L&T hydrocarbons division hit by staff exodus

Vol 22, PW 23 (05 Sep 19) Exploration & Production

Larsen & Toubro's continued domination of the hydrocarbons EPC contract business in India could soon be over if the exodus of engineers to other companies continues.

Over the last few months up to 20 middle to senior level engineers have been leaving the company's hydrocarbons arm L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering every month for other companies, among them Fluor, Toyo Engineering, Jacobs Engineering, Petrofac, McDermott, Bechtel, Lloyds and WorleyParsons. Among the most senior believed to have left, we hear, is SD Navare, VP and onshore division head.

This is apparently why LTHE is not aggressively bidding for the process units of the upcoming 9m t/y Barmer refinery and petrochemicals facility in Rajasthan. What's behind the staff attrition? One of the biggest blows to employee morale was a decision to close down engineering arm L&T Valdel in Bangalore four months ago and order a transfer of 400 engineers to Mumbai.

"Only 150 (engineers) actually moved to Mumbai," reports a source. "Most of them quit after finding jobs in Bangalore."

Another move angering L&T Hydrocarbon managers was a management decision to re-locate the onshore business teams from Mumbai and Faridabad outside Delhi to Baroda in Gujarat. "Many bought apartments in Faridabad or Mumbai," we hear.

"Their children were in school and their spouses had local jobs. Asking them to shift to a small town like Baroda which doesn't have the same quality of life as Mumbai or Delhi makes no sense."