When N. Chandrasekaran took over as chairman of Tata Sons in February 2007, Tata Power Company Ltd (TPCL) was going through a rough patch. In order to change the way the power utility functions and lead its transition to B2B and B2C (it was largely in the business-to-government or B2G mode), Chandrasekaran roped in Praveer Sinha, who was heading Delhi Distribution Ltd., as CEO and MD, Hasit Kaji from TCS as chief digital and information officer, and Himal Tewari from Tata Sons as chief human resources officer. The transformation that began with the new leadership team continued until recently, when Sanjeev Churiwala from Diageo joined as chief financial officer in February.

TPCL is betting on its transformation programme, Tata Power 2.0, which focuses on sustainability, digital and customer-centricity, to become the ‘utility of the future’ — in short, transform itself into an energy solutions provider. The HR strategy seeks to support the transition in terms of creating in-house designed interventions, along with the senior leadership, as solutions to business problems that have had a high impact, says Tewari. “We will transform into a products and services firm, which will reach consumers directly. We will also give digital interface and tools to empower customers who can produce power,” he adds. The company has launched products for rooftop solar, electric vehicle charging and home automation. There is also a big push for building a sizable renewable energy company.

TPCL plans to build a future-ready workforce to achieve these goals. It trains around 400 employees in digital and data analytics every year through in-house functional academies, and runs structured leadership development programmes. Its ‘Talent NXT’ and ‘Entrepreneur in Residence Policy’ programmes identify high-potential managers and fast-track their careers. “If someone has a bright idea in any area, they can be part of start-ups within the company, and help in conceptualising and commercialising the idea,” says Tewari.

With plans to phase out coal-fired power generation and expand green capacity to 80% by FY30, the firm is looking to future proof the careers of its employees in the thermal power business. Through a programme called ‘Daksh’, it reskills those employees and redeploys them in new growth businesses.

TPCL is also executing an organisation renewal process through business clusters — generation, transmission and distribution, renewables and new business services —with HR, finance and IT providing support, while being centrally managed. “We are leveraging cross-functional teams to create value for the future. To leverage specialised skills, we are collaborating with academia, tapping in the start-up ecosystem and engaging SMEs,” says Tewari.

Over the years, the company has institutionalised several policies and programmes to maintain gender diversity. It mandatorily hires at least 30% women candidates during campus placements. Senior leaders mentor women employees through its Women’s Mentoring Programme, while the Returning Mother’s Coaching programme focuses on addressing concerns around childcare/support, work-life balance and confidence for new mothers. The company also allows women to choose flexible work timings till the child turns one-year-old.

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