Impressive salaries at GSPC for top talent

Vol 13, PW 20 (25 Mar 10) People & Policy

Government jobs in Indian state-owned companies carry much prestige and power but are not known for being financially rewarding - at least compared to private sector positions.

But Gujarat government-owned GSPC has departed from this trend by investing heavily in top engineering talent. Buried inside the company’s lengthy 30thannual report (written entirely in Gujarati!) and presented to the state assembly on (Friday) March 19 are the salary details of ten top technical employees at GSPC aged between 42 and 56 who earn between Rs30 lakh ($66,000) and Rs62 lakh ($136,000) a year.

Compare these figures to the salary earned by the Gujarat chief secretary, the state’s most powerful bureaucrat, who earns Rs80,000/month ($21,000/annum). How does GSPC justify paying such disproportionate salaries “GSPC might be a Gujarat government organisation,â€‌ says a senior official, “but to attract and retain the best talent we have to match the salaries offered by other oil companies.

Why elsewould anyone leave Reliance or ONGCâ€‌ Delve deeper into the annual report to discover that all ten appointments are on time-limited contracts, renewable if required. Taking home the largest pay package is 43-year-old mechanical engineer Viral Shah, in charge of drilling at the Deen Dayal block.

Shah joined GSPC from Canada’s Precision Drilling – no doubt enticed by his current princely salary of Rs517,500/month ($11,428). Next is 49-year old PN Ramesh with Rs483,000/month ($10,000).

Ramesh joined GSPC in May 2005 from Abu Dhabi-based National Drilling Company. GSPC general manager (research) Dr.

RK Mallick is also 49 and came to GSPC from Reliance in February 2007. Dr.

Mallick earns Rs418,600/month ($9,244) and is the highest qualified of GSPC’s top earners with a Masters in Science from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Kharagpur, a doctorate in petroleum technology and an MBA from the CWC School of Energy Studies in London.