Satpal Garg is new director finance at ONGC Videsh

Vol 11, PW 23 (15 May 08) People & Policy

Satpal Garg (below) had two very good reasons to celebrate this month.

On May 6, ONGC’s 52-year old company secretary was told his son had secured a job at global consultancy McKinsey after graduating from Stanford University. Next day Garg was confirmed as winner among 47 candidates interviewed for the prestigious job of director finance at ONGC Videsh – not bad for a man who joined ONGC in 1982 and has steadily risen through the ranks.

“I have been in the finance department ever since I joined ONGC,â€‌ Garg tells PETROWATCH, during a 20-minute interview on May 12, his first since selection by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) on May 7. “But nowadays most of my time is taken up doing the job of a company secretary, not finance.

I have been handling ONGC’s statutory issues since October.â€‌ Surrounded by trophies won by his predecessors, soft-spoken Garg sits comfortably in his big office in room No.

21 on the eighth floor of the Jeevan Bharti building and corporate HQ of ONGC in central Delhi. Though not officially confirmed in his new position, Garg tells us the formal appointment letter could take up to two months, but adds that ONGC has already begun scouting for his replacement as company secretary.

“Two months is normal,â€‌ says Garg. “It might take even longer.

â€‌ Once the orders come, Garg tells us he will move his office a few blocks away to the fourth floor of the Kailash building on KG Marg, also in central Delhi, where his priority as new director finance will be to achieve the financial targets set by the Planning Commission in line with the 11th five year plan, which has allocated OVL a spending budget of Rs47,000cr ($11bn) over five years from 2007 to 2012. “OVL exceeded its 10th plan targets,â€‌ adds Garg.

“Our aim is to now exceed everyone’s expectations with the 11th plan.â€‌ Married with two children, Garg’s daughter studies engineering at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science at Pilani in Rajasthan.

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