Eighteen apply by deadline for GAIL chairman post

Vol 12, PW 12 (30 Oct 08) People & Policy

Eighteen candidates have applied to the Public Enterprises Selection Board by the October 20 deadline to replace UD Choubey as GAIL chairman.

Unlike the list of 24 â€کinternal’ candidates for the director projects post, only five are in the race for the CMD position. Notable among them are AK Purwaha, director business development, and BC Tripathi, director marketing.

The other three internal candidates are GAIL executive directors SK Singh, CN Trivedi and former director human resources MR Hingnikar who was denied an extension to his tenure as a director following an official investigation over the sanction of funds towards the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. “Hingnikar is eligible to apply as an executive director,â€‌ says an industry source.

“He is innocent until proved guilty.â€‌ SK Singh and CN Trivedi are trying their luck for both director projects and chairman jobs.

Eleven of the candidates are from â€کother’ state-owned companies including ONGC, Cement Corporation, Power Grid Corporation, BPCL, Projects and Development India and Hindustan Machine Tools. Two â€کprivate’ candidates have also submitted their CVs for the post, following a notice issued in the Gazette of India on April 4 this year allowing qualified candidates from outside government or state-owned companies to apply.

Industry observers tell us that ONGC’s director (technical and field services) UN Bose is a worthy contender. “I am sure he must be busy networking,â€‌ a source said.

RK Singh, director refineries at BPCL, is seen as the strongest â€کexternal’ candidate. “I will not be surprised if a â€کoutsider’ is appointed to run GAIL,â€‌ said a company source.

Choubey took over as the chairman and managing director of GAIL in November 2006 and is due to retire on July 31 next year. The PESB advertised the post on August 22 and will start short-listing the names of candidates for interviews in January or February next year.