Staff exodus hits Reliance exploration division

Vol 14, PW 14 (13 Jan 11) People & Policy

Reliance has long been known for happily poaching the best talent from rival Indian and foreign companies but, ironically, it’s now getting a taste of its own medicine.

PETROWATCH learns disgruntled staff in Reliance’s exploration division have been quitting by the dozen for the past few months. Worst hit are the drilling and development sections, where many are frustrated with the lack of work now that Reliance has just two rigs operating in India: Discoverer India and Dhirubhai Deepwater KG-2 (DD-KG2).

“The entire hall (in the drilling and development section) usually seats up to 50 people in cubicles,” says a regular Reliance visitor. “But these days just two or three people occupy it, that too during normal working hours, not lunch or tea-time!” Another industry source complains he must deal with different people at Reliance every couple of months for the same project, a clear sign of high staff turnover, while an oilfield services provider believes at least 10 more drilling engineers could quit Reliance this month (January).

“This could be the single biggest group to leave,” he says. “Reliance has just two rigs in India and most of its experienced rig managers are sitting idle.

Well-qualified and experienced employees don’t want to hang around. They see a bleak future in a company with no new projects.

” Also contributing to the exodus, we hear, is widespread dissatisfaction with pay and allowances. “Reliance employees didn’t get the usual ‘performance linked incentives’ last year,” we hear.

“Promises were made time and again but Reliance never paid bonuses.” More, very few Reliance employees got their expected pay-rises.

“Staff with between 10 and 15 years industry experience are leaving,” we hear, “and so are some with just a few years experience.”