An IIT Delhi alumnus, Satya Gupta has over four decades of professional experience, almost half of it in the power sector. She has experience in handling large IT and OT software development, integration and implementation projects, automation of processes, digitalisation, change management and business process re-engineering. Currently, she is director on the boards of three Tata Power distribution companies – Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (Tata Power-DDL), Tata Power Central Odisha Distribution Limited (CODL) and Tata Power Northern Odisha Distribution Limited (NODL). She is also mentoring start-ups working in the Clean Energy International Innovation Center, Rohini.
On the key issues facing the distribution segment, Gupta says, “India has high AT&C losses due to illegal tapping of lines, faulty electricity meters, ghost consumers, etc.” Further, she highlights the issue of commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers subsidising domestic and agricultural consumers. “During the pandemic, the consumption of C&I customers has declined while that of subsidised customers has increased. The regulators are not increasing tariffs in many states despite discoms’ demand. This has led to mounting regulatory assets, a situation that has reached alarming proportions in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand,” she says.
Gupta believes that discoms can reduce AT&C losses through digitalisation and extensive use of technology. Going ahead, her top priorities would be to implement smart technologies such as ADMS, GIS, smart metering and digital asset management.
Gupta recalls her most memorable assignment as implementing an online electricity billing system when she joined the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB). Being an entirely new area for her, she went the extra mile to understand its nuances and was instrumental in getting the system implemented within six months of joining, a project that had been lingering for almost two years. At Tata Power-DDL, Gupta anchored the challenging task of turning around a loss-making utility, with no computerisation, into an almost fully automated organisation with more than 90 per cent of its processes automated. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards including “Leading Woman in Energy”, “Leading Woman Owned Innovative Project”, “SAP ACE Woman CIO of the Year 2015”, and the “Top 100 CISO” award for five consecutive years.