Ashu Singhal appointed as new MD at MGL

Vol 26, PW 1 (15 Dec 22) People & Policy

As we predicted, GAIL has selected Ashu Singhal as the next managing director of its Mumbai-based gas retail subsidiary Mahanagar Gas (MGL).

No-nonsense Singhal, who has headed the company's corporate strategy, planning and advocacy department since May 2021, won the MGL position after interviews on December 1 (2022). He replaces Sanjib Datta, who retires on December 31 (2022).

"Ashu Singhal, executive director (employee number 1817), presently posted in Delhi, is hereby placed as managing director of MGL in Mumbai on a secondment basis (from GAIL) for an initial period of three years," reads the order, signed by general manager HRD Bharat Mehta on December 1 (2022). "He will be relieved from his present assignments by December 15 (2022) and will join at the new place of posting immediately; he will be entitled to joining time and other transfer benefits as admissible as per the rules."

Singhal beat four other candidates to secure the position, including Anupam Mukhopadhyay, managing director of Indore-based Aavantika Gas, SN Yadav, managing director at Noida-based Talcher Fertilizers, and Shaligram Mowar, executive director in charge of operations and management of southern region pipelines, based in Mumbai. GAIL colleagues describe Singhal as sincere.

"He's the right person for the job," says a source. "He'll ensure the interests of both GAIL and MGL are protected."

Another source describes him as "well-balanced" and someone who will be committed to the new job. Colleagues also say Singhal is "straightforward" in his dealings with others.

They stress that the role of managing director at MGL will prepare Singhal well for a potential job later on GAIL's board. Singhal is GAIL's nominee director on the board of Dahej-based ONGC Petro Additions (OPaL) and Talcher Fertilizers.

According to his LinkedIn profile, from May 2017 to April 2021, he was a CGM in the company's corporate strategy, planning and advocacy department. As a DGM from June 1991 to April 2017, Singhal held several roles, including head of a 'Profit Maximisation' team.