Vinod Raphael, country business head, India, Omron Electronic Components, strives to create products using the latest available technology for the power distribution segment, as well as offer solutions to resolve the challenges facing distribution utilities in the country. He also focuses on strengthening the company’s traditional business of manufacturing equipment for the distribution segment, based on a balanced quality, cost, delivery and service system.
According to Raphael, theft of electricity is one of the major challenges facing power distribution utilities. “Power theft varies from the age-old, crude method of hooking distribution lines to the electronic method of meter tampering. Unfortunately, there are not many methods available to tackle the issue effectively. Making meters tamper-proof with magnetic or electrostatic shields is one of the latest technologies,” he says.
Raphael feels that in the coming years, renewable energy will play a vital role in the power sector, with both the government and the industry focusing on expanding power generation from renewable energy sources. With greater renewable energy penetration, the deployment of smart energy management systems will be crucial to optimise generation and consumption as well as to minimise the gap between power demand and supply, he notes.
Looking back, Raphael feels that developing the integrated tamper detection sensor was one of his most memorable assignments so far. Launched in April 2016, the sensor, which imparts artificial intelligence to meters for detecting all types of tampering, is the first of its kind in the country.
Raphael likes to work hand-in-hand with his teammates. He encourages them to not waste time on situations that are beyond their control and spend time and energy on other tasks.
Raphael is inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “When you were born, you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so that at the end, you are the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying.” He lives in Bengaluru with his wife and their seven-year-old son. He dedicates weekends to his family and often spends time watching movies with them. Raphael likes to read, with one of his favourite books being The Alchemist. He likes to travel and wishes to travel to Europe with his family. He also enjoys playing badminton.