Sunday, February 2, 2014

IUKAN 2014 - Update on Conference and Best Practice Awards

The 2nd Annual Conference of India Utility Knowledge and Networking Forum gets underway at Le Meridien, Delhi on February 13, 2014 with a focused agenda on “operational challenges and best practices” to help utility operators to learn and make improvements in their areas including strategy, policy, contract, services and operations. The theme this year is “Complementing Reforms Bottom-up: Through Improved Operationalization and Engaged Local Ecosystem”.

Essentially for all the PPP models in the power, water and waste sectors, the key issue is building operational viability while engaging with local stakeholders. Key topics covered at both tracks will thus include discussions on how to thrive in local ecosystem (Political, Local Administration, Law-Enforcement & Media), key parameters of operational performance across multiple variants of private participation, changes to existing model and contracting for viability and inclusiveness, innovations in service provider ecosystem, treating customer services as a marketing function and lastly institutionalising financing of loss reduction.

This year the conference has day-long, parallel tracks on Power and Water Distribution. The schedule is power packed with over 300+ business leaders and functional heads as delegates from the utility industry. Bigger than the IUKAN 2013 conference, it will be a gathering of thought leaders, private operators, public utilities, vendors, regulators, urban local bodies and professionals working in a fast emerging segment of PPPs in utility sector.

The first track of the conference focuses on Power Distribution and features around 20 industry leading speakers across 5 panels including Mohd. Suleman - Energy Secretary of MP Govt., Prabhakar Kukde – Ex-Technical Director MSEB, R. C. Agrawala – MD of NPCL, Sunil Wadhwa – CEO of IL&FS Energy, Praveer Sinha – CEO of NDPL, Reji Pillai – President of India Smart Grid Forum, Mr. S Jayaraman – CTO of Essel Utilities, Jagdish Chelaramani - BU Head of GTL, Suvajit Das - AVP Project Advisory & Structured Finance of SBI CAPS, Vinod Kala - MD of EVI, and Chris Gaines – CTO of Exceleron.

The second track of the conference takes a focused look on the Water Distribution and Waste Water management business models and their operational challenges and solutions. This track features another 20 industry leading speakers across 5 panels including Alok Shiromany - Head Technical Committee of JnNURM, Vandana Bhatnagar - Economist WSP-SA of World Bank, Shrikar Padeshi – Municipal Commissioner of Pimpri Chinchwad, Anil Sole – Mayor of Nagpur and President of All India Mayor Council, Malini Shankar - Principal Secretary of Govt. of Maharashtra, M.S. Unnikrishnan - MD, Thermax, Darpan Jain – MD of Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation Limited and Patrick Rousseau – CMD of Veolia Water India.

A Vision Session will be held towards the end of the panels jointly with Dr. Isher Ahluwalia – Chairperson of ICRIER and also Chairperson of High Powered Committee on Urban Infrastructure, and Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala – Professor of IITM and Member of Prime Minister’s Scientific Advisory Committee talking about their work and innovations towards inclusive growth in improvement of service delivery in these sectors.

Along with the conference this year, the IUKAN forum introduces the “Utility Best Practice Awards” aimed to recognize practical and innovative ways employed by utility operators, their business partners and stakeholders to drive improvements in systems and service delivery to end consumers. The Awards intend to bring a paradigm shift in the way a utility looks at its Grounds Team, which is the actual asset and wealth manager for the utility.

Best practice nominations have been received from across utility service providers, public and private utilities. Those nominating include leading public utilities like MSEDCL, BESCOM, DGVCL, Mysore City Corporation, Vadodara Municipal Corporation, PGVCL, UGVCL and private utilities like BSES Rajdhani, BSES Yamuna,  CESC Limited, NPCL, JUSCO, Enzen, GTL Limited, MVV Water Utility Private Ltd., Tata Power Company Ltd, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, WESCO, Orange City Water. Service providers ecosystem also actively responded to the awards with nominations coming from TCS, A2Z, Secure Meters, Raychem RPG, Mechatronics, ADCC Infocad, AIVA Engineering, Anjani Logistics, Creative Entrepreneurs, E-Cube Energy Trading, E-Link, Mobilcule, OSSR, OZO Nano Sciences, Pranat Engineers, SMS Infra Ltd. and many others.

The nominations are categorized as per business practices in areas of Customer Services and Complaint Management, Metering Effectiveness and Smart Infrastructure, Billing and Collection, Operations, Maintenance and Asset Management, Loss Reduction, Theft Control and Vigilance, People Management and Development, Bid Management and Operations Takeover, Audits, Compliances, MIS Reporting, Innovations and Others. Nominations will be judged by eminent 4 Juries drawn from IUKAN Advisory Board and the results will be declared during the conference. Along with acknowledgment to industry’s best practices through the Awards program, select entries would be published in a Best Practice Journal, to be released at the conference on 13th Feb, 2014.

Mr. Rahul Bagdia, Director of pManifold and secretary of the IUKAN Forum says, “The private participation in the sectors of waste, water and power is under constant pressure to establish an inclusive business model while reducing losses and improving services. This requires stakeholders to engage transparently to discuss challenges, co-create solutions and learn from the best practices implemented. ‘I, you can’ or ‘IUKAN’ is a fundamental positive drive that we want to instill in these emerging business models. The prospective and early players thus can get engaged with the established vendor ecosystem and mature utility players to achieve operational success while implementing reforms faster for improvement of service delivery to end consumers.”

IUKAN forum is the initiative of pManifold. IUKAN 2014 this year is co-organized by Emergent Ventures India and is supported by GTL, NPCL and Enzen as Associate Partners. Creative Entrepreneurs, ADCC Infocad, Exceleron and eLink Software Technologies are associated as Partner to Utilities while Accenture is the Best Practice Showcase Partner. Other partners to the event include NPTI, Council on Energy Environment and Water (CEEW), India Water Foundation (IWF), India Electron Exchange (IEE), Alliance for Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), Asia Power Quality Initiative (APQI), India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), India Power Sector, Energetica, EA Waters and Attrait Solutions.

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