You could say he has a rich vein of experience. With a handful of mine acquisitions under his belt for the JSW Group, Tuhin Mukherjee has moved on to become managing director at Essel Mining, belonging to the Aditya Birla Group. He will also be sectoral head for the natural resources development group. "I will be wearing two hats now," says Mukherjee.
The erstwhile executive director (mining) of JSW Steel and CEO & director of JSW Natural Resources had an eventful five-year stint with the Sajjan Jindal-led group. He helped make JSW an integrated steel player through global raw material acquisitions, which are now beginning to bear fruit.
The company acquired large US coking coal assets in October last year, from which shipments to India will commence very soon. Iron ore mines in Chile will help JSW bring down its costs considerably. With both iron ore and coking coal, two of the most important and costliest ingredients in steelmaking, JSW is betting big on huge improvements to its margins.
Mukherjee also spearheaded a successful bid for a majority stake in Canadian coal company CIC Energy, which gives JSW Energy access to resources in Botswana. A close to 50 per cent stake in South African Coal Mining Holdings acquired last year will also boost raw material security. Shipments of South African coal have already started reaching Indian shores.
Mukherjee credits Jindal personally for his success. "He is a very dynamic leader and I have enjoyed my stay at JSW very much. Everybody in the corporate team at JSW is so committed to their work that it made my work simpler," Mukherjee says.
At Essel Mining, where he steps into the shoes of Ravi Kastia (who will now oversee other group businesses), Mukherjee has his work cut out for him. He has been tasked with identifying potential mines for acquisition and spearheading the company’s greenfield and brownfield expansions. Moreover, with Essel Mining looking to enter coal mining, Mukherjee’s role becomes all the more crucial, given his experience in identifying and buying coal assets globally.