Tears flow as GAIL bids farewell to BC Tripathi

Vol 22, PW 21 (08 Aug 19) People & Policy

GAIL chairman BC Tripathi has been denied a six-month extension but his three back-to-back farewell functions ran high on emotion and costs.

This report learns GAIL spent Rs2.5cr ($362,000) on the three functions on July 30 and July 31 - his last working day. The first on July 30 was organised by GAIL executive directors and general managers.

"Tripathi was very emotional," reports a source. "His voice choked and he couldn’t finish his speech."

Around 70 people attended this function lasting around 45 minutes. The next day around 1000 employees based in the Delhi area attended a "knowledge sharing session’ at the Hotel Hyatt Regency where GAIL director projects and interim chairman Ashutosh Karnatak began sobbing.

"Karnatak couldn’t say anything," adds our source. "He was overwhelmed with emotion."

Similar grief was on display from Indraprastha Gas managing director ES Ranganathan and executive director projects Mahesh Iyer. Only director marketing Gajendra Singh used the occasion to highlight Tripathi's failures during a brief speech.

 "Singh said Tripathi made a mistake by signing the US LNG deals," adds our source. "Tripathi disagreed, saying in business you need to take risks that either fail or succeed."

Tripathi again became emotional but regained his composure to complete his speech, stressing both his initiatives and regrets. Among them was the 2014 pipeline blast in Andhra Pradesh killing 22 and injuring 30; another was the aborted FSRU planned with Shell off Kakinada.