team has faith in him. I have always given priority to team and their opinion and respect it. If required I intervene and together we have worked to achieve the common objectives of NHPC.
Can you describe your journey to becoming the CMD of NHPC?
Challenging. As a young boy I was afraid of hills, that was the biggest challenge. But coming from a rural background, we know how to overcome challenges. I had to overcome the fear of hills, when I joined NHPC, since all projects are at a height. Once in the project, the challenges of nature were far tough than people and system. One has to learn by trial and error, especially when posted at the project, but along the journey, NHPC family has helped to reach this position. They
remain my biggest strength till today.
Where do you get the energy to deal with pressures of work?
I relax. Unless and until a person is relaxed, it is difficult to perform to your full potential. Each one has to devise their own way to relax. There is no single approach to relax. I do meditation and yoga for an hour every day in the morning. It helps me to find solution to the problems — manmade of nature, without difficulty. I also read and like biographies. The biography of Swami Vivekanda remains my favourite, as he also faced challenges and he did overcome them.
What future do you see for NHPC as an organisation?
Huge in hydro. Only 27% of the 1.48 lakh megawatt hydro potential in India has been exploited. There is lot of talk of solar, but for greater power stability one has to go for hydro, gas or nuclear. But there is dependency on other countries for gas and nuclear power generation. Unlike hydro, despite its delay in commissioning of a project and generation of electricity, we are not dependent on others.