Monday, October 14, 2013

Was GAIL's Tripathi tipped off about his 5-year extension as CMD?

BC Tripathi
GAS Authority of India Limited (GAIL) chairman and managing director (CMD) BC Tripathi, who has got a record five-year extension in the state-owned gas utility, became its head only at the age of 49. Many thought he would be the CMD of the biggies such as ONGC or Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). No doubt, Tripathi had applied for the chairman's post at ONGC and IOC, but...
skipped the interviews last moment conducted by Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). As Tripathi did not appear for the interviews for those lucrative posts, it appears he was aware of his possible extension at the helm of GAIL. In fact, top oil ministry officials advised Tripathi to focus on the current job, some media reports highlighted. However, getting a five-year extension is not a normal practice as earlier former ONGC chairman Subir Raha, Prashanto Banerjee of GAIL, Sarthak Behuria of IOC and Ashok Sinha of Bharat Petroleum Corp Limited (BPCL) were denied an extension.
Orders extending Tripathi's tenure until July 31, 2019, was issued last Thursday. His current term was to expire on July 31, 2014. 
Normally, directors, including chairmen, on the boards of PSEs are appointed for five years or until the retirement age of 60 years, whichever is earlier. Upon completion of five years, an executive is eligible for an extension if there is time left for superannuation.
53-year-old Tripathi turned GAIL into an aggressive gas marketing and transmission entity over the years and helped the PSU expand and grow to become a Maharatna entity by aggressively acquiring energy assets abroad, especially shale gas acreages in the US.
He was the youngest chairman of a Navratna PSU when he took over at GAIL at the age of 49 on August 1, 2009. Prior to taking over as CMD, Tripathi had served as director of marketing at GAIL from July 2007 to July 31, 2009.
He graduated from NIT, formerly known as Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College, Allahabad in 1982, as a mechanical engineer. Tripathi started his career with ONGC and moved to GAIL after ONGC's pipeline businesses were made a separate company in 1984.
Tripathi has been associated with GAIL since its inception in 1984, and was one of the first team members involved in the construction and commissioning of the HVJ pipeline system.
Enriched with over 31 years of experience in the gas sector, Tripathi was the project manager for the GAILs prestigious Dahej-Vijaipur Pipeline project, which received Silver Medal for Excellence in project Management in the Mega Project Category from International Project Management Association, Germany. Tripathi has also published a case study on this project in Petromin Pipeliner. He served as director of marketing at GAIL from July 6, 2007 to July 31, 2009. He has been the chairman of Mahanagar Gas, Ltd. since May 28, 2011. He also served as the chairman of Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited, chairman of Indraprastha Gas Limited. He was a director at Mahanagar Gas Ltd and served as a director at Petronet LNG Ltd. 
It will be interesting to see how this gas tycoon takes GAIL into places during his extended tennure.

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