The best of leaders know how important talent management is to the success of any business. That is why they put in a lot of focus on mastering relationships. They inspire their teams to curate differentiated outcomes. Trust and relationship- building is needed to create a team of disparate individuals, working towards the common goal. Functional experts and business leaders collaborate together at such places. Inclusive, employee- centric and collaborative work environments are preferred by them. So, they help forge such workplaces. Digital savvy professionals and technologists often form the bulwark of such firms. Their entire business philosophy is to ensure that the communities and society also get benefited.


Uploaded Date:26/03/2019

Present day business literature has been trumpeting collaboration over working alone. It is commonly being cited that collaboration leads to creativity and the lonely genius is a myth of yesteryear. Yet, far from being a myth, studies have clearly confirmed that it is solitude which brings in the greatest bit of creativity. While social interactions tend to increase the productivity of most people, for those exhibiting above-average intelligence levels, it may instead lead to mediocrity and group-think. Business research conducted by claims that these character traits of shyness and solitude get positively associated with creativity. Interestingly, even if an office is full of highly intelligent people, even then, instead of making them work together, it will be rather desirable to have them work separately.


Uploaded Date:13 December 2017

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a Venture Mentoring System to act as a training zone for budding entrepreneurs. Ultimately all startups succeed or not depending on ideas. Sometime ideas may be good but the startup may not receive adequate funding. Some investors may be willing yet may ask for tangible proof of success before opening up. This is where VMS steps in. This cell enables the business plan to be whetted by a team of analysts, investors and executives. Rectifications are suggested immediately. Business analysis conducted on this points out to 46% of projects getting flagged off. Nearly a fifth of total projects even got professional backing.

Venue: PHD House

Attendee: Mr. Aritro Dasgupta

This summit was organized to bring together different stakeholders in the solar power industry. This included producers, suppliers, consultants, traders, government representatives and academicians. This write-up will discuss each session and the salient points that emerged from them.

Inaugural Session

This session consisted of 5 panel members. The panel members were as follows:

S. No. Name Designation Organization Session Role
1 Mr. Gopal S Jiwarajka VP PHD Chamber Welcome Address
2 Dr. Harish Ahuja Chairman Renewable Energy Committee, PHD Chamber Industry Perspective
3 Mr. K S Popli CMD IR Address by Guest of Honour
4 Mr. Tarun Kapoor Joint Secretary MNRE Inaugural Address
5 Dr. Ranjeet Mehta Director PHD Chamber Vote of Thanks
 Gopal S Jiwarajka

Being in charge of the welcomes address, this speaker set the agenda for the day’s forum for discussions. He introduced the panel members and what stakes they respectively represent. He then spoke about some of the challenges that bespoke the industry as a whole and the individual players. State governments have sometimes while developing solar energy been unable to choose their agencies. This must change. Another challenge is to lower the initial investment which scares away many potential implementers of solar energy. There needs to be increased R & D (Research & Development). Also there needs to be a system whereby particular certifications can be issued to various players to certify their respective credentials. Even the carbon credit trade has not hit off in India as well as the potential that exists. Finally, the speaker spoke about solar parks and what important purpose they serve.

Dr. Harish Ahuja

The speaker began his talk by first declaring that the Modi government had completed one year in power and this was a good time to make an assessment on the same in the field of renewable energy in general and solar power in particular. His team had conducted a 360 degree evaluation of the same. Based on that evaluation, a road map may be created for all stakeholders. Their findings are quite interesting. They marked an 82% approval on the utility scale. Rooftop installment though needs to improve. Partly that is as a result of the federal nature of the government and the fact that state governments have gone the populist way. They have opted for conventional energy to satisfy those lobby groups. The government has made plans for expansion of solar power capacity in the country in a phased manned. This year the target is 4 GW, set to expand to 6 GW next year before maturing at up to 17 GW in a few years’ time. Eventually the number has to reach a whopping 60 GW annually. That will be a quantum leap not even envisaged by previous governments according to the speaker. The industry can be a partner in progress in this line of work.

Rs. 500 crore has been specifically allotted for certain states which have shown potential and implemented some of the plans. Those states include Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the Ladakh region in Jammu & Kashmir. Certain players have installed 1000 MW at strategic locations to support local infrastructure. Another Rs. 20,000 crore has been allotted in addition for developing rural infrastructure in solar power generation. There has even been talk of green corridors where solar parks can be developed at subsidized rates. Last year alone 1100 MW was added to the grid. This is a record for any year in particular.

Another welcome news is that NTPC as well as other players are now bidding actively in public tenders where previously they were loath to do so. That shows a willingness among the giants to expand into this business substantially. There are feasible plans to expand rooftop capacity to 40 GW by 2022. The speaker however spoke that private players occasionally face discrimination while applying for projects. He says they need to go through the same procedures as government players and apply best manufacturing as well as installation techniques, yet face battle against the subsidized government backed firms. This culture of subsidy has to go to ensure healthy competition. NTPC procures land for installing solar power capacity at cheaper rates on the premise of supporting local industry. Meanwhile subsidies on rooftop installations have still proved ineffective. They haven’t been able to increase numbers or capacity.

K.S Popli

This speaker spoke about some improvements that have taken place especially with tariffs which were higher earlier. Over the years the global capacity has increased from 40,000 MW a year to over 180,000 MW. The target is a whopping 500,000 MW  by 2020 and 1,000,000 MW by the year 2022. Europeans are most efficient in terms of RoI (Return on Investment) for solar power. In addition, the speaker feels that there are about 1 crore sugar farmers in this country. They can ideally make use of solar energy. The speaker also spoke about his firm- IREDA- not being slow and inefficient as the typical stereotype for government agencies is.

Tarun Kapoor

Mr. Kapoor spoke about how some amount of sweetening will be required to push through more rooftop solar power installations. Sweetening could include deals on soft loans, bundling etc. Germany & the larger EU zone are example of region making massive progress in this. 30% of total energy generation is from renewable sources in Germany out of which 15% falls under solar power. WTO regulations matter for local manufacturers as they need to comply by international standards. The speaker assured the private sector that it has nothing to fear.

He informed us that NTPC has recently signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Andhra government. But no favoritism has been shown to PSU’s like NTPC. They have won the tender purely on the basis of a calculation involving CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Checks) formula. No abnormal profit has accrued to them.

There exist major challenges for transmission from solar parks. Often located in remote regions does not make the task easy. The target is 10,000 MW this year and 15,000 MW next year. However, we do not want a situation where there is a sector crash due to excessive capacity expansion. Any investment must give regular returns for 10-12 years. This will also enable recovery on the initial cost.

Some push by the government of course is needed. To enable this, the government has announced hedging risk for channel partners. Rs. 5,000 crore tax free bonds have been issued for this purpose. Mr. Kapoor says that the culture of subsidy which exists in this industry has been harmful. Subsidies were provided initially to encourage investment in this line. But now there is no need for the same. Also the speaker says that when tenders are passed, it is already power sufficient states such as Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh which step up and bid for projects. Whereas, the speaker feels that it is the power deficient states that must go for this technology as it can alleviate large sections of the population from being energy deficit.

Dr. Ranjeet Mehta  

This speaker summarized the discussions so far. He declared that the PHD Chamber would further forward the roadmap that was discussed on the day to the concerned policy makers. Finally mementos were presented by this speaker to the panelists.

This session was followed by a round of Networking High Tea.

Technical Session 1: Funding & Development of Solar Parks- Issues affecting harnessing of solar potential

This session consisted of 9 panel members. The panel members were as follows:

S. No. Name Designation Organization Session Role
1 Dr. Ashvini Kumar MD Solar Energy Corporation of India Industry Perspective
2 Dr. Pawan Singh CFO PTC India Financial Services Ltd. Industry Perspective
3 Mr. Anmol Jaggi Director Gensol Consultants Industry Perspective
 Dr. Ashvini Kumar

The speaker says that till a couple of years back, wind energy was the poster child of renewable energy. Now the focus has changed in favour of solar energy. The Solar Mission set up by the central government has helped fuel this interest. JVs have been set up to facilitate this work in states like AP, MP and Kerala. However, the equity base is small in most places.

Dr. Pawan Singh

Dr. Singh spoke about the financing issues prevalent with solar power projects. These issues are not just restricted to solar energy but to the broad framework of renewable energy. His firm PTC is listed on both the BSE & NSE. Due to the financing issues in this line, up to 2 years back only project finance loans were available to these firms. His firm has been involved in financing many such projects long before formal banking channels desired to enter this field. Even FIs were not very forthcoming earlier. Many key players started their work with help from PTC and now they have grown large enough to attract financing from established BFSIs.

Solar power is still not efficient enough to get grind level parity. The handling price is quite high. This industry is globally financed on the bond market. That however, is not so common here in India. Thus long term financing is difficult to procure. The ECB even borrows what are known as Green bonds. The speaker ended his talk refuting that there is any discrimination between private and public agencies. He says that this is not true, they all get equal treatment in the market.

Anmol Jaggi

This speaker is an entrepreneur whose firm has conducted a detailed technical study on the utility of solar parks as opposed to purchasing their own land and setting up own enterprise.  He says that 3.8 GW of solar power capacity has been installed this year. Also there is good traction now. There is however a supply constraint on the talent side. Thus bundling techniques have been developed.

He spoke about how while going for solar parks, benefits of co-working can be obtained. Land, roads, power evacuation, common infrastructure, security, internet, water supply and its treatment are some of the major benefits and cost savings as tenants only need to pay a small amount clubbed with other co-tenants. Certain solar parks like those at Mehboobnagar or Rewa are well connected to the grid. He spoke about how in Neemach no one wanted to invest and his firm acquired land at minimum rates. Now that the area has been developed, land rates have increased 6 times. Similar impact has taken place in Pokharan are in Rajasthan where earlier investors only wanted to invest in Jaisalmer for solar power projects. Other benefits include flat land, leveling, fire safety, drainage facilities, hospital, telecom network and even a helipad. Even on private land, these costs increase. Overall around Rs. 12 lakhs per acre are saved at solar parks. In addition they also manage soft costs.

The speaker ended his highly technical session by announcing his firm had entered into a JV with a Spanish firm called- Solarig.

Technical Session 2: Solar Energy Technology- Mandating Domestic content in Solar Technology at the backdrop of Make in India

This session consisted of 3 panel members. The panel members were as follows:

S. No. Name Designation Organization Session Role
1 Dr. V. K. Tikku Technical Adviser (E- Beam) Apar Industries Industry Perspective
2 Mr. Anand Kumar VP- Sales Waare Energies Industry Perspective
3 Dr. Ranjeet Mehta Director PHD Chamber Vote of Thanks
 Dr. V K  Tikku

Dr. Tikku spoke about his firm being located in Gujarat. Their specialty is the corrugated metal sheet cables which they have installed underground. These offer not just protection against ageing but also rodent protection. In many advanced European countries even, rats and squirrels have easily cut through cables which they will not be able to against corrugated ones which his organization manufactures.

Anand Kumar

The speaker spoke about the Make in India campaign that the present government has kindled. He however added that the focus must be on quality products. Some countries have banned cheap Chinese imports as they have destroyed competition in the market. He feels that modules to increase penetration of rooftop installments must be set up immediately.

Dr. Ranjeet Mehta

This speaker delivered the vote of thanks. He added that the role of NGOs as well as forums like today add to the publicity of this renewable source of energy. Mementos were presented to all the speakers for their contributions to the free flow of ideas.

The day’s events ended with the Networking Lunch where all delegates on and off the dais interacted with each other and discussed possible business collaborations.

Managing Talent in new economy sectors/knowledge era is radically different  from the talent in traditional sectors like Sugar and steel sector.As the nature of output shifts from machines to men,the quality of mind as to mindset,ideation,proprietry processing and possessing cutting edge knowledge shapes the quality of output.The Challange in these sectors is minimising variabilty of quality of output obtained through different minds  and yet encouraging diversity of richness and bigness of ideas through a team , collaborating and producing for a common module/service delivery almost like an orchestra  as an example to make a point.It makes sense only when all notes through different organs and voice synchronise.Even a single note out of syn from rest jars.

Retaining not only an individual from such a team but the team as a whole to maintain appropriate skill mix as well as individual chracterstics like a winning attitude,consistency,belief in sharing,work discipline (lets call it soft mix of the team) is essential.This is especially true of new emerging areas like digital marketing and SMAC(social,mobility,analytics and cloud) where there is a severe shortage of talent as the growth is rapid in this sector and hence high mobilty for  professional .
The  key in retaining them individually and as a team,is effective leadership/great coach after all hygeine factors like non heirarchical working,open culture,compensation etc have been met.This evident from all exceptional achievers even from diverse fields like sports,religion,politics and corporates have all show awe for their leaders and coaches, who demand total committment  and dedication to a purpose as a prerequisite for outstanding performance and that too consistently.
An example of Mr Narayan Murthy as a team leader holding a committed team of founders of Infosys through difficult times since time of inception for  a continuous period of 20 years helped him create an India born global corporation, pioneer in remote IT and ITES services and also being one of the most transparent and ethical organisation in India.
To summarise,the glue that holds together a highly talented team is the soft power of ledearship which generates and maintains committment through example,transparency and an open culture.
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