The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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HPL banks on Infy mentor’s wisdom

Calcutta, July 17: . R. Narayana Murthy, chairman and chief mentor of Infosys, may join the Haldia Petrochemicals board.

“More professionals will join the company in the coming years. We have approached Narayana Murthy to join the board. HPL will soon become a company run by professionals,” chairman Tarun Das told The Telegraph.

It was due to the chairman’s efforts that Naresh Chandra, ex-Indian ambassador to the US and cabinet secretary, had joined the Haldia Petro board.

Similarly, Das was instrumental in inducting noted industrialist Jamshyd Godrej, managing director of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company, as a director of the company.

Efforts to reach Narayana Murthy failed since he is abroad.

Murthy has served as a director on the board of Reserve Bank of India since 2000. He is also on the boards of various other organisations. He is part of the Prime Minister’s council on trade and industry, the board of overseers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Cornell University Council and the board of advisers for the William F. Achtmeyer Centre for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business.

Das said HPL is doing well and has earned an EBITD (earning before interest, tax and depreciation) of Rs 60 crore in June. He hopes that once the debt restructuring is complete, the company will be on a sound footing.

HPL is also taking care to see that it gets naphtha, the raw material for the petrochemical plant, at the most competitive price. “Our naphtha committee now meets regularly to see that naphtha is procured at the most competitive rates. This has helped us reduce expenditure.”

Gail proposal

Gail India today said its proposed Rs 200-crore investment to pick up equity in HPL was not contingent on getting management control of the firm.

“Our investment is not linked to management control. While approving investment in HPL, the board of Gail had not stipulated management control and we will go ahead with our investment after the promoters complete the debt restructuring exercise,” Gail chairman and managing director Proshanto Banerjee told PTI.

“Our proposal is only for 10 per cent stake or Rs 200 crore, whichever is less. We will not insist on higher stake or management control,” he said.

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