Years of populist tariff schemes, high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, and operational inefficiencies need to be taken up on top priority,” says Sanjeev Seth, chief executive officer (CEO), India Power Corporation Limited (IPCL), commenting on the unresolved issues in the sector. With close to three decades of experience in the equipment and power distribution segments, Seth has worked across several domains of the industry including sales, marketing and operations management.
An electrical engineer, Seth began his career as an assistant sales manager with ECE Industries Limited, post which he moved to Usha Telehoist Limited and subsequently to Cincinnati Milacron, Inc., where he worked for nearly seven years. His stint with BSES, however, has been the longest so far. He started with the company as additional vice-president and rose to senior vice-president over the course of 11 years. Thereafter, Seth joined IPCL as president and now steers its transmission and distribution business.
Talking about his most memorable assignment, Seth says, “I especially recall the assignment to start a new business/ revenue circle in 2005, with the northeast circle being carved out from east Delhi. The challenge was huge and the task difficult as the area was notorious and had power thefts and losses of over 80 per cent. Turning such an area around required huge patience and hard work. It was an extremely enriching experience.”
On the state of the sector, Seth says, “The sector is going through a transformative phase. There is much about smart technologies, disruptive technologies and renewables. This necessitates prioritising the initiatives to put in place a structured time-bound plan based on the needs of a particular geographical location.” Seth believes that the biggest challenge for the sector is the low per capita consumption. “Unlocking suppressed demand and economic growth opportunities will drive electricity dem-and,” he says. There is, moreover, a need to adopt the PPP or franchise modes of power distribution on a larger scale. Another key challenge is fuel unavailability, especially for gas-based plants.
On the personal front, Seth says he tries to maintain a healthy work-life balance by cycling and playing badminton. He also likes exploring new places and wants to take a world tour. His wife is a homemaker and is engaged in social work. Their son and daughter are currently studying engineering and medicine respectively.