Hazarika among seven in race for Oil India top job

Vol 11, PW 24 (17 Apr 08) People & Policy

ONGC director onshore AK Hazarika is fast emerging the hot favourite to be next chairman of Oil India to replace MR Pasrija, who steps down on December 1 this year.

“No one can stop Hazarika if he wants to become the chairman of Oil India,â€‌ comments an observer. “He is charismatic and also well connected.

â€‌ Another favourite for the post is Oil India director operations NM Borah. “Borah keeps a low profile,â€‌ we hear.

“Many of his well wishers have advised him to start networking with â€کfriends’ in the right places otherwise he might lose it again like last time.â€‌ An Oil India source adds: “Hazarika has all the advantages over Borah except one: he is not an internal candidate and might face some resistance or opposition from the present members on the Oil India board.

â€‌ Hazarika and Bora are both among a final shortlist of seven candidates selected by the Public Enterprises Selection Board for interview. PETROWATCH learns the final list was approved by the PESB on April 7.

“No date has been fixed for the interviews,â€‌ says a well-placed source. “But most likely they will take place in June because the PESB usually interviews candidates six months before the date of vacancy, which in this case is December.

â€‌ Other than Borah, two of the seven shortlisted candidates are from Oil India: TK Ananth Kumar, director finance and BN Talukdar, director exploration and development. Other than Hazarika, three of the seven candidates are from ONGC: AA Khan, asset manager of the Rajahmundry asset, SR Athawale, executive director and chief of the materials management department and PK Verma, asset manager of the Neelam and Heera fields.

The PESB circulated the vacancy on December 10 last year. By February 5 this year, it had received CVs from 22 candidates.

MR Pasrija took over as Oil India chairman on March 14, 2006 from RK Dutta.

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