B. Seshukumar, director, operations, Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited (APEPDCL), brings to the table nearly four decades of experience. He joined the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board in 1979 and steadily ascended the ladder to assume his current position as director in 2015. In this role, he oversees the technical aspects of the discom, maintenance of the existing infrastructure and procurement of material and equipment. He has also served as managing director of Anakapalle Rural Electric Cooperative Society Limited and worked at the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation for short periods.
According to Seshukumar, the demand for power will go up with GDP growth, investments in industries and intensive electrification. However, the demand growth may slow down due to energy efficiency, demand-side management measures, and transmission and distribution loss reduction. He notes that some of the key challenges in Andhra Pradesh’s power sector are optimal power procurement for reducing power purchase costs and avoiding stranding of assets. “Industrial consumers now prefer open access, which impacts discoms’ revenue. Time-of-day (ToD) tariff incentives can help in providing power to such consumers at a competitive rate,” he says.
He further deliberate on the importance of digitalisation in the sector, especially with the emergence of renewables. As per Seshukumar, “APEPDCL wants to be the model digital utility in India.” Notably, the utility has been using digital technologies to improve its efficiency and is also planning to use data analytics, blockchain, etc. to enhance its offerings to consumers.
Seshukumar’s most memorable assignment in the organisation was as a special officer for the Godavari Mahapushkarams 2015 in East and West Godavari. He stayed at Rajahmundry for the entire period of the Mahapushkarams, and set up a special monitoring cell for the supply position, material, generators and mobile vans.
Seshukumar follows a flexible style of management, adjusting it to meet the needs of his team. “I assess the situation and the team before deciding what action to take to get the best results,” says Seshukumar. In order to maintain a work-life balance, Seshukumar spends time with family and friends, never missing an important event. In his spare time, he likes to watch sports. He also hopes to travel across India some day and deepen his knowledge of its diversity.