TS Darbari, the joint director general of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CWGOC) now in the eye of the storm over alleged irregularities, is a man who switched roles between the corporate sector and the government and is given to reminiscing his "close assocation" with late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Darbari works closely with CWGOC chairman Suresh Kalmadi and has been named as the person who worked out some of the deals that have been questioned in financial audits and sparked controversy.
An alumnus of St Stephen's college and Britain's Hull University from where he did his MBA, Darbari has held various positions in his 29-year career that included stints in the cabinet secretariat, petroleum ministry, Oil and Natural Gas Corp and even a multinational like Hewlett Packard.
He was an officer on special duty with the Implementation Committee of the cabinet secretariat between February 1987 and December 1988, where he worked under the chairmanship of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Those who worked with him say he fondly talks about the proximity he enjoyed to Rajiv Gandhi and his office.
Darbari's stints in the government also included a tenure between December 1990 and June 1991 as secretary to the petroleum minister and as an executive director of a project launched by the ministry of social justice between May 1998 and June 1999.
His other assignments include director for corporate strategy with Hewlett Packard between July 2005 and January 2009, vice president of computers major CMC between September 1993 and June 2005 and general manager with Oil and Natural Gas Corp between June 1991 and December 1992.
The Nathpa Jhakri Power Corp, the Union Bank of India and Management and Consultancy Associates are among the other organisations he has served.
Darbari, according to officials in the Organising Committee, has also been instrumental in forming the Business Club of India to facilitate business networking among Commonwealth countries during the Games. He has roped both the business chambers, CII and FICCI, in this venture.
Those who knew him well say he has always impressed his employers with excellent testimonials from past jobs.
"Dedicated Officer with a flair of getting the things done," reads one such testimonial about him, attributed to P Murari, former secretary to the president, dating back to 1990.
"I have rarely seen such an officer who is so highly result oriented, and with tremendous executive flair with qualities of excellent team work," says another purportedly written in 1991 by the petroleum minister.