Vasudeva asks ONGC to 'clap' his first 100 days

Vol 15, PW 15 (09 Feb 12) People & Policy

Sudhir Vasudeva is spending too much time blowing his own trumpet and not enough time working to revitalise ONGC since he became chairman, according to company insiders.

Last month Vasudeva wrote a nine-page ‘motivational’ letter to colleagues on completion of 100 days in office as CMD since October 3. “I read Vasudeva’s letter three times,” frowns a source.

“But I could not understand what he’s trying to communicate.” Vasudeva, he adds, has no clear policy or future direction for ONGC and has resorted to meaningless platitudes.

“We must change before change changes us,” writes the ONGC chairman. Another ONGC critic says employees are disappointed that his main goal seems to be the pursuit of every available PR opportunity.

“Vasudeva is a technical man,” we hear. “He knows ONGC inside out; we expected him to do a lot more than cut ribbons.

Most of his first 100 days have been spent touring assets in India and abroad collecting bouquets!” In his letter Vasudeva says he foresees, “an emerging era of partnership between national oil companies and independent oil companies.” He wants ONGC to be aggressive in acquiring ‘equity oil’ and focus on LNG and renewables as 'strategic drivers'.

“The strategy of investing in LNG ‘trains’ and shale gas assets abroad, adopted by our global competitors, will also need to be examined critically,” adds Vasudeva. His critics however are unimpressed by broad-sweeping statements and say that as leader, he gives the impression of being confused and in a hurry.

“He always talks of the ‘legacy’ he wants to leave and complains he doesn’t have enough time to “transform” ONGC,” we hear. Vasudeva has only two years left before retirement.