Manoj Kumar Jhawar, director, commercial, Madhya Pradesh Paschim Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company Limited (MPPKVVCL), is a power sector expert with over 25 years of experience. Given his long years in the industry, he has a big-picture perspective on it and observes, “The sector is currently in a state of flux. The Covid situation has seriously impacted discom finances, which, in turn, has affected the entire upstream value chain of generators, coal suppliers and vendors.”
There are other systemic challenges being faced by the utilities, in terms of increased environmental concerns, integration of renewables on the supply side and the constantly evolving regulatory framework, he notes. The utilities need to reinvent their business models to overcome these challenges.
Jhawar takes pride in the fact that MPPKVVCL has achieved profits in 2019-20. He remarks, “The biggest achievement has been making the company profitable in 2019-20, with profits exceeding Rs 9 billion. This puts us in a select club of very, very few profitable utilities in the country.” He understands though that the utility needs to keep up the momentum and meet the increased expectations of stakeholders. To this end, it is taking many initiatives for increasing its connect with consumers, implementing smart metering. and overhauling IT systems and operating processes.
Jhawar recalls the implementation of the ERP system in MPPKVVCL in 2013 as one of his most challenging and notable assignments. “It involved establishing communications networks in over 600 offices (many in far-flung rural areas with no network service provider), standardising business processes, establishing data centre/disaster recovery centres, maintaining a deep interaction with all departments and software developers, and training thousands of users within very tight timelines. Overall, the project was completed without any time or cost overrun. On his management style, he says, “I like to keep questioning the status quo. This leads to interesting discussions and gives an understanding of the core issues.”
A mechanical engineering graduate from the Government Engineering College, Ujjain, with a master’s in technology (mechanical engineering), Jhawar also obtained a PhD from the Devi AhilyaVishwavidyalaya. He joined the state electricity board and subsequently worked with MPPKVVCL. Jhawar is a voracious reader and aspires to pen his experiences in a book in the coming years.