Thursday, August 24, 2017

‘Turnaround Man’ Lohani to head Railway Board; Know more about this IRS officer

Ashwani Lohani 
AIR India Chairman Ashwani Lohani was on August 23 appointed as chairman of the Railway Board. Lohani's appointment comes after AK Mittal quit as the board chief following the recent train accidents.
His Twitter accounts says about Lohani: "4 Engg Degrees - Limca Record. Wrote 2 books. Piloted two WH sites. Set a Guinness record. Turned around ITDC & MPT."
"Turnaround specialist" Lohani was...
brought to Air India from the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation and is credited with bringing in substantial improvement in the airline. The changes enabled the government to bring back AI in a condition where it could be offered for sale to prospective bidders.
A 1980 batch Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers officer, Lohani had played a key role in restoring the world's oldest working steam locomotive for running the Fairy Queen between Delhi and Alwar. He piloted the nomination of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Bodhgaya's Mahabodhi Temple as world heritage sites.
During the earlier BJP rule in 2002, he was heading ITDC in 2001-02 and is credited with substantially improving Delhi's Ashoka Hotel. He has written two books: "Smoking Beauties" on steam locomotives and "Winning at Work against all odds", a book on management.
Lohani is the seniormost railway official with more than one year in the board.
He was handpicked for the Air India top job reportedly by the Prime Minister and was the first choice to replace Mittal. Under Lohani, the ailing airline posted an operational profit of Rs. 500 crore last year and improved its performance. The government has announced that it may privatize the airline.
Lohani has also served in the National Rail Museum and holds the Guinness Record for successfully running the 'Fairy Queen Express', the world's oldest working steam locomotive. He is credited with the turnaround of the Madhya Pradesh tourism department.
Lohani is believed to have four engineering degrees and he has written two books.
His Twitter accounts says about Lohani: "4 Engg Degrees - Limca Record. Wrote 2 books. Piloted two WH sites. Set a Guinness record. Turned around ITDC & MPT."
He can “handle sick companies and turn them around”. He is “a highly decorated officer who is also known as Mr. Turnaround.” So says his LinkedIn profile.
If you are fascinated by all the jingles and brief ad about the ‘Heart of India’ in radio and TV, the man behind promoting the “Hindustan Ka Dil Dekho” campaign in 2006 was none other than Lohani. Now, it will be interesting to see how this Mr. Turnaround applies his experience for taking Air India back on track.
Lohani was the first Railway Service Officer to be made the CMD of Air India.
A qualified mechanical engineer, Lohani is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. He is the founder member of the Indian Steam Railway Society and member of CII National Council on Tourism.
He has a passion about writing and has even authored two books - 'Winning at work against all odds' and a coffee table book 'Smoking Beauties' that came out in March 2004.
In January 2006, Lohani also authored a report on 'Rail Heritage and Tourism'. He is also life member of Museums Associations of India and Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers.
“When Mr. Lohani came to MP Tourism, it was in a very bad shape. In fact, tenders had been put out to sell the properties, but Mr. Lohani turned everything around. He is a very positive man, very approachable and cooperative. Every employee, no matter what the designation is, has direct access to him. He motivates people to work hard,” a national daily quoted Suheil Qadir, general manager of MPTDC, as saying.
Lohani tweets frequently and also has his own blog.

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