In an unprecedented move, Russian oil company Rosneft recently appointed Govind Kottieth (GK) Satish, a former Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) director, as a member on its board.
This makes him the first Indian to be appointed to the board of the Russian oil giant.
The appointment comes as a sign of Russia's strategy aimed at boosting trade links with India.
GK Satish, 62, retired from the post of director for business development at IOC in 2021.
According to a statement released by the Russian firm, he is one of the three newly appointed individuals to the 11-member board of directors. He is one of the five independent directors on the Rosneft board.
The Rosneft board also includes representatives from Qatar and the Philippines.
The Russian oil company has partnerships with the Indian Oil Corporation in oil and gas fields in Russia.
Furthermore, it engages in the sale of crude oil to Indian firms such as IOC, along with other companies, and has recently initiated the shipment of naphtha to refiners in Gujarat.
According to Rosneft's website, GK Satish has graduated from SV National Institute of Technology in Surat, India, with a bachelor's degree in Engineering, and also holds a degree from the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon, India.
He has a three-decade-long experience in the energy sector, and his most recent role was as the Managing Director of ValPro Pvt. Ltd. India.
While serving on the IOC board in 2016, the new Rosneft director was also the chairman at IndianOil Adani Gas Pvt Ltd. This joint venture, established by IOC in collaboration with Adani Group, focused on the retailing of CNG and piped cooking gas. The success of this venture propelled Adani Group to become the leading player in the city gas sector.
On an annual basis, Russian supplies Indian companies with approximately 2 million barrels per day of crude oil, equivalent to 100 million tonnes.
According to a report by NDTV, Rosneft has entered into a long-term agreement to supply Satish's former company with 6 million tonnes of crude oil annually.
It is also actively pursuing similar agreements with other state-owned refiners, such as Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL).