New Delhi: Subir Raha, arguably the most influential former chairman of government-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), died of cancer on Monday. He was 62.
Raha, who was last year diagonsed with lung cancer, was taken critically ill about a week back and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in New Delhi, family and friends said.
Raha is credited with taking ONGC where it is today—the nation’s largest oil and gas producer.
He single-handedly drove ONGC’s vertical integration by acquiring Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd and aggressively pursued overseas deals, unseen after his unceremonious exit.
During his tenure as chairman and managing director from May 2001-2006, ONGC’s market capitalization increased at least 10 times to Rs2 trillion, and became the leader among all public and private sector companies in India in terms of net worth.
In a strange coincidence, the year Raha was denied an extension as ONGC’s boss (in 2006) also saw the company lose its coveted position as the nation’s most valuable company.
Raha worked with Hinduja group for a brief while before floating Team Raha Ideation—an India-based consulting firm focused on strategic advisory services.
He was on several boards including that of GeoGlobal Resources as independent director and had turned into a columinist writing on energy issues.