New Delhi: At least six candidates including GAIL Chairman B C Tripathi and ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) Managing Director D K Sarraf are in race for the top job at India's most profitable company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC).
Sarraf, 55, is the senior most candidate having been at the helms of ONGC's highly successful overseas arm since September 2011. Prior to that, he was Director (Finance) of ONGC since December 27, 2007 and Director (Finance) of OVL from February 2005.
Tripathi, who was the youngest Chairman of a Navaratna PSU when he at the age of 49 years took over as head of the nation's biggest natural gas distributor GAIL on August 1, 2009, too has thrown his hat in, sources with direct knowledge of the development said.
Others who have applied to replace Sudhir Vasudeva when he retires as Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC at end of February next year, include his colleagues Director (Exploration) Narendra Kumar Verma and Director (T&FS) Shashi Shanker.
OVL Director (Finance) S P Garg and Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL) Director (Operations) S Venkataramnan too have applied, sources said. Besides, they added, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) Chairman and Managing Director S C Verma, 53, may join the race.
A few more could possibly evince interest by the time applications close on May 20. Government headhunters Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) may call shortlisted candidates for interview in next couple of months.
Tripathi's 5-year term at GAIL will end on July 31, 2014 and though he will be eligible for an extension till he attains superannuation age of 60 years in January 2020, the government has no clear cut policy of giving extensions at the top.
SAIL's Verma too faces the same dilemma as his five year tenure ending on June 10, 2015 and he still would have four clear years to his retirement age.
Sources said that among the internal candidates, Shashi Shankar is relatively new to the board having been appointed as a Director only in December last year.
They said Narendra Kumar Verma too took over as Director (Exploration) only last month, prior to which he was Director (Exploration) at OVL for just 15 months.
According to PESB advertisement for the ONGC top job, a candidate applying should be of minimum 45 years of age but not more than 58 years for internal candidates and not more than 57 years for others.
"Persons with Technical/MBA qualifications and having experience in management and familiarity with Finance, Marketing/Production will have added advantage," it said.
First Published: Sunday, May 12, 2013, 11:44