IndianOil Tanking humiliates senior managers

Vol 20, PW 9 (26 Jan 17) People & Policy

IndianOil Tanking has sent shock waves through employee ranks by announcing the downgrade of several senior staff positions and a sharp cut in salaries.

On January 13, human resources chief Nawin Chandra sent an e-mail to employees announcing that several managers including presidents, vice presidents, associate vice presidents, general managers and joint general managers would be stripped of their rank and demoted. Not only will these senior employees suffer the humiliation of a lower rank, adds a company source, they'll also be hit where it hurts most: in their pocket! An IOTL vice-president typically earns around Rs60 lakh/year ($88,000) but after downgrade to general manager his or her salary will drop to Rs40 lakh/year ($59,000).

Unsurprisingly this has demoralised managers across the company, set up in 1997 as an IndianOil joint venture with Germany's Oiltanking Gmbh. "I have heard of companies sacking staff because of no work," says a source.

"But this is a first that top managers have been asked to accept a lower rank." Last year (2016) IndianOil Tanking triggered similar dismay when it sacked around 300 managers and deputy managers because of poor trading conditions and depressed oil prices. Around the time of the announcement, several key managers resigned, including head of engineering Sujoy Das, deputy head of engineering Punyashish Bhattacharya, head of procurement Shankar Saha, estimation head Guna Ramalingam and business development head DP Singh.

Expect more resignations in the coming days as the announcement sinks in.

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