Hemant Goyal has over 30 years’ experience in the power and telecom sectors, having worked in key positions at BSES Rajdhani Power Limited, Bharti Airtel and Modi Korea Telecom. He is currently chief financial officer, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (Tata Power-DDL), and is responsible for the company’s finance and strategic business decisions. His expertise lies in putting financial systems and policies in place for new ventures, restructuring organisations for strong fiscal controls and ensuring good corporate governance. He has been an active policy adviser on financial accounting, taxation and sectoral issues to the government, professional institutions and regulatory bodies.
Commenting on Delhi’s success in distribution, he says, “Delhi’s distribution segment has become a benchmark story for the country, with a reduction of around 90 per cent in losses from initial average levels of 52-53 per cent in 2002, and reaching SAIDI at around 23 per cent at present.” That said, there is scope to do a lot more, and the government’s move to privatise discoms in the UTs and subsequently in the states is a step in the right direction.
On the Covid-led challenges facing the sector, he remarks, “The pandemic posed a challenge in making timely payments of power purchase and transmission charges to avoid a default situation as the company mostly buys power through long-term PPAs. In this situation, the company had taken various measures to ensure uninterrupted supply by resorting to seller-side bill discounting, making payments only on due dates and avoiding rebates, deferring non-emergency capital expenditure and keeping a close watch on the cash flow situation.”
According to Goyal, Tata Power-DDL has already achieved mature processes and is now looking at greater automation, digitalisation, robotics and smart metering. It is also looking at optimisation of capex and opex. Goyal manages his team “by exception”, giving his subordinates freedom to work and keeping a check only in exceptional cases when help is needed. A qualified chartered accountant and a commerce graduate from Rajasthan University, Goyal honed his management skills at the Michigan Ross School of Business and the Tata Management Training Centre. He de-stresses by going on long drives and having engaging conversations with his children. An aspiring writer, he plans to write books on subjects such as the power sector and ideas on uplifting the lower segments of society.