Ashwani Lohani (File photo)
NEW DELHI: Ashwani Lohani, the “turnaround specialist” who headed Railway Board and Air India, has now joined infra major GMR Group as CEO of its Services Business.
The group, which is India’s biggest private sector airport developer, is now eying railway stations as the government plans to run many of them the PPP way. GMR Group’s Services Business includes railways in its portfolio.
Lohani was first appointed as Air India (AI) chairman and managing director in September 2015 and moved to Railway Board as chairman in November, 2017. A 1980 batch Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers officer, he retired as Railway Board chairman on December 31, 2018, and was last February brought back to head AI for a year’s term.
At AI, Lohani had started the highly successful Delhi-San Francisco nonstop in winter of 2015. He iscredited with restoring the world’s oldest working steam locomotive for running the Fairy Queen between Delhi and Alwar.
The GMR Group is now eying to expand its wings in railway where the government is keen to adopt the PPP way for increased efficiency. The group was among the 16 companies that took part in the pre-bid conference for running private trains.
Recently, GMR was among the nine players shortlisted for redeveloping railway stations at Nagpur, Gwalior, Amritsar and Sabarmati the PPP way.