Sanjay Banga, who has worked in a range of different areas at Tata, including business development, contract management, power management and power systems control, took over as chief executive officer of Tata Power-DDL in May this year. His priority is to maintain the company’s current levels of excellence. “In the past 15 years, we have gone from 53 per cent aggregate technical and commercial losses to 8.4 per cent,” he says.
Banga started his career with NTPC, where he was involved with the commissioning and operation of super thermal power projects from 1989 to 1995. He later went on to work with Reliance Energy (earlier known as BSES Limited), following which he joined Tata Power-DDL in 2003.
His first assignment at Tata Power-DDL was driving automation in the company. This proved to be a huge challenge because employees resisted the use of new technology, which in this case was the switch to SCADA DMS in 2005.
Working for Tata for the past 15 or so years has been a satisfying and enriching experience for Banga. “It has a work culture that takes care of its employees, and where the benefit to society is at the centre of all its actions. It’s a big organisation with a very big heart,” he says.
Banga is a great admirer of Bill Gates, who he believes has democratised technology. “He changed the world not only through technology but also through his philanthropy. He’s very involved and keeps a close watch on the proper impact of his philanthropic efforts,” he says.
As for management, Banga says two things are crucial for successful leadership – good communication and employee empowerment. “I believe that a team always delivers much more than an individual, so I go the extra mile to build good teams.”
Banga’s education took him a long way away from home. He studied at the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, and received an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi.
Banga grew up playing cricket, a game that he says teaches you a lot – from being consistent in your performance and handling pressure, to playing as a team and being humble. He also enjoys playing badminton. Besides sports, Banga loves teaching. It is something he would like to take up after retirement. He also enjoys reading and, given the choice, he would rather stay at home with a good book than socialise.