NK Verma wins race as next ONGC director exploration

Vol 16, PW 6 (04 Oct 12) People & Policy

When the news came it wasn’t surprising; we already predicted the result two weeks ago in the last edition of this report.

NK Verma, geologist, ‘risk-taker’ and director exploration at OVL, the overseas arm of ONGC, has made it to the board of his parent company. Fifty-three-year old Verma was the PESB’s first choice from 12 candidates interviewed for the ONGC director exploration post on September 27.

“He was the most senior called to interview,” says a source. “No one doubted he would be selected but it wasn’t easy.

” General managers Anand Sahu and RK Vij gave him a run for his money during interviews; Verma also had to put up with jealous aides from within. Some said he should have been dropped from the list of eligible candidates all together.

“He’s already a director,” we hear. “Others should have been given a chance; he should not have been permitted to apply.

” Varma was also the victim of a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign with competing rivals approaching ‘middlemen’ offering money to “the right people” to ensure he was not selected. Yet Verma’s supporters are steadfast, saying he won the post on pure merit.

“Verma reckons ONGC can do wonders with the talent pool and resources at its disposal,” says one. “He is determined to accelerate exploration.

” Already rumours are circulating about Verma’s replacement at OVL, even though the PESB is unlikely to advertise for a replacement before April next year. Top of the list is Sudhir Sharma, an OVL general manager, followed by Sudharkar Mahapatra, also an OVL general manager.

RK Vij and Anand Sahu, who lost to Verma this time round, might try again, we hear.

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