Coal India (CIL) has inducted a director for business development on its board — a move that will aid its diversification plan. Debasish Nanda, who assumed charge as director – business development on July 11, will continue with the charge “till the date of his superannuation (May 31, 2025) or until further orders whichever is earlier”, CIL informed the stock exchanges.
Before joining the company, Nanda was executive director at Indian Oil Corporation. CIL also announced the names of 11 other directors, of which 6 are independent. According to sources, Nanda will likely look into new business verticals, which the PSU miner is entering into. CIL has already formed joint ventures with Hindustan Urvarak Rasayan and Talcher Fertilizers for fertiliser manufacturing.
The company is also diversifying into aluminium production, solar power production, thermal power production and coal gasification. These projects are at various stages of development. CIL has firmed up plans to import thermal coal and has placed consecutive orders of importing 8.416 million tonne (MT).
“This (coal imports) is a new vertical for us opening up a revenue stream. If directed, CIL shall perform this new mandate in future as well responsibly,” CIL chairman and managing director, Pramod Agrawal said.While new business verticals need to be efficiently managed, CIL is likely to face fresh challenges with the coal sector opened up for commercial mining. Coal is likely to become an open market commodity with a likely regulator at the top.
Although CIL has its inherent advantages in coal mining and distribution, it also has some inherent disadvantages, mostly in areas of cost of operations, which could put CIL under competitive pressure in the future. “It is good that the ministry has not been complacent about CIL’s advantages in mining and has taken early measures to cope with the rising situation,” said Subrata Chakravarty, former chairman and managing director of Eastern Coalfields.