Who can teach ONGC how to sell oil products

Vol 5, PW 7 (23 May 01) People & Policy

Last month we reported that Gyan Singh, a former ONGC General Manager at Mumbai was set to take over as the organisation's first Executive Director Marketing.

His appointment was duly confirmed on April 26th. But what exactly is Singh's new charge He's been given theunenviable task ofsetting up ONGC's marketing infrastructure - indispensable if it is to compete with other retailers when the Administered Pricing Mechanism is removed on April 1st, 2002.

Singh tells Petrowatch he will eventually need 150 staff but needs 30-40 people now. Most will be handpicked from within ONGC, as recruitment from outside takes longer.

Singh says that to begin selling from April 1st, 2002, ONGC needs to begin the tendering process by September. It's widely accepted that ONGC knows little about marketing.

Since inception, its only marketing activity has been to hand over all its production at government-fixed rates to Indian Oil or GAIL! Now they'll be rivals. Singh wants to hire retired Indian Oil officials to help ONGC's new marketing department.

One man identified is former IOC director Mr Venkatswaminathan. There's also talk of engaging a professor from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

Whoever it employs, ONGC's new marketing department clearly needs help.