Sunil Wadhwa is managing director, IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited (IEDCL), spearheading the IL&FS Group’s initiatives in the power sector. The company has been closely associated with several projects for private sector players, state governments and public sector enterprises besides its own projects. He joined the IL&FS Group in 2012 after a quarter of a century with the Tata Group, where his last assignment was as MD of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL).
Wadhwa’s Tata Group innings began in 1986 as chief financial officer (CFO) of Hitech Drilling Service India, a joint venture of Tata Industries and Schlumberger of France. After 15 years in the oil and gas business, he moved to Tata Chemicals as CFO. He made the move to the power sector in 2002, taking over the reins of TPDDL as director, finance, and then became MD.
According to Wadhwa, “The sector’s biggest challenges are grid integration of large-scale renewable power, leading to the backing down of renewable energy generators, non-compliance with renewable purchase obligations, and the reluctance of discoms to sign wind power purchase agreements. We get actively involved in policy advocacy to address such challenges.”
During his 10 years at TPDDL, Wadhwa presided over a “golden period” for Delhi’s power sector reforms. “I remember how we succeeded in achieving a huge reduction in AT&C losses at NDPL, mainly through social inclusion initiatives. When NDPL took over from the old Delhi Vidyut Board, the AT&C losses were 58 per cent and we brought them down to 10 per cent,” he says.
As for his management style, Wadhwa says that measurement is the only thing that means anything. “We at IEDCL have adopted a management system based on the well-established Balanced Score Card approach. The approach essentially covers the identification of measurable objectives which, in the context of our business, need to be accomplished to meet and to balance stakeholders’ expectations. Cross-functional teams identify the objectives and key performance indicators to periodically measure the performance and the timelines for achieving each target.” For him personally, it is the innovation culture at IEDCL flowing from the highest levels of IL&FS that makes every day at work rewarding.
Wadhwa’s family includes his wife, Rashmi, who is a doctor, their two sons and daughter-in-law, and their dogs. For relaxation, the family head off to the hills for frequent breaks. Recently, Wadhwa restarted an old interest of his – oil painting. Classical and Sufi music are his other two loves.