With experience of over 30 years in different domains, Vikram Gandotra, general manager, strategy and marketing in the digital grid business unit of the energy management division of Siemens, is a veteran in the smart grid space. “I have been fortunate to be associated with the advent of smart grid technologies in the Indian power sector,” he remarks. Notably, he was one of the founding members of the India Smart Grid Forum and led one of its working groups for a couple of years.
Gandotra has also worked with Siemens AG in Nuremberg, Germany, which helped him appreciate the strengths and complexities of a large global organisation. He also leads the smart grid division at the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association.
Gandotra has had several memorable stints, notable among them being the time he assisted the newly formed Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited in implementing an automation and control centre – the first for a discom in India. “The success of the project generated confidence among other utilities to take up such projects,” he says. Another memorable project was with CESC Limited, which entailed a shift from a plate-based distribution management system (DMS) to a modern DMS.
On the growing role of smart grids, Gandotra says, “I believe that the power sector has seen a lot of progress with the introduction of smart grid technologies and will continue to absorb these technologies for more benefits to consumers. The challenges of integrating renewable energy, both at the distribution and the transmission level, can be met effectively only if smart grid technologies are in place.” Going forward, Gandotra says he wishes to contribute to the transformation of power utilities by helping them adopt new technologies.
An open and informal leader, Gandotra likes to encourage team members to look beyond the task at hand to understand the purpose of their work in the larger scheme of things. He has degrees in electrical engineering from the Delhi College of Engineering as well as an MBA. At home, he loves to unwind with Simba, his Labrador, read non-fiction and listen to music. Some of the things he would like to do are work towards giving back to the community, travel to new places, and pen down his experiences sometime in the future.