IGL boss Kumar hits back at his detractors

Vol 17, PW 18 (24 Apr 14) People & Policy

Indraprastha Gas (IGL) managing director Narendra Kumar stands accused of 'rude' and 'humiliating' behaviour by a group of rebel managers, a charge he hotly denies.

Around a dozen managers at Delhi-based IGL sent an anonymous letter on April 15 to BC Tripathi, chairman of parent company GAIL. Kumar, 54, took charge on April 15 last year, replacing M.

Ravindran who moved to GAIL as director (HR). Kumar is blamed for stalled growth and for a divisive leadership style.

“We're facing gas loss (during transmission of around 7%) for five months," states the letter. "The company is losing upto Rs16cr ($2.6m) a month.

” When contacted, Kumar denied the charge. “I'm trying to bring transparency to the system, making people accountable for their work," he said.

"Fixing ‘loopholes’ in management by changing manager job profiles is unpopular." One IGL officer, who did not support the letter, says Kumar’s background is unsuited for IGL.

“Kumar’s experience is in operations and maintenance,” he says. “IGL should be headed by a marketing person.

” Kumar was previously executive director (operations & maintenance) running GAIL’s central region. A former IGL managing director says Kumar should take the criticism in his stride.

“When I was there many letters were written against me too," he says. "There's a culture of such letters; contractors who don’t get jobs collude with a few senior officials writing complaints.