Coal India (CIL) has inducted a business development manager to its board, a move that will help its diversification plan.
Debasish Nanda, who took over as business development manager on July 11, will continue in the role “until the date of his retirement (May 31, 2025) or until new orders, whichever comes first”, said declared CIL to stock exchanges. Prior to joining the company, Nanda was an executive director at Indian Oil Corporation.
CIL also announced the names of 11 other directors, 6 of whom are independent.
According to sources, Nanda will likely look into new verticals, which the PSU miner is entering. CIL has previously formed joint ventures with Hindustan Urvarak Rasayan and Talcher Fertilizers for fertilizer manufacturing. The company is also diversifying into aluminum production, solar power generation, thermal power generation and coal gasification. These projects are in various stages of development.
CIL confirmed its thermal coal import plans and placed consecutive import orders of 8.416 million tonnes (MT). “This (coal imports) is a new vertical for us, opening up a revenue stream. If called upon, CIL will execute this new mandate going forward in an equally responsible manner,” said CIL President and CEO Pramod Agrawal.
While new vertical markets need to be managed effectively, CIL is likely to face new challenges as the coal sector opens up to commercial mining. Coal is likely to become an open market commodity with a likely regulator at the top.
While CIL has its inherent advantages in coal mining and distribution, it also has some inherent disadvantages, primarily in the areas of operating costs, which could put competitive pressure on CIL in the future. “It is good that the ministry was not satisfied with the benefits of CIL in the mining sector and took early action to deal with the growing situation,” said Subrata Chakravarty, former President and CEO of ‘Eastern Coalfields.