Sarraf goes all out to win ONGC chairman race

Vol 16, PW 19 (18 Apr 13) People & Policy

DK Sarraf will fight hard to become the next ONGC chairman, say friends of the OVL managing director.

“Sarraf is 56,” says an ONGC source. “This is his last chance and he won't let go.

” PESB officials began searching on March 12 for someone to replace Sudhir Vasudeva, who steps down in ten months on February 28, 2014. Yet Sarraf will face stiff competition from two colleagues at ONGC: director (technical and field services) Shashi Shanker, 52, and director (exploration) NK Verma, 54.

A former ONGC employee tells us Sarraf is lobbying hard. “His seniority to Verma and Shanker is an advantage,” he adds.

Verma, who replaced SV Rao as director exploration on April 1, is also seen as a serious contender. “He’s winning friends,” we hear.

“Verma’s subordinates are happy with him. He makes sure they understand what he wants and always clears any doubts they have.

” Shanker, who was appointed director on December 1, 2012, is more low-key. But some believe he could surprise everyone and emerge as the dark horse winner.

Another serious contender is GAIL chairman BC Tripathi, 53. “Moily is very happy with Tripathi,” we hear.

So happy the oil minister reportedly asked Tripathi to choose if he wants to extend his five-year term as GAIL chairman beyond July 31, 2014 or become ONGC chairman! Moily went even further, asking Tripathi if he’d like to be the next IOC chairman when RS Butola retires on May 31 next year. Anyone interested in the ONGC top job has until May 20 to submit a CV.