MGL's gift of gold to employees

Vol 24, PW 5 (28 Jan 21) News in Brief

Mahanagar Gas (MGL) managing director Sanjib Datta has shown his employees and detractors that he has a 'heart of gold' after all.

Datta has found an innovative way to boost morale at the Mumbai-based gas retailer: any employee that has completed at least one and a half years at the company received a 25-gramme gold coin in January (2021). That includes employees in roles ranging from entry-level jobs to the managing director.

"That's a costly gift!" says a source. "Each coin is almost worth Rs125,000 ($1700)."

MGL distributed the gifts to mark its 25th Foundation Day on May 8 (2020). "This month (January) the coins were distributed," we hear.

"Because of Covid-19, few employees were coming into the office, so MGL delayed the distribution." But will a gold coin keep employees happy? Since 2018, anywhere from 150-200 employees have left for private players like Torrent, Adani, and AG&P.

Much of the rush to leave the company is attributed to delays in increasing salaries, indifferent management, and stagnant growth during Datta's reign. MGL failed to win any new areas in CGD-IX or CGD-X.

"Maybe management wanted to make employees happy," we hear. "Otherwise, why give such an expensive gift?"