Immediately after my graduation as a Mechanical Engineer from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) I joined OIL in 1962 at Duliajan, Assam as an Assistant Production Engineer. The company, then a 50:50 joint venture between Government of India and Burmah Oil Company (BOC), UK, was in its formative years and had a large contingent of ex-patriate staff working hand in hand with the Indian staff. The Production Department itself was headed by an Englishman, Leslie Charles Bond and had two other ex-patriate officers in its total strength of 17 officers. Coming from the cosmopolitan atmosphere amongst students from all parts of the country during my years in BHU, I had thus the privilege of stepping into a much more stimulating and challenging phase of work as well as life in the company of a wide spectrum of people from around the world so very early in my career. I suppose this, coupled with some extremely useful lessons I learnt from a few of my peers and seniors, shaped my behavioural aspects and attitudes to work and life in a very big way.
I went up the ladder and subsequently I also had to undergo a job rotation phase in OIL. All along, I saw the company growing in strength and through various phases. The phased replacement of the ex-patriate staff by Indian officers, the company becoming a PSU in 1981 when the Government of India acquired all the shares of BOC, OIL spreading its wings to other parts of the country etc. all happened during my tenure. I however left OIL in 1962 to take up an assignment with an American Oil Company in Peru, South America. The three years I worked as the Chief Engineer/ Assistant Engineering Superintendent at the base office of the offshore oilfields of the company in Talara, Peru, helped me immensely to build my knowledge base both in depth and in range. After all, ability to tap the multi-disciplinary knowledge from across the organisation and team work has been the key to success of many effective oil companies. I returned to OIL in 1985, became the Group General Manager at Duliajan in 1988, overseeing all the operations of the company in NE India. In 1990, I was selected to become the Director (Operations) and I became the CMD of the company in 1992.
CMD of Oil India Ltd (OIL) in 1992 and then moved to ONGC as its CMD in 1995 and continued till 2001