Privatisation-bound BPCL to get new CMD, Finance Director

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on June 02, 2021

Govt to ensure the PSU is not hampered by lack of key functional directors

With two key director level picks in less than a month, including that of Vetsa Ramakrishna Gupta as the next finance director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), the government’s head-hunter Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) is seeking to ensure the privatisation-bound firm is not hampered by the absence of important functional directors in the run up to the sale.

On Wednesday, PESB picked Gupta from a shortlist of six candidates that included five from the oil refining and marketing firm, the PESB said on its website.


Gupta, currently a chief general manager at BPCL, will succeed N Vijayagopal when he steps down from the role on July 31, upon superannuation.

On May 10, PESB picked Arun Kumar Singh as the next Chairman and Managing Director of BPCL.


Arun Kumar Singh, currently, director, marketing at BPCL and holding additional charge of Director, Refineries, is expected to assume the role of CMD from January 1 after human resources director K Padmakar leaves the company on December 31 on retirement. Padmakar is also holding additional charge of chairman and managing director.

The two selections of PESB will have to be ratified by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sources said that the PESB selections indicate the government’s thinking to not let the firm suffer from lack of top executives in case the on-going privatisation process is delayed.

The PESB is expected to name the firm’s next Director Refineries and HRD for which the section process is underway.

Earlier in 2019, the PESB had advertised for the posts of CMD and Director Refineries in the Maharatna PSU.

Earlier bid

The head-hunter had even scheduled interviews of shortlisted candidates in March/April 2020, but it was called off at the behest of the government in view of the planned privatisation of the state-owned company, government officials briefed on the development said.

Even if he assumes office as the next CMD in January, Singh will have a short tenure at BPCL until his superannuation in August 2022.

Mallika Srinivasan, the first ever executive from the private sector and the first ever woman to helm the PESB, has fast-tracked the process of filling up top posts in state-run firms, since assuming office in early April.

The PESB under her stewardship has so far selected 14 executives including CMDs, MDs and director level officials in 14 firms.

It could not find a suitable candidate for CMD of Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and recommended forming a search panel in the PESB to choose one.

Published on June 02, 2021

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