The power sector is going through a period of exciting transformation,” says Debashish Majumdar, member, Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC). He started his career with BHEL, where he pioneered the concept of end-use solar PV applications for railway signalling and telecommunications. Later, he worked in diverse areas of the sector, including three decades in renewables, and held key positions such as CMD, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA); director on the boards of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited and West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited; and member, National Institute of Wind Energy and the state advisory committee of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Commenting on the state of the sector, Majumdar says that the nature of generation and consumption is undergoing a paradigm shift. Decarbonisation of the sector is taking place at an incredible pace through large-scale integration of renewables in the grid. On the distribution front, Majumdar notes that while the UDAY scheme has helped many discoms reduce their interest burden, they still have a long way to go before they are financially stable. He is of the view that while the business undergoes a change, the regulatory process too needs to be redefined and its core functions refocused.
Majumdar recalls his time at IREDA as his most memorable. “When I took over the reins at IREDA, it was a fledgling financial institution with an unimpressive balance sheet, weighed down with high non-performing assets (NPAs). With the support of a knowledgeable and dedicated team, we were able to bring down NPAs to zero within a few years, with no increase in manpower.”
Majumdar believes in a participative style of management and encourages free and frank communication. Talking about a healthy work-life balance, he says that these roles should not be mixed up. “A healthy work-life balance can be achieved by being totally immersed in what role one is playing at the moment,” he notes.
Majumdar likes to travel and enjoys trying out various cuisines. “Someday, I hope to combine my travel and gastronomic experiences and produce a compilation of short stories,” he says. He also likes reading, with Love in the Time of Cholera being his favourite. His family includes his wife, a homemaker, and their two sons. Majumdar has a B.Tech in electrical engineering from IIT Delhi.