Tag Archives: Utilities

#Utility #Startup engagement model- Things that will work!

This blog post is a follow up to the earlier one I did upon my return from the European Utility Week held last year in Amsterdam. Since then I have also been tracking some of the initiatives run by European Utilities in terms of startup engagement.

European Utilities (most if not all) have seem to got the formula right when it comes to engaging with startups (spotting opportunities). I think a lot of them have realised the importance of looking “outside” when it comes to acquiring new business line or developing something that helps them service their customers better.

Things that utilities in SE Asia and Asia Pacific region can learn?

  1. Open up– Instead of asking a startup what you can do for us, throw them a certain challenge or a problem statement. You know what to do when they accept the challenge and then go on to overcome that or solve the problem statement.
  2. Beyond barriers– Helps if a part of the organisation can go beyond barriers, think as if there is no box. Astounding that when utility professionals ( thats because of the available solutions) talk about customer engagement they often limit themselves to residential customers. For most utilities, consistent revenue stream would come from small, large and multi site businesses. If they can engage better with them or offer them suite of add on services, there is nothing like it. Startups are the perfect way to beta test that hypothesis, few top/difficult customers is all you need to get started.
  3. Embrace There are some ideas that can only be tested by trying, thinking too much on trying to justify the reason to do it, may not be beneficial. There is so much happening in the utility space that you never know what might as well work out better, there is always an edge if you have that “Ace” card. There are things that every company would do, there are things that you might want to launch as a market leader.

Would love to know your thoughts on the same?

Best Regards,

Umesh Bhutoria

3 Super Key Takeaways (for Indian Utilities) from #EUW17


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.

Your take?

Best Regards,

Umesh Bhutoria