Ravindra Agarwal and Samir Biswal exit GSPC

Vol 26, PW 9 (20 Apr 23) People & Policy

Ravindra Agarwal, GSPC's former gas business chief, is making clear to anyone who wants to listen that he won't be joining a rival LNG importer.

Instead, Agarwal plans to take a short break to re-evaluate his next career move. Agarwal and GSPC's equally long-serving exploration chief Samir Biswal spent their last day at GSPC on March 31 (2023).

Devendra Agarwal, general manager commercial, will assume Agarwal's duties, while deputy general manager Rajesh Pathak will take over Biswal's diminishing E&P workload. "There have been so many calls from people asking me where I am heading," a relaxed-sounding Agarwal tells this report.

"But let me tell everyone: I am neither joining Adani-Total Gas, Torrent Gas, nor IRM Energy." Agarwal adds he wants a break for at least three to four months.

And perhaps with a hint of truth, he laughingly adds: "Perhaps after the break, I may even start an LNG consultancy!" Asked why he quit GSPC, a company he joined in 1999, 51-year-old Agarwal said: "For personal reasons; I have spent many years in the LNG business and want time off with my family and for me." Several GSPC sources tell this report many senior people are leaving or plan to leave as they see no future in the organisation.

"GSPC's growth has come to a standstill," says a source with the company for over 30 years. "When an organisation doesn't grow, the employees do not grow."

Agarwal's exit will likely reflect on the company's LNG and gas trading business. "Since 2009, Agarwal sourced over 375 cargoes for GSPC," we hear.

"He played a leading role in GSPC's gas sales turnover (in total since 2009) exceeding Rs181,000cr ($22.15bn)." In 2021-22, GSPC's gas trading business reported a turnover of Rs24,245.73cr ($2.96bn), accounting for 99.51% of total GSPC turnover, leaving just Rs119.24cr ($14.56m) from other businesses, including E&P.

"As head of the gas business, Agarwal was everywhere," claims another source. "He expanded gas trading and developed gas transmission and city gas retail."

Yet another source lauds Agarwal for his role in the acquisition of his former employer Gujarat Gas. "He (Agarwal) was the one that did the due diligence and worked out the transaction terms," we hear.