Listen to podcast
Mithun Gole has been leading the corporate finance and treasury function for Apraava Energy for over three years. Under his leadership, Apraava Energy has developed strong relationships amongst the banking community and has onboarded several new banks/financial institutions. This has resulted in not only the broadening of Apraava Energy’s debt portfolio but also offering it the necessary competitive edge.
Innovations in trade
Working closely with its banking partners, Apraava Energy has implemented innovative trade finance solutions, leveraging on its financial strengths. These solutions have ensured seamless project execution for a 250 MW wind greenfield project, currently under implementation.
As the company’s supply chain partners were in financial distress, Mithun implemented a transferable letter of credit (LC) structure, which was not a standard product offered in the market. This structure allowed the partners to leverage Apraava Energy’s financial strengths to seamlessly complete procurements on time. The entire process was customised by Apraava Energy in close consultation with its banking partners and made electronic to minimise any document transmission/COVID-19 induced delays. This solution enabled all parties to ensure business continuity and minimise any project disruption or delays.
Best in class financing
Liquidity and treasury management are key focus areas for Apraava Energy. The company’s major outstanding receivables are from state distribution companies (DISCOMs). Typically, power companies face long overdues from state DISCOMs, which creates huge receivable backlogs, resulting in cash flow mismatches and problems for servicing dues to vendors/banks. To overcome this, Apraava Energy has implemented a corporate pool structure whereby cash flows from different assets are pooled together to meet servicing commitments, thus reducing cash flow mismatches and ensuring a superior credit rating. Further, the corporate finance team has facilitated a bouquet of financial lenders including public, private and foreign institutions for meeting Apraava’s funding needs. Apraava’s strong liquidity position and impeccable track record has resulted in it achieving ‘AAA’ rating in the domestic market.
To add to its existing operational wind portfolio aggregating 924 MW and as a step towards building a diversified green energy portfolio, Apraava Energy has acquired various projects (around 170 MW of solar operational capacity was acquired from Suzlon, and 80 MW from Mahindra). Further, it is in the process of acquiring a large transmission project. There is intense competition in the market for solar and transmission projects, and the corporate finance team worked closely with marquee institutions and banks to design a financing package to help Apraava Energy stand out, emerging as front-runners for acquiring these assets.
Digitisation is key
Over the last year, Mithun along with his team has embarked upon a digitisation and automation project for the treasury and corporate finance function. His team has conceptualised and implemented an automated in-house investment management solution, which has resulted in automation of repetitive tasks, thus saving around 20% of working hours, which used to be spent on routine activities. The relevant treasury team members have been upskilled to take on more value-added roles, which is part of Mithun’s effort to upskill the whole treasury team.
In the words of Samir Ashta, Director (Finance) and CFO at Apraava Energy, “Mithun is a rising star and is a key employee, helping the company build on its strategy of growth.”