In the Coal India head office above a swarming, heaving Kolkata street, chairman Partha Bhattacharyya lives and breathes the company he joined as a management trainee in 1977, just two years after its foundation. There’s nothing he can’t recall about it, rattling off profit numbers from 20 years ago without resorting to notes. He has risen steadily through the ranks since the 1970s, and many of the skills that were useful in presenting Coal India to the world this year were honed in difficult times decades ago. Because for most of the past 35 years Coal India was financially a mess.
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