ONGC austerity means no gifts but many trips

Vol 19, PW 10 (28 Jan 16) People & Policy

ONGC is trumpeting plans to cut costs on the one hand but still sending executives on all-expenses-paid trips to exotic locations for review meetings.

With their wives! Eyebrows were raised when ONGC executive director employee relations Pradeep Sahariya circulated a notice on January 20 directing employees to stop giving gifts, shawls and flower bouquets to dignitaries attending company events. Many find it ironic such penny-pinching didn’t apply to a drilling and well services team review meeting held on January 22-23 in the scenic Kerala hill town of Munnar, better known for tea plantations than hydrocarbon activity.

Around 50 senior employees with wives in tow attended the meeting presided over by director technology and field services Shashi Shanker. On the same dates, director offshore TK Sengupta held a review meeting attended by key offshore asset executives in the Hindu temple town of Haridwar in the Himalayan foothills, far from ONGC’s offshore hydrocarbon bases in Mumbai, Hazira and Chennai.

At least 25 top executives traveled to Haridwar from ONGC’s offshore assets. Before this ONGC’s board and all asset managers attended a review meeting on production targets and, ironically, cost-cutting on January 19-20 at Hazira.

At least 50 officials attended. This was preceded by an even larger meeting on safety at ONGC’s Dehradun headquarters on January 17-18, which at least 100 employees attended including asset managers, heads of institutes, directors and safety heads of assets and institutes.