Arpan Mukhopadhyay is a design engineer looking into the smart metering aspects of smart village initiatives of Naturetech Infra. He is a newly passed out post graduate and is passionate about development of the weaker sections of society and protection of environment using technology. He did his M.Tech in Power Electronics and Drives from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela and B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from Netaji Subhash Engineering College, Kolkata.
What are you currently working on? For how long? Can you give a brief overview?
I have been working on a prototype of a smart metering system for the last four months. This enables remote monitoring and billing of customers on both post-paid and pre-paid schemes. Also, customers who do not clear their dues or exhaust their balance are automatically disconnected. And reconnection occurs when the dues are cleared or balance is topped up. The whole process of monitoring, billing and recharge is done autonomously without any human intervention.
What inspired you to start working in this area? Are there any key people who inspired you to work in this area?
I have always been environmentally conscious from my childhood. Also, I have been very passionate about technology. During my masters, I also developed a desire to work for the upliftment of the marginalized sections of our society. My job enables me to fulfil all my wishes simultaneously as I use technology to provide people access to cheap electricity which is hundred percent from solar power which is environmentally benign. I am inspired by people who work for the society. I am also inspired by people who innovate not to fill coffers but to produce tangible benefit to the society at large.
What has been most difficult/most rewarding?
The short deadline for implementation has been very challenging leading to long hours and Sundays at office. But the end result of affordable and reliable electricity to remote villages which are not properly served by the grid would be a reward totally worth the hardships. I am looking forward to the first deployment of the smart metering project developed in the month of April/May.
If you could share some wisdom with yourself 3 years ago, what would it be?
Be confident of your abilities and do not get anxious unnecessarily.
Where do you hope to be 3 years from now?
I hope to have a few successful innovations under my belt. I believe a technology is truly successful when most who require it can afford it. So, I am looking to work toward minimalist low-cost innovations that produce results like greater access to clean energy, computer education, etc.