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Som, Rana

Rana Som Executive Chairman, Bengal Birbhum Coalfields Ltd (BBCL)

Rana Som is a corporate leader who has used his expertise of working in different organisations in scripting the turnaround of two public sector giants. He was the architect of Hindustan Copper Ltd’s revival and was instrumental for the massive diversifi­cation and growth of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). He has successfully served as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Hindustan Copper Ltd and NMDC. During his four-year tenure as the CMD, he took NMDC to the top and made it the best central public sector enterprise (CPSE), the best Navaratna company, the best Rana Som company on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and so on. By selling its equity at 300 times the face value, NMDC became one of the rarest companies to have managed this feat. After superannuating from NMDC and working for a few years as an advisor at the apex level in a large corporate group, he is now the Chairman of Bengal Birbhum Coal­elds Ltd (BBCL), a mining company which is engaged in developing the largest coal block in India.

Rana Som’s strength has always been his ability to work through people, and he has always been unconventional in this area. In turning around the sick and stagnant companies, his main thrust has been to unleash the potential of people and to give them freedom to dream, work and innovate. When he decided to set up a large integrated steel plant in a tribal and volatile area in the state of Chhattisgarh, he spoke to the land owners directly ignoring threat perceptions and establishing an emotional chord with them. For the fi­rst time in India, agricultural land was available for industrial use in just four months’ time and more land was offered than what was notified to be acquired.

Rana, who holds a master’s degree in economics and a postgraduate diploma in management, is also a powerful speaker. He speaks at national and international forums. In December 2011, Dr Manmohan Singh, the former Indian Prime Minister, took him to Russia fito impress upon Mr Dmitry Madvedev, the then President of the Russian Federation, the Indian scenario in steel and mines and the benefi­ts of India–Russia cooperation in this sector. He is now a jury member for Platts, USA, for selecting the best companies as well as the best CEOs in the global mining and metal sector.