Smart meters are bound to play a key role in fixing the distribution segment and enhancing its effectiveness,” says Jitendra Kumar Agarwal, jt managing director (Jt MD), Genus Power Infrastructures Limited. He is upbeat about the progress in smart metering initiatives in recent times and is confident its right implementation will go a long way in plugging inefficiencies in the distribution segment. “Smart meters will help utilities to understand consumers’ load profile accurately and connect with them in a better way,” he says.
Agarwal is a promoter and board member of Genus Power Infrastructures Ltd and has been working with the firm for the past 16 years. He is also on the board of directors of various companies and associations, and a member of the executive governing council of IEEMA and TIE Rajasthan. As Jt MD, Genus Power Infrastructures Ltd, he leads from the front, formulates business expansion strategies and takes key sales and marketing decisions. “We are the largest meter manufacturer in the country and are completely made in India,” he says with pride.
While the sector is witnessing a transformation, several issues remain to be resolved, he says. These include high energy losses and tariffs, and continued subsidies to the agricultural sector. “While the centre can launch programmes, these have to be ultimately implemented by the state governments. Thus, it is important to have synergies between the governments at both levels to ensure effective implementation of the various programmes.”
He also expresses concern over the trend of reverse e-auctions to drive down prices of equipment like smart meters. “A smart meter is an advanced technology-based product and the right price should be paid for it. Reverse auctions often witness unrealistic bidding, which affects not only the sellers but also the buyers in the long run. Selection of a proven and reliable manufacturer is very important.”
Talking about his memorable assignments, Agarwal recalls the time when he joined Genus and electronic meters were just picking up (around 2001). He used to travel across the country to justify the benefits of these meters. “A meter is the only product that enables revenue collection by the utility,” he remarks.
Agarwal loves watching Hindi movies, spending time with family and travelling. “Travelling to 100 countries is on my bucket list; I’ve been to 39 so far,” he says. A cricket enthusiast, he makes sure he doesn’t miss any quality cricket match.