The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) is going to start the process to select a new chairman and managing director tomorrow, as the current chairman, S Hajara, who is on a one-year extension, is set to retire in December. However, to the surprise of many, no internal candidate has made it to the interview stage at the public enterprise selection board (PESB).
Two directors of SCI — A K Gupta and Sunil Thapar — had given their applications to the shipping ministry well in time to meet the March 15 deadline, but the ministry did not forward it to the selection board till March 20. The ones who did manage to get their candidature across come from non-shipping backgrounds. These include S K Acharya, director, Neyveli Lignite Corporation; T K Lahri, CMD, Bharat Coking Coal; S P Sharma, director, Telecom-munication Consultants India; and Manoranjan Das, director in a PSU.
A senior shipping ministry official said the SCI directors had given their applications directly to the selection board when it was supposed to be routed through the ministry. “We will try our best to have their applications considered and be fair to them, as very few candidates have applied for the post,” the senior official said. SCI posted a loss of Rs 428 crore this year.
“At a time when the shipping industry is undergoing a huge crisis, it is important to have someone with expertise to lead the company, preferably someone with a shipping background,” said a senior industry official who did not wish to be quoted.