KARACHI, Feb. 01: Karachi Electric Supply Company, in its full day “Azm Conference,” on Tuesday pledged to bring about a complete change of mindset internally and change the age old perceptions about the utility, externally. The conference reiterated KESC's stance to transform the utility into an absolutely customer centric organisation utilizing all available resources and manpower with zeal, dedication and the passion to serve. Around 200 of KESC’s middle and senior management members attended the conference.
In a congenial atmosphere, charged with team spirit and the zest to perform, the entire top management, and senior managers from generation, transmission, distribution and various other departments of the utility attended the conference. During diverse syndicated working sessions, teams of participants candidly discussed their actions, obstacles, solutions and also gave individual presentations with a view to address the strategic challenges facing the utility.
Areas of special emphasis including operational effectiveness and efficiency, human resource excellence, and allocation of top priority to customers’ issues were discussed. Participants also affixed their thumb prints on the pledge board to cement their commitment to KESC's Azm.
Addressing the conference, Mr. Tabish Gauhar, CEO of KESC, acknowledged the role and evolution of the utility, close to a century of its existence and lauded the role of KESC engineers and dedicated workers the efforts of whom are transforming this company. He, however, reminded the participants that there is a long way to go before KESC could meet the aspirations of 20 million people of Karachi and everyone at KESC has to put in the best effort to make it happen. Recalling the challenges at the time of new management’s takeover, Mr. Gauhar said credibility was badly affected through decades of decline in standards. Besides the problems of power generation capacity, burgeoning electricity theft and poor working relations with strategic partners, topped by the issue of mismanaged human resources, had been the critical areas of focus so far.
The CEO said that most important task ahead was to make KESC a customer centric company. He said, certainly there has been marked improvement during the past three years; and the human resource element, which is at the core of this company, has to strike a balance between the responsibility of being a private commercial organization with a public service role. He also lauded the efforts of the utility's employees, who are working day in and day out with a sense of responsibility, and these silent soldiers are often working in the shadows be it the weekly, national or festival holidays, only to ensure that customer expectations are met.
Mr. Gauhar said, KESC employees needed to always remember their public service role not for any other sake, but for the sake of serving the city and in turn the country. He said while Karachi was economic bloodline of the country, KESC was economic bloodline of Karachi. We try to come up to this commitment every day, not for the sake of any reward or applauds but for our own satisfaction, he said and moving on to share his philosophy, "...that working for KESC is not a job but a passion (to serve)".
Mr. Arshad Zahidi, Chief Strategy Officer, Generation and Transmission, in his speech said that KESC had overcome several challenges including maintenance of old power generation plants and grid stations, and that of unplanned load shedding. Around 1,000 megawatts had been added to KESC’s power generation capacity through installation of six new power plants including CCPP Korangi and BQPS-II, within a short span of three years; 700 MVA capacity was added to transmission system; and eight new grid stations have been added. “We have performed and we are dependable. We have met with success in all our projects,” Mr. Zahidi commented.
Dr. Naveed Ahmed, head of Corporate Strategy, said that KESC had been working on alternative fuel resources to overcome shortfall of natural gas. He mentioned ongoing work on biogas project in Landhi, import of LNG, conversion of existing power units to coal generation and development of Thar coal power plant, and expressed hope that 2012 would be the best year of the power utility in terms of achievements.
Mr. Nayyar Hussain, Chief Strategy Officer Distribution, said that enhancement of productivity was the main goal before the management. “We need to enhance our individual productivity that would be translated into collective productivity,” he said, adding that the war of saving electricity from thievery was an ongoing process where KESC is working to implement every possible way to minimize power theft.
Mr. Asir Manzur, Group Head, Human Resource Management, said that the management was fully aware of the fact tha t some of our employees need to realign themselves with the new vision of the utility and change their mindset to that of service and excellence. He also highlighted that over the last three years 5,700 employees had been regularized based on a principle decision by the management. He also mentioned that a performance based culture is emerging in KESC where performance is the only criteria for career advancement and financial rewards. He informed the audience that KESC is currently running the largest management trainee program. While declaring 2012 the 'year of training' he said that during 2011 some 7,500 employees had been trained.
Syed Moonis Abdullah, Chief Financial Officer, said that there had been a giant leap in financial turnover which had grown from Rs. 60 billion three years ago to Rs. 130 billion during previous year. He also pointed out that the issue of shortfall of gas had been affecting cash inflow as higher tariff discouraged bill payment.
Mr. Ricardo Cordoba, GE Company Officer, President of GE Energy for North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan, was also present at the occasion and addressing the august audience said that customer care, good management and best human resources were keys to success. He said that Pakistan was a country with enormous possibilities especially since it had one of the best work force. He said that with the current vision and drive KESC can transform into one of the best companies, like GE. Mr. Tabish Gauhar also presented a souvenir to Mr. Ricardo as a gesture of goodwill.