by Swatee Jog
Mr. A. S. Karanth, Freelance Consultant / Executive adviser at DEIF India, a Danish company, visited Bharatesh Global Business School on Saturday 18th Jan 2014. In a warm address to the students of BBA and MBA , he rendered a presentation on the Wind Energy sector and spoke about life and management education. Mr. Karanth, an alumnus of KREC Surathkal of the 1970 batch, has extensive experience in the field of wind energy. Having worked with Hindustan Motors, CEO of BF Utilities ( a Kalyani Group Co.), Vice President of Batliboi-Foras Ltd. and exposed to systems and operations in companies like GM, Caterpillar, etc., he has vast experience in installing and maintaining wind mills. The wind mills near Chikodi and Satara were installed under his supervision.
Q. Inspite of having such great potential in India, why is the Wind Energy sector considered Alternative energy?
A. S. Karanth ————–> Yes its true that India has great potential in terms of Wind energy. However, the wind patterns differ in India from place to place. The wind on the shores of Gujarat will be different from that in Tamil nadu and that in Chikodi will be completely different in Satara. India today boasts of a generation of 20000 MW capacity in wind energy. But the investments are huge. It takes big players to invest crores of rupees in wind mills and then the generation is not consistent. A huge country like ours cannot afford to depend upon something that is not consistent in energy.
Q. You have worked on the wind mills installed at Satara which saw a huge media outcry that they have impacted the rain in that area. Do you feel there was any truth in it?
A. S. Karanth ————–> Wind mills per se cannot affect the rain of any area. The height of a wind mill is too insignificant to impact the clouds that are hundreds of feet high in the air. What happened in Satara was sheer media imagination and sensation. Thankfully, soon after the accusations were made, it rained heavily in Satara area and all that talk died away.
Q. You mentioned that the wind mills in India are all European or American designs. When the topography of India is so varied, can’t we have something designed and built for India? The government perhaps?
A. S. Karanth ————–> Yes we can, we should. But we don’t. That’s because the govt. is not doing enough for research and development in this sector. And the private players don’t invest in research either. They start a factory, and just as the prototype is ready, they rush for production. Then even before the mills are tested, they are rushed to be sold. Where is the research done? Scientists spend at least two years erecting masts at sites to study wind patterns. The same is not applied to test the mills.
Q: How is this industry as a career?
A. S. Karanth ————–> Oh! This is a fascinating world. If you see a large wind mill, the turbine alone measures anywhere between 70 to 100 meters in length while the blades could be around 60 meters. The site selection, erection, functioning , etc. is all very interesting. However, young engineers today are unwilling to stay at remote locations where these mills are frequently situated. Two years and they want to shift to the city.
Q: You have worked or been associated with some of the biggest companies in the world including HM, GE, Caterpillar, etc. What message would you give the students?
A. S. Karanth ————–> One thing I am surprised is that before joining a company, students rarely think about what they can give to the company. Don’t ask what the company can give you, ask yourself what you can give the company. 30% of the coffee table chat is about what opportunities are available in other companies. I have always worked as though I own the company, its my job, its mine mine all the time. Only then does passion come. The youth must keep in mind three things:
a. Introspect: All the time. If you’ve not learned or achieved something within one year of joining a company, its time to think. Don’t sleep at night. Your passion for work must keep you awake.
b. Understand how things work in a company. What is a meeting, how to prepare, how to manage time. Understand planning, execution, delivery. Be professional in everything that you do. Only glossy power point slides don’t make your career.
c. Network. Reach out to people. Help them without expecting anything. Share all that you know. Nobody can grow if one does not share with others. Networking helps in growing. Students share everything when they are studying – notes, tea, information, everything. When they join work, it all stops suddenly.
Be open to learning and learning must be continuous. Make maximum use of time. Read a lot. Sleep late and rise early. One who rises early has plenty of time and energy to do many things and learn.