Shashi Shankar 'euphoric' about his selection

Vol 20, PW 20 (29 Jun 17) People & Policy

Shashi Shanker's office was so confident he would win the ONGC chairman race that loyal staffers ordered sweets to celebrate even before the result was announced at 7pm on June 19.

Even sweeter is that 56-year old ONGC director technical and field services Shanker now stands a good chance of becoming the longest serving ONGC Board member ever. Born March 2, 1961, Shanker has been a director since December 1, 2012.

He replaces DK Sarraf as chairman after September 30 this year and then will have roughly three and a half years until he retires in March 2021. "That will take his term on the Board to eight and a half years making him the longest serving Board member ever," reports a company source.

Shanker's predecessor UN Bose was director technical and field services for seven years from September 2005 till November 2012. Until now AK Hazarika held the record as the longest serving ONGC director when as director onshore he served for eight years from September 2004 till September 2012.

Some inside believe Shanker's selection is a "good" development. "First, he's a company candidate," says a source.

"Second, he's a technical man who can address the challenges facing the company." Several previous chairmen by contrast have been finance men, for example RS Sharma or Sarraf. Sudhir Vasudeva, who held the post from October 2011 to February 2014, was a petroleum engineer.