“Africa has a unique opportunity to leapfrog the rest of the world by using the latest building materials like HDPE and smart technologies now available”Rohit

Rohit Banerji, Senior Manager – Resources, Accenture in the UK and speaker at the upcoming African Utility Week in Cape Town in May. Accenture is a platinum sponsor at the event

1.) Please can you give us some background of your work in the water utility sector?

I have worked for eight years in the water sector in the UK. My areas of engagement include the following:

  • Big Data analytics
  • IT / OT integration strategy
  • Strategic asset management and asset investment planning
  • Operating model design
  • PAS 55 assessment and accreditation
  • Outsourced managed services

2.) What in your view are the main challenges that water utilities are facing today?

  • Siloed working accentuated by a lack of a shared view of asset performance, costs and risk blunts their ability to effectively plan and execute efficiently
  • As costs of renewal of infrastructure become prohibitive, water utilities need to find ways of exploiting their current assets. Leakage is an important symptom of this issue.

3.) Are the challenges different in Africa?

  • Not to a large extent but the starting points may be different. Water resource management drives a lot of the thinking while infrastructure is being built, after which asset management becomes the primary priority

4.) Accenture deployed its Big Data Analytics platform at a UK utility – what were the main reasons for this? How has the new technology changed the way the utility works and the lives of its customers?

  • It was to harness the latent potential of their installed base of IT and real time data and systems
  • The initial benefit has been better informed operations and planning decisions based on insight
  • Going forward this will evolve to include collaboration, communications and remote control

5.) You are addressing the water track at the African Utility Week conference – what will be your main message?

  • Africa has a unique opportunity to leapfrog the rest of the world by using the latest building materials like HDPE and smart technologies now available. 

6.) What are you most looking forward to at African Utility Week?

  • Learning new perspectives from others at the event.
  • Look out for frugal innovation