Shabbir Badra, Head of IT at Apaarva Energy

Shabbir Badra: Soaring Above Doubts to Drive Business Success

Inspiring Stories

Quote: “I urge everyone to understand change management better. It may sound like an old-school buzzword, but it’s critical for individual success and further business success.”  

Shabbir’s passion for technology led him into IT 23 years ago. The IIM-Indore alumnus grew up in Mumbai and holds a Global CIO certification from the Indian School of Business and possesses skills like IT Strategy, CyberSecurity, Project Implementation, Digital Transformation, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, and Project Management.

His years of experience, domestic and global, have helped him become a Technology Operations Specialist and create a name for himself in the Industry.

Digitaltech Media interacted with Shabbir Badra, Head of IT at Apaarva Energy, to dig deeper into his experiences, learning, and plans for the company in the coming months.

What inspired you to join the IT industry?

I entered the field of IT purely out of a passion for technology and learned what I liked, especially converging business & technology. 

How do you think the role of Tech Leaders Has Evolved in Recent Years?

When I started my journey, IT focused on maintaining an organization’s technical infrastructure. Digital Disruption has now made IT a business enabler, with businesses increasingly relying on technology for growth and innovation. The technology leaders’ responsibilities have evolved to encompass strategic planning and alignment with broader business objectives.

IT will continue increasingly integrating with business strategy, with the global economy becoming more digital every year. Tech Leaders must work closely with other department leads, such as CHROs or CMOs, to improve business processes and enhance user experience. 

What Roadblocks Did You Encounter on the Path to Success? What Strategy Helped You Overcome Them? 

While thinking about success, we often picture a straight path leading to a mountaintop. But success is achieved after multiple twists, turns, and unexpected obstacles. The biggest obstacle I have faced is Digital Adoption & Change Management.

To overcome this, I took time to reflect on what matters most to business and used that as a guide for my decisions and action.

I urge everyone to understand change management better. It may sound like an old-school buzzword, but it’s critical for individual success and further business success.  

Could You Shed Light On Your Most Challenging Projects? What Strategy Helped You to Overcome the Challenges to Deliver Desired Business Outcome? 

The most challenging project I faced was leading the ERP Implementation for three countries, viz. China, Singapore & S. Korea for a Global organization, dealing with common business processes and addressing statutory requirements for each country. 

We held a cross-functional team huddle every day during the phase of workshops, which helped significantly with the timely completion.

What Has Been Your Success Mantra so far?

I believe in “Building speed, simplicity, annihilating bureaucracy, and investing wisely.” 

Describe Apraava Energy. How do You Plan to Steer the Business Further?

Apraava Energy is a diversified power company jointly owned by the CLP Group – one of Asia’s largest investor-owned power businesses – and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) – a global investment group. Founded in 2002, Apraava Energy has evolved from a single-asset company to a forward-looking, climate-conscious organization. Its diverse portfolio comprises 3,150 MW of installed capacity which includes 924 MW of wind and 250 MW of solar energy projects across seven states, and power transmission assets. 

Going ahead, we will only invest in low-carbon growth areas, including renewable energy, power transmission, and potentially distribution, as well as other non-generation, customer-focused energy businesses. 

We are focused on building a clean energy portfolio to support India’s transition to Net-Zero alongside working with our people, stakeholders, and communities to create a sustainable future for all.

My Objective for Apraava Digi-Vartan Journey is: 

  • Operating on ONE integrated business platform
  • Harmonizing & simplifying business processes leveraging ONE system
  • Reducing clutter and driving transparency through ONE set of master data
  • Speaking ONE language with ONE set of definitions
  • Speeding up and improving decision-making with ONE source of truth
  • Enabling streamlining and synergies across business & functions

How Do You Look Back at Your Journey So Far, and What Are Your Plans For the Future?

Looking back, I have had an amazing journey so far. Looking forward, I’d like to get into the Frey spaces of further converging business & technology while I lead Digital Transformation at Apraava.

What Are Your Life Aspirations? 

I wish to spend more time reflecting and being with my family.

A Piece of Advice You Would Give to Aspiring Tech Leaders. 

Get comfortable in your skin, be bold, and soar high. Even when filled with doubts, you can always build the plane while learning to fly it. 

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