Shanker confident he will be ONGC chairman

Vol 20, PW 4 (03 Nov 16) People & Policy

Look carefully at his body language and ONGC's director technical and field services Shashi Shanker gives off all the signals of a man who thinks he will be the next ONGC chairman.

This month (November) the PESB is expected to invite CVs for the highest profile and most powerful PSU post in the Indian oil and gas industry. In Shankar's favour is the undeniable fact that he is the only eligible director on the Board.

In public colleagues notice his new-found assertiveness and confidence at public events. "I've noticed a distinct change in his personality over the last few weeks," reports a source.

"He looks very confident!" Another source claims Shanker is looking for contacts in the ruling BJP administration - a crucial pre-requisite for any wannabe chairman and managing director of a state-owned company. In June the anti-corruption CVC watchdog cleared Shankar of wrongdoing following his abrupt three-month suspension in February 2015 over irregularities in a BoP tender.

Other eligible candidates include several EDs charged with ONGC assets: SK Moitra, a "competent" asset manager of the Bassein and satellite fields; AJ Morbale, the "friendly and accessible" asset manager of the Neelam and Heera fields; and Rajesh Kakkar, a "polite" asset manager at Mumbai High. "Both Kakkar and Morbale have five years to retirement," adds an ONGC source.

"Moitra has four years." Also tipped is DGH chief Atanu Chakraborty.