India seeks leaders for BSNL, MTNL boards

Dylan Bushell-Embling
29 Jul 2010

The Indian government is looking for candidates to head up state-owned operator BSNL and MTNL, as part of a plan to turn the struggling PSUs around.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is searching for a chairman and managing director for each company, and is soliciting applications from both the public and private sector, Economic Timessaid. Previously, only public sector employees have headed the respective boards.

The search has been initiated as per the recommendations of the Sam Pitroda panel, which was tasked with formulating a plan for restructuring BSNL and MTNL to make them financially viable.

At the panel's behest, hiring is being handled by the DoT and not the Public Enterprises Selection Board, and both the public and private sector will be mined for applicants.

But BSNL has not elected to follow every recommendation of the panel. The operator this week revealed it planned to hire 10,000 new employees within the next two years.

The Pitroda panel had instead recommended BSNL cull its workforce by around 100,000, but unions had threatened to strike if these cuts were made.

The new hires will be for the sales and marketing division, and would push the size of that unit to 25,000. BSNL currently employs around 350,000 people company-wide.


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