Santadyuti Samanta has two decades of experience in the power sector. “I have had the fortune of working with two of the best utilities in the country – CESC and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (Tata Power-DDL),” he says. He has worked across the power distribution value chain, in power procurement, network operations and maintenance, projects and customer service, and has implemented several IT and OT solutions. In the past, he has also worked as a consultant for The World Bank.
In his current role, he is responsible for digital and IT deployments across Tata Power’s transmission and distribution businesses. “Tata Power-DDL has enhanced its digital offerings, especially during the pandemic. Going ahead, it plans to undertake digitalisation across its work areas and consumer experience points in order to enhance visibility, predictability and controllability,” says Samanta. Digitalisation is expected to help predict cash flows, demand, capex requirements due to load growth, reliability needs, consumer complaints, payment defaults and theft. Cybersecurity and reskilling of employees will be some of the next areas of focus.
Samanta derives satisfaction from the deployment of IT infrastructure and applications for the recently acquired discoms in Odisha during the lockdown period without any increase in manpower or capital asset investments. On the distribution segment, Samanta remarks, “After a long time of policy paralysis in power distribution, the segment is now going through its most interesting phase with the adoption of new technologies and policies. As a result of digitalisation, customer consumption, behaviour information and other operational points are being measured at the granular level and being used to enhance asset utilisation and customer engagement.” According to him, a key issue in the distribution segment is the high amount of debt and regulatory assets with the discoms, which is the first level of revenue generation for the value chain. Some of the key challenges are the absence of cost-reflective tariffs, and strong performance monitoring and benchmarking.
Samanta believes in a collaborative and focused approach to achieve business priorities. He also believes it is important to identify the ground realities in order to resolve issues and to focus on future uncertainties and risks so as to secure the organisation. In his spare time, he likes to travel and learn about new cultures.