Hema Hattangady And Why I Choose To Call Her The Sustainable Queen!

Hema Hattangady and her journey from project executive at Enercon systems to the CEO of Conzerv Systems is inspiring! Here's her life story.

Hema Hattangady is CEO, the founder of AEEE – the Alliance for Energy-Efficient Economy, and an Author – but she is much more than that. Hema Hattangady is a woman who has achieved everything she wanted to, and more.

Hema started her journey in 1990 when she joined her husband, Ashok’s family business, Enercon systems – electronic voltage stabilizers and digital meters.

Hema didn’t know back then that Enercon systems would soon be Conzerv systems in 2004. Her journey from being a project executive at Enercon systems to the CEO of Conzerv systems is inspiring.

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It is no secret that Hema Hattangady is one of the most influential businesswomen in India. She became the CEO of Conzerv, Bangalore, in 1996.

Her business acumen and management decisions gave Conzerv systems a 360-degree turn in just 12 years and made it a notable energy management company in India. Her company grew to a whopping Rs 100 Cr – making it India’s largest energy-management company.

The six words that spurred Hema Hattangady’s rise

Talking about her big goals, Hema shares an incident in this excerpt from her biography. It is 1996, and she is conversing with ‘TT’ (T Thomas, a major investor in the company through Indus Ventures). Hema asked them, “What do you expect from me?” TT immediately said, “Make this company profitable and professional.”

There it was – these six words that acted as a stepping stone towards Hema’s successful career as the CEO of Conzerv.

Conzerv systems’ business model became a case study in Harvard Business School. Hema’s passion for building an efficient environment was set in place as Schneider Electric acquired Conzerv systems in 2009.

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Schneider Electric, a French multinational company works on sustainability, efficiency for energy, and automation-digital solutions.

After the acquisition, she focused on community service projects. In an interview with the Deccan Herald, Hema talks about her own values and those of the company, saying, “Today, members of the Conzerv family are spread across the world and continue to carry forward the values of the company. The honesty that they are upholding is what I am really proud of.”

Overcoming hurdles, to lift off!

In 2019, Hema co-wrote her biography about Conzerv systems with Ashish Sen. Their book, Lift Off: Transforming Conzerv, covers their journey throughout. 

Hema’s book talks about her experiences in a male-dominated field and how she led the business. Hema’s book is not just a study about her business but an inspiration for thriving in a male-dominated country

Born in 1963, Hema was the youngest of four sisters. Hema’s family struggled and had severe financial debts. When she was thirteen, her father retired – causing their financial condition to deteriorate even more.

At nineteen, after her father’s untimely demise, she was married to Ashok, a family friend’s son. The nineteen-year-old Hema wouldn’t have thought her life with Ashok would turn her into a successful businesswoman, leading the industry.  

Hema’s life was not easy – from growing up in a financially strained household to losing her father at nineteen – she had many challenges on her plate. But she chose to work not just for herself but for energy efficiency and envisioned a sustainable world even before most of us knew what sustainability meant. And at the end of the day – we love a sustainable queen!

All images courtesy Hema Hattangady’s website

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About the Author

Pranjali Hasotkar

I am a journalism student with a penchant for writing about women and social issues. I am an intersectional feminist and an aspiring journalist. I identify as she/her. read more...

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