Back from an awesome trip to Amsterdam, i attended my first ever European Utility Week and it was truly an amazing and enriching experience. EnergyTech Ventures was one of the 50 startups present at the Initiate Hub!
As entrepreneurs we often tend to work in silos, event’s like these help us validate assumptions, seek different perspectives (often the ones that are kind of not what we would have ever got earlier) and also understand how different markets behave/operate.
Moving on from personal learning to focusing on India specific takeaways! India is an emerging economy with Utility market place that has been conventional and is now entering a phase wherein things would start to change ( as slow as it might get). With advent of Distributed Energy Resources, higher penetration of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency technologies, the conventional utility business model is up for some challenges ( Decline in revenues, number of customers etc)
In this blog i look at (according to me) key takeaways (perspectives, not essentially items covered at #EUW17) especially in the context of Indian Power Utility space.
- Services is the way forward, experiment with Startups and engage with customers
Utilities have to diversify and look at selling more than “electricity”. While this message is not something new, the action items below would perhaps be something to think about.
We do need regulatory provisions for utilities to do more, but with engagements with startups they can start to experiment with startups and engage with customers, learn about what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. This might just help them stay ahead of the peer group and be able to position their strategy correctly.
- Industrial customers need more love (attention)
Any disruption in the demand side is first going to happen (perhaps only) in the “Retail/Residential” consumer segment. Makes it imperative for Indian utilities who have industrial customers to really put on the thinking cap and start to do more with these customers.
Industrial consumers (when happy and serviced properly) and make for perfect hedging strategy. Most of the utilities that have industrial consumers (in India) are “state owned utilities”, does that really say something?
- Embrace Technology
I was literally amazed by the kind of work that is happening in leveraging technology in the normal work procedures of “Utilities” from using drones to Augmented Reality to Block chain based solutions (DER).
In India we have often brushed aside conversations on these technologies saying that a) It will take ages to come to India b) These are not relevant for Indian markets etc. We just need to embrace these and new technologies find a way to bring them into use, look at solving conventional problems with an unconventional take.