Prakash Chandraker: MD & VP, Schneider Electric Infrastructure

MD & VP, Schneider Electric Infrastructure

In his nearly 30 years of experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors, Prakash Chandraker, managing director and vice-president, Schneider Electric Infrastructure Limited, says one of the most important aspects of business that he has learnt is effective transformation and change management in the organisation. He has seen many mergers and acquisitions in the business, including the acquisition of Cegelec by Alstom T&D, the latter’s acquisition by Areva T&D, and  Schneider Electric’s acquisition of the distribution business of Areva T&D. Having worked across these organisations, he has led integration and change management projects for realigning business models, processes and operations. He’s also been awarded for his excellence in operations. An electrical engineer from NIT, Raipur, Chandraker has done an executive business leadership programme from IIM Bangalore and a management leadership programme from Management Centre Europe. He is involved with various business forums and is currently chairman of the organising committee for INTELECT 2017, an exhibition and conference being organised by IEEMA, which will provide a platform for exchanging ideas on the sustainable future of energy.

Chandraker remarks that although the government’s focus on sector growth through schemes such as the IPDS, UDAY and DDUGJY is to be welcomed, there are gaps in deployment. “The policies need a structured and focused approach to reap their full benefits,” he notes. The Smart Cities Mission is a key programme that Chandraker feels will help the electricity market gain additional business.

One of his most memorable assignments has been overseeing the implementation of the EMS/SCADA system across northern India for Powergrid and state utilities, when he was working with Cegelec India and Alstom T&D. “It was the single largest three-layered hierarchical control system and the biggest in the world,” he states. On his management style, Chandraker says, “I inspire my team with vision and strategy. I help them understand how they can contribute and I help remove roadblocks.” He also tries to follow the teachings of the Gita and takes inspiration from Gandhiji. On the personal front, he says that he’d like to write a book on managing transformation. Family get-togethers and morning walks help Chandraker in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. His family includes his wife, a homemaker, and their two children, a son and a daughter.