You have focused on debt reduction, asset strategy and consumer-facing businesses. How has it gone so far?
All our existing businesses have been doing very well and some of our new businesses, including rooftop renewable solar pumps and large-scale solar pumps, have started to show results as a good foundation has been laid for them. We have implemented a lot of changes in the new distribution acquisition in Odisha, in terms of proper billing and metering of consumer collection. We have changed almost 20 lakh meters out of 90 lakh meters and preliminary billing has reduced drastically and collection has improved. A lot of the things that we’ve done, the benefits of that will come in subsequent quarters and you’ll see much better and improved results.
You had plans to reduce debt by spinning off the renewable energy business into an infrastructure investment fund? Any update?
We had a plan at one stage but now we are not going ahead with it. We have a debt of almost Rs 39,000 crore and an equity ratio that has now actually come down to 1.32, which is very good for an infrastructure company. Similarly, our EV to Ebitda has also improved and we are at about 3.6. Again, this is a very healthy number. Going forward, we expect that the better performance and better Ebitda that we will have, we will be able to service and pay the debt that we have.
Recently, your facilities were exposed to cyber attacks. What are you doing to ensure this does not happen again?
This was a very unfortunate event. Our IT systems, operational technology and power supply systems were not affected, but some of the data they had encrypted, we have now taken further steps in terms of consulting with cyber security experts and we are now ensuring that better software, better tools, better filters are provided for to ensure that these types of attacks do not occur and affect our business. And I believe that some of the best solutions that we implement will help us prevent such an incident in the future.
Your company has 61 subsidiaries. Any plans to consolidate?
For our renewable business, we will bring together all the renewable business on a single platform and all the renewable businesses will start merging into the renewable platform, which is Tata Power Renewable Energy (TPREL). However, there will still be some subsidiaries as the nature of the business requires us to have an SPV (special purpose vehicle) for capital projects. There will be huge efficiencies because of this because the extra labor in each of these companies will be pooled into one company. There are synergies that will happen.