Sanghamitra Pyne, Head- IT, West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (WBSETCL), has over 26 years of experience in IT-related projects in both private and public sector power utilities. She is currently responsible for IT projects for both automation and business requirements.
Commenting on the state’s power sector, Pyne says, “West Bengal has a very robust electricity scenario, both financially and technically. Both the distribution and the transmission companies have been profitable since unbundling in 2007. We have ensured a steady increase in transmission infrastructure. The state always had 24×7 power availability, so the need now is to ensure the supply of quality power.”
Meanwhile, across the country, transmission is receiving a lot of attention, Pyne points out. The significant renewable energy capacity addition will require a different kind of grid discipline.
Commenting on upcoming technology trends, Pyne says, “The wide area measurement system project is set to be rolled out in the state along with analytics. We are getting tools and technologies that will allow us to harness the power of the system more efficiently. The power of the internet is used avidly and social media may also play a futuristic role.”
At the national level, Pyne sees the poor financial health of discoms as a challenge to the sector. Also, the fact that equipment is imported and not manufactured in the country is a concern.
Pyne recalls her first professional assignment – to put in place a greenfield customer relationship management system at a regional office of the utility – as one of her most memorable ones. She managed to complete the project before time.
In terms of management style, Pyne says that she believes in motivating the stakeholders and understanding the emotional quotient factor. “When I started off, I found that the team would often be wary of new technologies, as they feared change. I learnt that you cannot adopt technology unless you take the people along with assurance.”
Pyne is an electrical engineer and has an MBA in finance. While work is demanding and leaves her with little time for herself, she tries to spend as much time as possible with her family, which includes her college-going daughter and her husband, who is a social entrepreneur. Pyne likes to read, with one of her favourite books being To Kill a Mocking Bird.