Satish Pai asked to apply for ONGC chairman

Vol 20, PW 17 (18 May 17) People & Policy

Satish Pai has apparently been told by the PMO that he is guaranteed to win the coveted ONGC chairman position, according to well-placed sources.

If true, it would mark a new era for ONGC. Pai is described as a staunch patriot who, if given free rein, would work tirelessly to improve ONGC and by extension India.

"I heard Pai sent his CV to the PESB only after an assurance from the highest office in the country," says a senior ONGC source, without offering more details. Pai joined Mumbai-based aluminium rolling company Hindalco in 2013 as MD from Schlumberger where he worked for 28 years.

"ONGC is responsible for the energy security of the country and needs to be shaken up," adds a source. "Pai won't do it for the money but to serve the country.

He is already a multi-millionaire. He wouldn't have applied unless he had an assurance of autonomy from the top." A PESB source says it will take at least a month to complete the interview process.

By the May 11 deadline the PESB had received CVs from more than 30 candidates. Others in the race are M.

Ravi Kanth, MD of Housing and Urban Development Corporation; Shashi Shanker, ONGC director technical and field services; Vivekanand Sharma, OVL director finance; Ajay Kumar, director exploration at Bharat Petro Resources; and Prabal Basu, chairman of Balmer Lawrie. DK Sarraf steps down as ONGC chairman on September 30, 2017.

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