Long-awaited ONGC promotions finally happen

Vol 26, PW 5 (23 Feb 23) People & Policy

Arun Singh continues with his radical overhaul of ONGC.

After some delay, ONGC finally released its long-awaited promotions list on February 13 (2023). But to widespread surprise, there were fewer promotions than last year.

"Only promotions for chief manager (CM) to deputy general manager (E4 to E5) and from deputy general manager to general manager rank (E5 to E6) were announced," says a source. "Senior promotions for group general managers (GGM) and above have not been declared."

He adds they will likely be announced by March 31 (2023). "Nearly 70% of senior manager interviews for chief general managers and group general managers have been held (but the results not yet announced)," we hear.

"The rest (30%) are pending, but no one knows if the interviews will even be held." Some speculate ONGC management is waiting for IndianOil executive director Manish Patil to take formal charge as ONGC's new HR director.

This process could take several weeks, pending CVC and other clearances. ONGC promotions are usually declared every year on January 1.

But this year, the decision was pushed back to mid-February, backdated from January 1 (2023), thanks to Singh's disruptive restructuring exercise. This year 237 deputy general managers were promoted to general manager rank, a 6% reduction from 254 in 2022.

More significantly, only 148 chief managers became deputy general managers compared to 206 in 2022, a 28% reduction. Within ONGC, some welcome fewer promotions.

"At these middle management levels, there was a huge bulge," says a source. "Some time ago, ONGC stalled junior-level promotions, but later everyone was given a promotion simultaneously."

He adds it is high time ONGC started streamlining its staff into more manageable numbers. Most departments have seen fewer promotions this year.

Twenty-eight were promoted to GM in the electrical department compared to 31 in 2022. There are 56 new GMs in production compared to 64 in 2022.

Only 13 have become GMs in drilling in 2023 compared to 18 in 2022. Only 33 were made DGMs in production this year, compared to 45 in 2022.

In drilling, only five were promoted to DGM in 2023, compared to ten in 2022.