Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu is a renowned chartered accountant, educationist, social worker, senior politician and parliamentarian, banker and cooperator in India.
In 26 years, Shri Suresh Prabhu had held important cabinet portfolios at the federal level including Industry, Power, Environment and Forest, Railways, Civil Aviation, Commerce and Industry, Fertilisers and Chemicals. He served as the Prime Minister’s Sherpa to the G7 and G20 for many years and was involved in shaping the official agenda of the government on critical issues for G7 and G20 Summits. He chaired a high-level task force to frame integrated energy policy and the roadmap for its implementation in 2014.
He was Member of Parliament (MP) 1996 till 2022, first, as an MP in the Lower House (Lok Sabha) for four consecutive terms and later, as an MP in the Upper House (Rajya Sabha). He framed very important policies in several key sectors as pathbreaking initiatives. He was known for his “Out of Box” thinking during his tenure. He has scripted many reforms and effected organisational transformations.
Under the Modi government, Shri Suresh Prabhu was the Railways, Civil Aviation and Commerce and Industry Minister. He laid out a complete blueprint for modernising and revamping the railways. He also initiated a unique real-time customer grievance redressal mechanism, probably one of its kind, in the world. He initiated the development of India’s New Industrial Policy with a focus on boosting sustainable manufacturing in India and created an action-oriented plan to diversify the economy further and promote future sustainability. He laid out a plan for increasing India’s exports. The first-ever Global Aviation Summit was held under his leadership. He was the main contributor to the Nation’s UDAN initiative.
He held several portfolios under Prime Minister Vajpayee from 1998-2004 as Minister of Industry, Minister of Environment and Forests, Minister of Fertilisers and Chemicals, Minister of Power, Minister of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises. One of the most notable achievements of Shri Prabhu during this period was the reforms he brought to the Indian power sector. He is credited with championing and enacting the Electricity Act of 2003 and creating securitisation of dues from the provincial states of India.
He also served as the Chairperson of the Task Force for interlinking of rivers which envisioned physically linking the vast river network of India to provide year-long irrigation facilities to India’s dry regions. He was also an elected member of the World Bank Parliamentary Network and chaired the South Asia Water Regional Group of the World Bank. He was member of about 16 different global organisations with initiatives in strategic sectors.
His other experiences include being a Member of the United Nations Commission for Biodiversity and Land Use Change; the Global Advisory Council of the WEF; Chairman, the Maharashtra State Finance Commission and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water.
Shri Suresh Prabhu is known for his transparent, forward-looking and comprehensive reform-oriented governance. He was featured amongst the top three Indian leaders of the future in the cover story, “Giant on the Move” (Sept 2000 issue) of the Hong Kong-based Asia Week Magazine. He was declared “Best Member of Parliament in 13th Lok Sabha” in April 2004 by Aaj Tak, a leading TV Channel in India. He also ranked second best performing Minister in India Today’s report (dated August 27, 2001).
He has been awarded honorary doctorates by universities within and outside India.
He thus has the unique direction of working from the grassroots to a national-global level. He was the youngest ever Chairperson of the largest cooperative bank and was connected with all levels of cooperatives from the village, district, state to the national level cooperative. He has been tirelessly working on a holistic and replicable model of rural development in more than 2,000 villages.
On the international front, he has been a significant member of renowned global NGOs being Chairperson of Asia Energy Foundation, South Asia Chair of Global Water Partnership and President of the World Forum for Global Governance. He has also been a member of the United Nations Commission for Biodiversity and Land-use Change, and the Global Advisory Council of the World Economic Forum.
He is currently the Founding Chancellor of Rishihood University, Chairperson of the drafting committee for National Cooperation Policy, and an active visiting Professor at the National Institute of Advance Studies and the London School of Economics and Political Science.