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Uncompromising power: Bharat Naresh Oberoi

Powerica was established in 1984 by Naresh Oberoi. His son, Bharat Naresh Oberoi, started his journey with the company in 1992 when he joined his father to help with his work at one of Powerica’s factories. He worked there for seven years, from Sunday to Thursday. “I started interacting with the workers from an early age,” Bharat says.

Bharat Naresh Oberoi, Joint Managing Director of Powerica Limited

“Eventually, in 1998, I was asked to work in the office and I was assigned the marketing portfolio. The first task I undertook was to set up a bigger marketing network, find the right areas that we needed to be in and see where the potential was to grow.

“My responsibilities then took me deeper into marketing and by 2005, we had grown from 10 to 24 offices. We had doubled our marketing strength over that period and we have since been recognised as a leading company in our sector in the country.”

Fast forward to 2019 and Bharat now holds the role of Joint Managing Director, although he says he still stays involved with Powerica’s marketing division. He comments that the key to success has been building a strong team around him. Bharat says he is always seeking out new areas for company growth.

“It could be parts of the country that we want to grow in and thus mapping the potential there, it could be the recruitment drives we run to expand our team, or discovering what kind of marketing strategy we want to have in the future to increase the awareness of our brand. As long as there is potential, that’s where we want to be.”

Empowerment is an essential company philosophy and Powerica’s goal is to hire and retain quality people, while training them so that they grow alongside the business.

“We promote people from within our team and give them the opportunity to grow,” Bharat says. “Some people have been with us for anywhere from five to 15 years, and we want to see them at a different level and reach new heights.”

Powerica’s power solutions are provided “through its expertise in manufacturing, marketing, installation, commissioning, after-sales servicing and maintenance contracts”. What sets it apart is that its primary focus for the past 35 years has been on power.

“I’m proud of our marketing and technical teams,” he says. “Since our technical team is strong, once we have the basics of our business and everybody in their place, there isn’t much the competition can do. Not everything is about low pricing and money; it is also about execution. Execution is what our Chairman – my father – has taught us over the years.”

“Not everything is about low pricing and money; it is also about execution.”

For more than three decades, Powerica has worked in the Genset (diesel-generating) business, through an alliance with international engine-manufacturing company Cummins. “We usually see a growth of between seven to 10%, depending on the economy,” Bharat says. “I believe it is going to be robust over the next five years because if the government invests further in infrastructure, there will be more feet on the ground.

“From the Genset point of view, there will be more ‘soldiers’ out there, so we are optimistic about the next five years,” says Bharat. “We also have a renewable-energy wind division. Our installed capacity has almost reached 250 megawatts per year and we are thinking of taking that to 700 megawatts over the next three to four years.

“We are trying our hardest to balance our use of Genset with renewables to look after the environment as best we can. We will continue to improve in this area.” The company has specific goals for moving towards renewable energy. Its website states that Powerica’s efforts are focused on encouraging modern energy services and that renewable energy is part of that.

“Shifting to renewable energy can help us to meet the dual goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (limiting future extreme weather and climate impacts) and ensuring reliable, timely and cost-efficient delivery of energy. Involvement in renewable energy will have significant dividends for our energy security. Wind power is a sustainable, clean energy source that can be relied on for the future,” it states.

Powerica entered the renewable energy sector in 2006 and continues to expand its operations in renewables. It partnered with Vestas – global leaders in wind energy – and in 2008, the company commissioned its first wind power project and became an Independent Power Producer (IPP).

“As long as there is potential, we need to be there.”

With more IPP projects, Powerica gained experience and has now become an Engineering Procurement and Construction developer for other IPPs. The company’s most significant challenge, Bharat says, is working with government reforms.

“It’s mostly how they look at it; they talk a lot about it and write a lot about it, but nothing happens as they say it could,” he explains. “So, the government needs to knuckle down and say, ‘We want renewable energy and we’re going to help the country get there.’ ”

Bharat Naresh Oberoi, Joint Managing Director of Powerica Limited

As well as renewable energy, another focus for Powerica is looking after its customers. It prides itself on having a reliable customer relationship management process and Bharat says that doing everything “with excellence” will make the end user, the customer, happy.

“Today we have almost 63% re-orders,” he continues. “It is only because of our extensive efforts, because of the number of calls and relationships we have developed, and the time spent over the past 30 years with our customers that we have achieved this.”

Powerica maintains as close a relationship with its suppliers as it does with its customers. It runs its CRM the same way it runs vendor relationship management; its marketing and technical teams develop supplier relationships and nurtures them.

“We want to remain partners for a long period and for both parties to be happy,” Bharat says. “About 60% of our suppliers are the same ones who were in the factory I worked in years ago.”

Bharat ensures that the company’s suppliers understand both the technology they use and the market as a whole. The majority of products are electrical, of which there are thousands of types, ranging from transformers to switch gears. “They know how to innovate, but they speak with us and we jointly decide how to innovate to improve our offering. They keep up with technology to ensure timely supplies are delivered to Powerica’s customers.”

Two benefits Bharat says the company has seen from its supplier relationships are the technology to deliver on-time supplies, and over-and-above all – quality. “There are no two ways about it, either there’s quality, or there’s not,” he says. “It has to be a quality finished product because there’s no compromise on this at Powerica.”

“It has to be a quality finished product because there’s no compromise when it comes to Powerica.”

Bharat believes he has learned much about quality from a number of his suppliers and considers it something the company thrives on. “We discuss it monthly on every call and take it seriously. An example is our association with Vestas, a company that offers wind turbine solutions and services such as windmills from Sweden.

“We’ve partnered with them for many years and we have learned quality from them by observing how they manage it and how they expect it. We learn from each other. Quality is something that we do well. I don’t like to cut corners and want to deliver the best to our customers; we give them the best because they deserve it.”

Applying excellence to every department, Bharat continues to work towards improving HR. “I think today it is a necessity,” he says. “The company has 27 offices and more than 2,000 employees. Recruiting good people, nurturing them, helping them to grow and empowering them is crucial for any business. There isn’t much beyond that, to be honest.

“When I was growing up, I had people with me whom my dad had trained,” he adds. “Some have retired, some are still working and some I recruited 15 to 20 years ago are still with me. They have grown with me, which I believe has been a huge key to our success, alongside the customer relationships within our company. Understanding people, their requirements and their feelings is what matters at the end of the day.”

The company’s logo states “A Promise for Power”. This promise is something that Powericans try and live up to every day. Driving towards excellence without compromising on quality is vital.

“We must be extremely conscious of this because when the power goes out, we all know what happens,” he explains. “My job is to supply that standby power when it is not there, so when the line goes off, we come on.”

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