Seven GAIL candidates apply to replace Tripathi

Vol 22, PW 20 (25 Jul 19) People & Policy

Seven GAIL candidates have applied to become new company chairman amid mounting speculation that BC Tripathi might not get his promised six-month extension after all.

By the July 18 deadline, the following had sent CVs to the PESB: Manoj Jain, director business development; Mahesh Iyer, ED projects; Sanjay Kumar, ED marketing; RK Singhal, ED marketing; Prasoon Kumar, ED HR and CSR; ES Ranganathan, MD Indraprastha Gas and KB Singh, ED pipelines. "Two candidates have a strong chance," says a GAIL source.

"Jain and Ranganathan." Of these, Jain has the advantage as a director.

But another GAIL source believes Ranganathan is better placed. "Ranganathan has exposure managing a company and government stakeholders," he says.

"Jain has never led from the front. He always worked under someone."

Iyer works directly under GAIL director projects Ashutosh Karnatak overseeing operations and maintenance while Sanjay Kumar oversees gas marketing in India and LNG sourcing. He was also president of GAIL Global in Singapore.

Singhal handles GAIL's international trade in gas and LNG sourcing. Singh, based at Ranchi in Jharkhand, oversees pipelines in the eastern region.

Whoever wins can expect a salary of up to Rs3.7 lakhs/month ($5400/month) plus the usual perks. Assuming no extension, Tripathi steps down on July 31, 2019.

A gas retailer who met Tripathi for a recent review meeting tells us: "He looked disheartened because he hadn't received the (extension) papers."