After working across several infrastructure sectors, I realised that power is by far the most exciting and challenging,” says Anoop Seth, deputy MD, IL&FS Energy Development Company. “It has the most complexities and the attraction of several sub-sectors within it.” Seth joined the IL&FS Group in 2014 as MD of IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company. Earlier, he has worked with firms like AMP Capital Investors, ABN Amro Bank, Reliance Industries, Bechtel Enterprises, Bank of America and Standard Chartered.
The power sector offers opportunities as well as challenges. There is a thrust on renewable energy, and policy reforms to create a level field for conventional and renewable energy in terms of tariffs, payment cycles, etc. will facilitate renewable sector growth. Moreover, unconnected households represent a substantial latent energy demand, which could dispel concerns regarding weak demand. On the other hand, challenges such as low PLFs of thermal plants, a diminished focus on hydro and stranded gas-based capacities are impediments. Seth believes that sustained action is necessary at the policy as well as sub-sector and individual asset levels. Moreover, the benefits of the UDAY scheme need to be fully harvested by way of improved utility performance, as these will have a trickle-down effect and benefit the sector as a whole. Going forward, issues surrounding low PLFs for coal plants will need to be addressed. “Tariff reforms are also key,” he says.
Seth recalls his most memorable assignments as the Delhi and Mumbai airport privatisation, during his time with ABN Amro, which was the lead adviser to the government. “This is India’s largest privatisation till date. It has enhanced the travel experience of millions of citizens besides generating surpluses for the Airports Authority of India,” he says.
Seth has a master’s in management studies from BITS, Pilani. In terms of management style, he likes to clearly define roles, responsibilities and deliverables for every team member, and empowers managers to make their own decisions for optimising the team’s productivity.
Seth exercises regularly and spends his weekends with family or pursuing activities like rafting. He is an avid reader and reads about 10-12 books a year, mainly history and fiction. He enjoys music and is a “theatre buff” with a preference for “productions of amateur artistes and those on off-beat themes”. In the future, he would like to get involved in teaching children.