As Mr Satpal Garg remitted office of Director (Finance), ONGC Videsh on August 31, 2016, the memory lane was inundated with narratives of a career that was illustrious and eventful. Notwithstanding the deluge that brought the capital city to a standstill, ONGC Videsh Delhi office was choc-a-bloc with colleagues who had come to bid adieu to Mr Garg.
The farewell event began with a presentation on the milestones and initiatives in his 34 year long remarkable career.
In his address, Mr Garg recounted with great satisfaction his association with ONGC and ONGC Videsh. He reminisced the same also in his email to all employees of ONGC Videsh, “My association with ONGC Videsh started in September 2008, when I joined as Director (Finance). The crude oil is a very volatile commodity as prices touched peak of US $147/bbl and within 6 months by January 2009, they were about US $33/bbl. The first learning of crest and trough of cash flows that an International Oil Company is subjected to and managing the costs and acquisitions within the resource base with the intention to have a global foot print. We are back to the same level after seeing a high and stable price of above US $100/bbl from 2010 to 2014. Prices started declining in 2014 and touched a low of US $26/bbl. During this period, I am glad to have been part of the vibrant and dynamic team which not only successfully ventured through the tough times but also saw its profit reaching the zenith during 2013-14 and production crossing 200K boepd mark, post-acquisition of Vankor.”
Mr NK Verma, MD, ONGC Videsh, calling him one of the four pillars of ONGC Videsh, said, “Mr SP Garg steered the financial lineup during the period of maximum growth. He scanned, assessed, and sifted the assets like Imperial Energy, Azerbaijan, Mozambique meticulously and contributed immensely. His exemplary performance added another dimension to financial management in ONGC Videsh.”
Mr Verma underlined the difference in the basic tenets of finance and exploration. “We had ample differences on many fronts. It is by training that finance thinks linearly while as an explorationist, we are trained to think laterally. There is a value for both. I wish we had more time for collaboration, “ he rued.
He enjoined upon the finance team, with the new leader Mr Vivekanand at the helm, to work cohesively and in an integrated manner so that ONGC Videsh takes that leap from being a junior partner to a majority operator.
Mr PK Rao, Director (Operations) in his address said, “In the last two years of my association with Mr SP Garg, we had a great working relationship. His 8-year tenure as the Director Finance saw many mega acquisitions. We will be missing his guidance.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sudhir Sharma, Director (Exploration) highlighted the fact that Mr Garg has been the longest serving director on the board of ONGC Videsh.” He has seen the company transform from a Schedule B company to Schedule A company and many remarkable acquisitions. He joined in 2008 when we closed the Imperial deal and today when this year he will have the satisfaction of closing the Vankor deal,” he said.
Setting the tone for the farewell event, Mr Vivekanad appreciated the support that was always forthcoming from Mr Garg.
Today, Mr Vivekanand has just assumed the charge as the new Director (Finance) of ONGC Videsh. He brings over three decades of experience as Finance and Accounting professional in the upstream oil and gas industry both in domestic and international operations.
He has handled the whole gamut of finance functions such as Treasury, Taxation, Budgeting, Accounting, Internal Audit, Marketing, Risk Management, Business Process Re-engineering, etc. He has played key roles in financing campaigns of ONGC Videsh raising financing of nearly USD 6 billion in the last three years.
As the business scion Narayan Murthy famously said, “When you run a part of the relay and pass on the baton, there is no sense of unfinished business in your mind. There is just the sense of having done your part to the best of your ability. That is it. The hope is to pass on the baton to somebody who will run faster and run a better marathon.”
ONGC Videsh is geared up for the marathon!