The distribution sector is at a crucial stage. The challenge of meeting the growing power requirement on the one hand and the precarious financial status of the discoms on the other are challenging the very existence of the state-owned discoms,” says R. Mutyala Raju, chairman and managing director (CMD), Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited (APEPDCL).
Raju started his career with Indian Railway Services in 2004. An IAS officer, he was appointed sub-collector of Vikarabad in Rangareddy district in 2009. Subsequently, he held a number of posts including joint collector of Rangareddy district and East Godavari district. He took over his current position in January 2015. In this role, he is responsible for maintaining performance standards in terms of customer services, product quality, technological leadership, market share and financial measures that meet the expectations of all stakeholders. Commenting on the current state of the sector, Raju says that there will be significant investments in power infrastructure as the demand for power is increasing day by day. “The discoms should make every effort to minimise losses and improve collections. A long-term perspective is needed for the sector and schemes like UDAY are helpful in this regard,” he says.
Noting the key challenges faced by the distribution segment, Raju says, “Purchasing high-cost power to meet the growing demand is adversely impacting the financial condition of the discoms. With the rapid expansion of urban areas, land availability for distribution is reducing, thus creating right-of-way issues.”
Raju feels that in the coming years, non-conventional energy will play a bigger role in the power sector. Another trend he foresees is the increasing role of IT. “I foresee a situation where discoms will be compared only in terms of the number of hours of power supply to consumers,” he notes. Raju counts his current assignment – to achieve 100 per cent electrification – as his most memorable one. “As an IAS officer, my main commitment is to achieve social objectives and this is being fulfilled by the progress of rural electrification,” he says.
Talking about his management style, Raju says that he follows a contingency model of leadership as circumstances vary on a daily basis. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, which includes his wife, a homemaker, and their two-year-old son. His favourite books include the Bhagvad Gita and You Can Win.