Jain new chairman of National Thermal Power

Vol 4, PW 16 (13 Sep 00) People & Policy

You read it here first! In Petrowatch Vol 4, Issue 13 ("2--Battle for top job at National Thermal Power") we reported on a race between two directors to replace Rajendra Singh as chairman of India's National Thermal Power Corporation.

The race is over. As predicted by this report, the company's finance director CP Jain has beaten commercial director HL Bajaj for the top job.

Jain, aged 54, took his seat on September 1st. A chartered accountant, he spent much of his career in the public sector, joining Hindustan Copper as an accounts officer in July 1971.

In 1973, he moved to the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative and worked there for 8 years, after which he joined Krishak Bharati Cooperative, where he rose to become General Manager (finance). Jain joined NTPC in 1991 as Executive Director (finance).

Two years later, he was promoted Director Finance. In July we reported that late power minister Rangarajan Kumaramangalam had recommended Jain over Bajaj to the Prime Minister's Office.

Apparently, this fact is not widely known within NTPC and his appointment has apparently been greeted with some surprise. "Bajaj was among the very few to have supported the minister," writes a correspondent, "This created friction between Kumaramangalam and Rajendra Singh." Speculation that Bajaj would win intensified when during his farewell speech, colleagues informally requested Singh to "keep visiting us".

Singh replied: "Only if Bajaj invites me!" The inference was clear: Bajaj would be the next chairman. But no: the new chairman is CP Jain.