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Straddling worlds

"I will try to run the North Pole Marathon in 2011," says Ajay Khandelwal, CEO, Jubilant Energy. He has run the London Marathon and a few half-marathons.

Shalini S. Dagar | Print Edition: April 4, 2010

"I will try to run the North Pole Marathon in 2011," says Ajay Khandelwal, CEO, Jubilant Energy. He has run the London Marathon and a few half-marathons. But, doing marathons this year could be difficult for Khandelwal as he settles into his six-month-old job— his first regular operations profile. Khandelwal reckons that the Indian exploration and production (E&P) sector is at an inflection point as a shift to an open acreage policy — which allows companies to choose the time of entering the exploration sector as well as the blocks they want to explore — is imminent.

If this happens, he says, Jubilant will be a very large company in the coming years. Khandelwal, who has worked in transnational Shell as well as the family office of a high net worth (HNW) Norwegian individual, believes Jubilant can make that transformation to a large company with ease. "I have worked in an office where, to spend $5 million, one had to write a 40-page internal process note, and at the other extreme I have worked in a five person HNW family office where $50 million investment decisions were taken on Post-It Notes," recounts Khandelwal. Along the way, Khandelwal intends to get the exploration and appraisal processes right, spruce up revenue-generating properties and increase shareholder value.

Ajay Khandelwal, 38, CEO, Jubilant Energy

  • EDUCATION: BE (Electrical Engineering), MBA.
  • EXPERIENCE: PowerGen, Essar Power, Elan Energy Consulting, Shell International Oil & Gas, Norwegian high net worth family office .
  • 'AHA' MOMENT: When I went to do my MBA on a 100 per cent scholarship.
  • TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Last year, between April and June, when I had three job offers and had to make a decision to relocate.

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