Hard work not enough to win ONGC promotion

Vol 16, PW 21 (16 May 13) People & Policy

Merit and hard work are not enough to win promotion under chairman Sudhir Vasudeva, complain ONGC employees.

On May 2, ONGC's departmental promotion committee headed by Vasudeva promoted only 37 general managers to group general manager out of 64 candidates. "ONGC promotes only those who praise their bosses,” alleges a disgruntled source.

When contacted, Vasudeva vehemently denies any bias. “This is an internal matter," he tells us.

"We cannot give promotions to everyone. If we choose some, others will feel bad.

" Among those denied promotions are general manager corporate well services Ajay Kumar Bansal, general manager Mehsana asset Amit Kumar and general manager frontier basin DN Singh. “It is shocking to see deserving candidates like Bansal, Kumar and Singh not promoted," adds a source.

"They always over achieve their targets.” Bansal, in particular, is cited as a rare jewel, saving ONGC $5.5bn by forcing Cairn India to pay its royalty and cess share from July 2010 in Rajasthan.

Until then ONGC was paying Cairn's royalty and cess. Former Cairn CEO Rahul Dhir was so incensed by Bansal he asked ONGC chairman Vasudeva to remove him as head of the JV Operating Committee.

On the day he was denied promotion Bansal wrote a 20-page complaint to oil minister Veerappa Moily. “This was Bansal's last chance,” says a supporter.

“He retires in December.” Bansal became general manager in 2008.

When contacted, Bansal, Kumar and Singh maintain a dignified silence, saying promotions are decided by management.