Making sense of the crowd for GAIL director projects

Vol 12, PW 14 (27 Nov 08) People & Policy

Less prestigious, but clearly more popular is the post of director projects at GAIL, which has attracted an impressive 43 applications from candidates eager to replace Santosh Kumar Bajpai, who steps down in July next year.

GAIL insiders tell us the director projects role needs technical expertise, unlike the CMD role and will most likely go to one of the 24 â€کinternal’ candidates, not an â€کoutsider’. GAIL has several important pipeline and city gas distribution projects underway as it struggles to retain its position as the dominant gas transmission company in the country.

Only someone with experience from within, says a source, can assume the responsibilities that go with the job. “Someone already handling projects within GAIL would be ideal,â€‌ we hear.

“Anyone else would take time to learn.â€‌ Who is the right choice Six â€کinternal’ (executive director rank) candidates are talked about.

First on the list is CN Trivedi, in charge of GAIL’s petrochemical complex at Pata, followed by RD Goyal, executive director projects; RK Kashyap, executive director contracts and purchase; SK Singh executive director projects; BP Singh, executive director E&P; and M. Ravindran executive director and MD of GAIL Gas.

Trivedi, has been ED for the past 10 years and is the longest-serving ED in GAIL, but has consistently failed to become a director despite several attempts to become director projects, business development and marketing. GAIL sources say Trivedi is most likely to draw a blank this time too.

Next is RD Goyal, who will complete three years as ED next July and retire in 2014. Goyal has overseen important pipeline projects at GAIL and stands a strong chance.

Both RK Kashyap and SK Singh will complete only two years as EDs by July next year. BP Singh and M.

Ravindran will have been EDs only for about a year by next July when Bajpai steps down.