Air India has a new CMD in Pradeep Singh Kharola, Karnataka cadre office of IAS 1985 batch. Only a week earlier, the government had extended the tenure of Rajiv Bansal who was holding dual charge ever since Ashwini Lohani had moved to become the chairman of Railway Board. Kharola has held extensive responsibility in public sector organizations in his home state, especially in the transport sector. He therefore brings considerable experience in this sector.
His appointment at this juncture, coming on the back of reports that Air India disinvestment may not happen within this fiscal, means that he will definitely oversee the privatization process but also possibly step up on the accelator! The assignment is primarily geared towards making the business running, as profitably as possible, and to find a suitable buyer. As has been pointed out, the criteria for sale is difficult and requires fine tuning for maximum returns for this business. More we will know in the weeks ahead as the new incumbent gets hands-on with this selling process.