Reji Kumar Pillai

, India Smart Grid Forum
Profile / Bio: 

Mr. Reji Kumar Pillai is an internationally renowned expert in the energy sector with over three decades of experience in the electricity industry in diverse functions across the entire value chain and across continents. He is spearheading a mission to leverage technology to transform the electric grid in India and light every home at affordable cost through sustainable developmental models. Mr. Pillai played the pivotal role in formulation of the Smart Grid Vision & Roadmap for India that was adopted by the Government of India in 2013. He is currently working with all stakeholders to launch a National Smart Grid Mission for speedy execution of the goals envisaged in the smart grid roadmap; and formulation of a comprehensive Ten Year R&D Plan for power sector in India with the objective of putting India on top of the research and development of the emerging integrated grid of 21st century. Besides, Mr. Pillai is also advocating for a “Right to Electricity Act” that will ensure lifeline supply of electricity to all households in the country. His current areas of research include: leveraging smart grid assets as anchor infrastructure for building smarter cities at marginal cost; development of Smart City Maturity Model; development of business models for smart grid projects on benefit sharing model; demonstration of smart microgrids that can participate in demand response market; and design appropriate electric vehicle infrastructure solutions for India. 

In 2013, Mr. Pillai was unanimously re-elected the President of India Smart Grid Forum, a public-private partnership initiative of the Government of India for accelerated development of smart grid technologies in the Indian power sector. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Pillai has built successful enterprises in India and overseas and exited them. Presently, he is the Founder and Managing Director of Magnetar Venture, an India focused cleantech fund to foster innovation in clean technologies, with a vision to build globally successful enterprises out of India in the emerging cleantech revolution. Mr. Pillai has studied Engineering, Finance, Management, and Law; worked with NTPC and IBM, and been a senior consultant with ADB, World Bank, and USAID. A recognized thought leader in smart grid technologies, he is a popular key-note speaker at international symposiums and conferences on smart grids and smart cities. He has also contributed to several articles and books.