Nishi Vasudeva leads race for HPCL top job

Vol 16, PW 16 (07 Mar 13) People & Policy

If she wins Nishi Vasudeva will make history as the first female boss of an Indian state-owned oil company.

PETROWATCH learns Hindustan Petroleum director marketing Vasudeva is frontrunner to replace S. Roy Choudhury as company chairman when he retires on February 28 next year.

Choudhury has been chairman since August 2010. The PESB advertised the vacancy on February 25 (last month) seeking CVs by April 26.

"Vasudeva is very intelligent,” says an admirer. “She takes quick decisions and has a sharp mind.

” Born on March 3, 1956, Vasudeva graduated from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management in Kolkata and was the first female to become director of a state-owned oil company. If selected as HPCL chairman, she will head the company till March 31, 2016.

Vasudeva's chief competitor is HPCL director (human resources) Pushp Kumar Joshi, credited with introducing new human resources policies to increase efficiency. “Joshi is 49,” we hear.

“He has plenty of time to retirement and can even try his luck (for the chairman job) next time.” Another strong challenger is HPCL executive director H.

Kumar, heading corporate planning and strategy. “Kumar is a trained engineer,” we learn.

“He is ethical, has leadership qualities, and can inspire colleagues.” Kumar has been an executive director for two years and today leads HPCL's revival of the 5m t/y Rajasthan refinery project; he is also behind HPCL’s plan to build a 5m t/y LNG terminal at Chhara port in Gujarat.

HPCL executive director (coordination) Ajit Singh might also apply for the chairman job.

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