- The government’s shortlist of candidates includes three private sector executives
- Three top executives from ONGC also on the list
New Delhi: After 17 months, the process for the selection of a suitable candidate for the ONGC CMD post is believed to have seen some progress as the government is ready with a shortlist of public sector and private sector heads who are slated to be interviewed on August 27, PSU Watch has learnt from sources. A shortlist of six candidates has been prepared by a search committee, sources said.
The Maharatna oil and gas major has been without a full-time CMD since April 1, 2021, when Shashi Shanker superannuated.
ONGC CMD: 3 private sector executives on list
Earlier, PSU Watch had reported that the government was keen on roping in private sector executives to head India’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company. The government has been pushing ONGC to look at ways to improve its performance and there has been a feeling that a private sector executive may be better suited for the job, said sources. And therefore, in line with that thinking, the government’s shortlist of candidates includes three private sector executives — Ashish Bhandari, CEO of Thermax, Nitin Birla, who specialises in Project and Asset Management (Upstream) at Kuwait Gulf Oil Company, and Baroruchi Mishra, who is Project Director, Growth and Transition Projects, at Shell India.
Public sector executives on list
From within ONGC, the list of names includes ONGC’s current Director (HR), who holds the additional charge of the CMD post, Alka Mittal, Director (Offshore) Pankaj Kumar and Director (Exploration) RK Srivastava. According to sources, other names in the fray includes Indian Oil Corporation Chairman SM Vaidya, Petronet LNG MD & CEO AK Singh and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) CMD Vartika Shukla.
The list has been finalised by a search committee which was formed by the government last year. The committee is headed by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) Chairperson Mallika Srinivasan and consists of two Members — Petroleum Secretary Pankaj Jain and former Indian Oil Chairman B Ashok as outside expert of eminence.
In June 2021, the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) had interviewed candidates for the ONGC CMD position but had aborted its search after it didn’t find any suitable candidate. After Shanker’s superannuation, ONGC has had two part-time CMDs — former Director (Finance) Subhash Kumar and Mittal.
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