L&T Hydrocarbon chief Sarma defies critics

Vol 19, PW 15 (07 Apr 16) People & Policy

Subramanian Sarma has hit back at claims he is only making organisational changes at L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE) to justify his job as CEO.

Sarma takes issue with a statement to this effect made by a former L&T source in a PETROWATCH item published on March 10, 2016. "I think that's a very hollow statement," says Sarma.

"I think I can explain every action and I think they are well understood by the organisation." Sarma says he has addressed around 3000 employees at "participative town hall meetings" to convince them of the need for change, including a decision to reassign the roles of dozens of middle to senior level executives. In the second instalment of an interview held at the company's Powai headquarters in Mumbai, Sarma confirms he works mainly out of Dubai to drive LTHE's increased focus on the overseas market.

But that doesn't mean the company has lost interest in the Indian market: Sarma confirms LTHE will be chasing orders worth Rs10,000cr ($1.5bn) in India's fertiliser, petroleum, LNG and petrochemicals sectors over the next year. "We are in a consortium with Technip for a RCF (fertilisers) project which we have been chasing for a long time," he says.

"We have bid for jobs with GSFC (for a 40,000 t/y melamine factory near Vadodara), IndianOil (a Coke Drum System at the Haldia refinery), and Shell (the Hazira LNG terminal expansion)."