…says Jitendra Kumar Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, Genus Power Infrastructures, who believes that Elecrama is a Khumbmela of electrical industry. Speaking to Rakesh Rao, he says that the government’s ‘Power for All’ initiative and other steps to arrest losses in T&D will provide growth opportunities for all the players in power equipment industry.
Genus Power Infrastructures has been a leader in smart metering technology. How has been the journey?
We are primarily into power sector business, providing latest smart metering technological products and solutions to the distribution sector. Our strength is dedicated R&D which designs and develops products and solutions based on the utility provider centric and specific requirement. I am proud that Genus is a truly Made in India company. All our products and solutions are conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured in-house by Genus team.
Since, its inception, we are continuously evolving every year by adding new products, new solutions and getting new certifications thereby increasing our customer reach both locally and globally. Undoubtedly, Genus is now the leading smart energy metering products and solutions provider in and from India.
We provide complete range of metering products and solutions such as from consumer level metering to advanced grid metering across the energy supply chain. Major products in the basket are anti-tamper single, three phase meters, LT/HT transformer operated meters, grid meters, ABT meters, net meters, smart metering solution, prepaid meters, smart street lighting controller, intelligent group metering system, smart prepayment meter, meter data acquisition software etc. Our integrated communication technology offerings eg GSM / GPRS / Zigbee / LPR / RF / PLC / Bluetooth etc make the meters AMR/AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) capable and compatible for utilities and utility service providers.
What is driving the demand for your products?
We are the pioneers in electronic energy meters and are serving utilities since 1996 to help them record energy consumption of consumers better and thereby helping them reduce their ATC losses. The public & private distribution companies (Discoms) and utility service providers have realised that they are working with a dependable company of proven track record and are getting benefitted with the use of Genus products, solutions and technologies. This fact coupled with our unmatched expertise in smart metering has kept the demand for our products high locally.
What are your plans for the upcoming Elecrama 2018?
Well Elecrama is the one of the biggest events in the country. I would say it’s a Khumbmela of electrical industry! We always look forward to participation in Elecrama and have been doing so since many years now. Our objective for participation is not just targeted towards sales but to showcase our latest technological innovations in metering products and solutions that are beneficial to utilities to improve their T&D losses, bring efficiency and also help empower the end consumer. Not only it is the biggest one stop place for all the electrical items, thanks to Elecrama for organising collaborative programs such as RBSM (Reverse Buyer Seller Meet), Utility Summit, Conferences etc that attracts huge number of serious overseas visitors from utilities, financial institutions, service providers etc and hence showcasing our product basket in the event helps in establishing Genus as a most capable brand globally.
What will be your focus at Elecrama 2018?
Our prime objective is to meet the prospective clients for national & international market and to convert them as valued partners to promote and enhance our business. We are showcasing our product range with innovative solutions which can cater to diverse market needs.
We have several successful AMI projects to our credit in India. We are, therefore, showcasing our one such AMI solution capability comprising of three technologies together ie RF communication, GPRS/GSM communication and PLC communication with the common HES software. This is a unique solution of its kind implemented first time in the country.
We are ready with and have been developing smart meters for Indian & international clients in accordance with the evolving national and international standards and contributing aggressively. Our manufacturing facilities have been upgraded to support the smart meter production for domestic as well as for the global needs. We are the foremost company in India that has deployed smart meters in smart grid pilot projects with various utilities. Obviously, smart meters will find a prime place in our display of products.
How important is Elecrama for the industry?
Elecrama brings together who’s who in electrical sector from India and across the globe. As per our past experience, it will be visited by thought leaders and visionaries behind the successful and well known utilities and solution providers. It is, therefore, a unique platform and opportunity to showcase and learn about various brands and services in the national and global energy market. Right now, we are in an exciting time with growth as our main agenda. In general, it will provide ample opportunities to all of us to explore innovations and technologies helping to transform the energy landscape, meet fellow professionals & utility leaders and engage in intelligent discussion. It will provide insights into reliable & advanced solutions and form powerful partners for future. I have no doubt that there will be many takeaways for all concerned!
What are pitfalls on the growth path of the power equipment industry?
I can respond from Indian metering perspective. Stressed Discoms, the major buyer of power equipments, continues to be the biggest concern or challenge, though sincere efforts are on progress in the form of various schemes by the Government of India (GoI) to alleviate the poor financial health of the country’s ailing distribution companies. A lot has to be done on the critical measures of performance of Discoms – in reducing the gap between average cost of electricity supplied and the average revenue realisation and reduction in ‘aggregate technical and commercial’ (AT&C) losses, which is basically the loss of energy due to inefficiency of equipment and theft of electricity.
On stealing of electricity, an interesting point I would like to mention here is, India has varied tamper conditions specific to the country but varies from region to region. Therefore, metering industries in India has to continuously upgrade their products to overcome these tampers. This is majorly possible by being in India with domain expertise of metering in the form of capable R&D for faster response. Continuous and dedicated efforts make it possible for the indigenous meter manufacturers to deliver cost effective and efficient energy metering solutions that are globally in demand too. Not understanding this fact, there had been efforts of late to bring in metering products from outside of India either directly or back door. It is a dampener for local metering industries like ours and goes against the maximise ‘Make in India’ objective of GoI. Also, we come across bids, which does not enable home grown players to become lead bidder for various reasons and it is frustrating at times.
Schemes (like IPDS, DDUGJY, UDAY, UJALA and now SAUBHAGYA) brought out by GoI to fulfill its promise of ‘Power for All’, huge induction of prepaid meters to arrest non-realisation of revenue and GoI’s determination to strengthen the grid by introducing smart grid, smart meters and AMI projects will indeed offer opportunities for all the players to contribute and play their part in power equipment industry.
What are your targets for the company in 2018?
The overall development of the company is a continuous process. Our major focus in 2018 is to get associated with the smart meter roll out in the country. Taking advantage of our India experience, we are focusing on the international market in a big way and entering into new countries. We recently had a major success in the international market and we would like to keep up the momentum this year too and in the coming years. Recently, we had established a new plant in Guwahati (Assam) to expand our capacity further and have upgraded all the plants to cater to on time smart metering needs of the country.