Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group ropes in former naval officer H S Malhi as CEO of defence group
Reuters | Photo Credit: Anil Ambani

Reliance Defence Systems, a subsidiary of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, today announced the induction of Vice Admiral H S Malhi (Retd) to spearhead the company's foray into naval defence sector.

Upon completion of statutory formalities for Reliance Group's already announced acquisition of Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering company, Malhi will assume charge as Group President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Reliance Infrastructure said in a statement.

Yesterday, Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering had announced that its CEO Rajiv Suman Shukla has resigned from the post with effect from May 30. The company is mainly into manufacturing of commercial ships and repair of oil rigs.

Malhi was CMD of Mazagaon Dock Ltd, which is building the six Scorpene submarines, before joining Reliance.

"Malhi's expertise in strategic planning and execution, operational management, and joint ventures and partnerships will enable Reliance Defence Systems to realise its goal of creating India's foremost defence company, with an emphasis on the 'Make in India' programme initiated by the Prime Minister of India, thereby creating sustainable long term value for all stakeholders," the Reliance statement said.

Reliance is aiming for the nearly Rs 60,000 crore P-75(I) project of the Indian Navy which envisages to build six conventional submarines with Air Independent Propulsion System that will allow the vessel to stay under water for longer duration.

Malhi, who had 36 years service in the Indian Navy, is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy.

He served afloat in a number of war vessels and was Fleet Engineer Officer of Western Fleet.

As Flag Officer, he was Director, Defence Machinery Design Establishment at Hyderabad and served as Admiral Superintendent, Naval Dockyard at Visakhapatnam, Indian Navy's premier ship repair yard on the East Coast.

Post serving in the Indian Navy, Malhi was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.

His tenure at MDL saw commissioning of INS Shivalik, Indian Navy's first indigenously built stealth frigate, and launching of second and third ships of Kolkata class destroyers.

Shares of RInfra closed at Rs 370.70 apiece on BSE, down 0.68 per cent from the previous close while that of Pipavav Defence closed at Rs 58.35 apiece, down 1.77 per cent.

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