H.Y. Dora, who was raised in an agricultural family, always had a strong desire to serve the nation and contribute to improving rural life. Joining the power sector and ensuring quality supply to agriculture areas was his way of doing so. “For a farmer, water is like blood and electricity is oxygen,” he says.
Dora joined the Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board as an assistant engineer in 1978 soon after completing his degree in electrical engineering from the Regional Engineering College, Warangal. During his over four decade-long career in the state’s power sector, he rose to hold key positions such as superintending engineer and chief general manager, before retiring in 2008. That, however, did not mark the end of his career. In recognition of his contribution to the sector, he was appointed director, projects, Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited, in 2008. In 2013, he took over his current role as CMD, Southern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited. Thanks to his tireless efforts, both he and the organisations that he has headed have received many awards. A key success for the state has been that it is now power surplus, notes Dora.
He recalls his most memorable assignment as participating in the restoration work post Cyclone Hudhud. The distribution system was completely damaged in Visakhapatnam, leaving the area in complete darkness and without drinking water. Power supply was restored in a record one week by mobilising a workforce of 10,000-odd people, who worked from 6 a.m. till midnight.
Dora sees grid stability and integration of renewable energy as the key challenges in the sector. While the financial health of discoms is improving through schemes like UDAY, there is a need to reduce power purchase and service costs to ensure that financial losses do not accumulate again. Going ahead, he feels that IT and data analytics will play a vital role in helping discoms improve their performance. He stresses on the need for utilities to innovate continuously to remain competitive. “The monopolistic status of the distribution segment is being strongly challenged by solutions like rooftop solar and energy storage. Discoms should act swiftly and take advantage of these technologies before they start challenging their existence,” he adds.
Dora’s family comprises his wife, Suseela, and their daughter, Bhargavi. He enjoys going on morning walks and playing tennis.
H.Y. Dora is Chairman and Managing Director, Southern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited.