A one-year extension as chairman of ONGC

Vol 4, PW 15 (30 Aug 00) People & Policy

By April next year, India's Oil & Natural Gas Corporation should have a new chairman.

The present incumbent, Bikash Bora, was scheduled to retire in July this year after completing his five-year term, but Petrowatch learns he has been asked to stay on until April 30th next year. Bora is aged 60 and will be 61 when he steps down.

His date of birth is 1st May 1940. When he retires, competition to replace him is likely to be intense.

A senior source at ONGC tells this report two strong outside candidates have emerged. They are: Avinash Chandra, head of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, and Atul Chandra, managing director of ONGC Videsh, the corporation's overseas wing.

Other strong candidates in the race are ONGC finance director IN Chatterjee, technical director RC Gourh and personnel director Jauhari Lal. Among ONGC directors, only RC Gourh is believed to have any credible chance.

Asource at ONGC tells Petrowatch that oil minister Ram Naik and secretary Subbaram Narayan have made an initial assessment of the prospective candidates. What is surprising is that Naik has made clear he wants to see non-oil industry candidates "with brilliant track records" apply for the job.

Many at ONGCwonder aloud if this means the minister is trying to push a candidate of his own. "We are all trying to guess," one ONGC director tells this report.

The selection process begins at the Public Enterprise Selection Board next month.