The Public Enterprise Selection Board on Tuesday named Pravin Kumar Purwar , currently the CMD of MTNL, as the new chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to succeed the current incumbent Anupam Shrivastava who superannuates in June this year.
The PESB held its final round of interview on Tuesday and announced the selection of Purwar, a copy of which Financial Chronicle has seen.
The board had considered nine candidates, all from the telecom industry and some of them are from BSNL as well and has selected Purwar, who will take charge from June end. Purwar's appointment will now be cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Appointments. Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan was also present in the meeting that interviewed the candidates. In May 2018, Purwar was confirmed as a full-time chairman of MTNL, after holding an interim charge.
In 2015, Shrivastava was appointed as the chairman of public sector telecom operator for a period of five years or till the time of superannuation age of 60. He has completed four years this month and by the time he retires, he will have completed less than five years.
Shrivastava had taken BSNL to the road of profitability but Jio's entry in 2016 changed the telecom industry's numbers completely and with no 4G services and no Delhi and Mumbai under its service areas and also a huge workforce of 2 lakh brought back the losses to the PSU, which had posted an operational profit of Rs 672 crore in 2014-15. But he has made BSNL a corporate cultured PSU with a focus on customers and services and has led enterprise business to contribute close to 30 per cent of the overall revenue. He also has raised the PSU's marketshare to 11 per cent in mobile services and has been the face of the government telecom operations in India and abroad.
For Purwar there will be challenges as well since the losses have reached Rs 8,000 crore for 2017-18 and revenues have shrunk due to intense competition. His first priority would be to get the PSU 4G spectrum from the government, introduce VRS, calm down a constantly agitating employees demanding pay hike and completing government funded telecom projects already running late.