Break ke baad: Singhal of MCX has miles to go

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on January 08, 2018

PK Singhal, former CEO, MCX

His immediate task after taking over the reins of MCX was to abide by FMC’s dicktat to ensure that its then parent reduced its stake to 2% from 26%

Praveen Kumar Singhal, who salvaged the country’s largest commodity exchange MCX from a deep crisis in 2014, has retired after a 14-year stint at the helm of the exchange.

Given his rich experience of steering exchange business and dealing with regulators, he has already received offers from BSE, NCDEX and Anil Ambani-anchored Indian Commodity Exchange to provide advisory service to their boards.

A financial market veteran for over 42 years, Singhal is yet to make up his mind on the new offers as he is waiting to join his son in the US after a long wait.

“At present, I need a break and will be visiting my son in the US early next month. I’m not interested in taking part-time consultancy jobs just for the sake of it,” he told BusinessLine.

Asked whether he will consider providing consultancy service from the US, he laughed and said, “I will not be doing justice to the job I’m assigned. I like to get involved in the entire process of decision-making and its implementation.”

CEO at a crucial juncture

In 2014, Singhal was appointed interim CEO of MCX after the exchange’s incumbent CEO Manoj Vaish quit amid mounting regulatory pressure on MCX.

His immediate task after taking over the reins of MCX was to abide by FMC’s dicktat to ensure that its then parent reduced its stake to 2 per cent from 26 per cent. Earlier, FMC had declared FTIL and its promoter Jignesh Shah as not “fit and proper” to run an exchange, after the crisis at NSEL.

The resignation of Vaish was part of the exodus of a series of executives from MCX, which was then a subsidiary of Shah-promoted by Financial Technologies. The entire Group of FTIL came under scrutiny of multiple investigative agencies after a ₹5,600-crore payment crisis surfaced in the group company National Spot Exchange in 2013. Singhal, a senior member of MCX, was the immediate choice of the interim board appointed by the Forward Markets Commission as he had rich experience working with corporates and government departments.

A man who believes in simple living and high thinking, Singhal likes to deal with brokers and investors directly to understand their problems and providing solutions. In fact, post NSEL crisis, brokers’ confidence in MCX which had hit the nadir, revived after the exchange named Singhal as interim chief.

He had held various positions such as division chief (secondary market) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, executive director and CEO of Delhi Stock Exchange and director with FMC. Prior to joining MCX, Singhal was senior vice-president and head of business development (North) at MCX Stock Exchange (now rechristened as Metropolitan Stock Exchange).

Published on October 23, 2017

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