ECONOMY

The One Thing Adani Group Finds Hard To Keep

For the Adani Group, India’s emerging infrastructure giant that spans mines, power, ports, airports, rail lines, logistics, data centres and defence, it seems chief financial officers are hard to retain.

The group’s listed companies have seen an unusually high turnover in chief financial officers. Five CFOs have left in the last three years; or ten in the last four.

This week Deepak Maheshwari, CFO of group flagship Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd., bid adieu to the company. He would have finished three years this May.

Maheshwari stepped down due to “personal reasons,” a company statement said. He “decided to move back to Mumbai and as there was no opportunity within the Group for his experience in Mumbai he decided to pursue career interests outside of Adani Group,” the company said. The resignation letter is not available on the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Curiously, Maheshwari resigned with immediate effect. Few key managerial personnel do that if they are leaving on amicable terms. The company statement makes no mention of any personal emergency. The group did not announce his replacement.

Maheshwari was appointed CFO in May 2018 after Bhamidipaty Ravi resigned in February that year, citing “preoccupation”.

Ravi had also resigned with immediate effect. In fact, the company’s filing with the stock exchange provided no reason and no successor at the time.

At Adani Enterprises Ltd., the group holding company, the CFO changed three times in as many years between 2017 and 2019.

Ameet Desai, CFO since 2014, stepped down in August 2017 due to “preoccupation”. He left the group but continues to advise chairman Gautam Adani says his bio as a director at an asset reconstruction Adcompany.

Rajiv Nayar was appointed as additional director and CFO in August 2017. Nayar moved to a group role in May 2018. He left the group in 2019.

Rakesh Shah was appointed CFO in May 2018. He resigned in April 2019, with immediate effect. The reason—personal, as mentioned in the company’s annual report. The resignation filed with the RoC, however, offered no reason.

Jugeshinder Singh was appointed in May 2019 and continues to serve as CFO as of today.

Adani Green Energy Ltd. was incorporated in 2015 and listed subsequent to a demerger in 2018. In six years, it has had three CFOs.

Ashok Jagetiya was appointed in March 2016, a year after the company was incorporated. Jagetiya resigned in August 2017. As the company was not listed, no exchange filing is available to discern the reason.

Ashish Garg was appointed in August 2017. He quit in November 2019…with immediate effect. Resignation filed with the registrar cited personal reasons.

The company had no CFO till Kaushal Shah was appointed in February this year.

After six years at Adani Transmission Ltd., Shah’s intra-group move left the company, also listed, without a CFO. According to information available on its website, it still has none.

At Adani Power Ltd., Vinod Bhandawat, who served as CFO since December 2013, resigned in January 2018. No reason was offered in his resignation letter filed with the RoC.

Bhandawat was succeeded by Rajat Kumar Singh in February 2018 – he lasted a year.

In 2019, Singh moved to a group role, according to filings with the RoC, and a year later left Adani for Lodha Group.

Suresh Jain was appointed CFO in April 2019. He had moved to Adani Group from Essar Steel Ltd. Jain remained CFO for a year and then moved to a group position in July 2020 where he continues.

Shailesh Shawa took over as CFO that month and remains in that position as on today.

Naresh Poddar was appointed CFO at Adani Total Gas Ltd. in financial year 2017-18—the same year the company listed on the bourses after a demerger from parent Adani Enterprises.

Poddar resigned in January 2019 to explore new professional opportunities, his resignation filed with the RoC said. Since then, Parag Parikh has been the company’s CFO.

Adani Group is yet to respond to BloombergQuint’s query seeking comment.

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