#31 Indian Oil Corporation: Redefining the horizon
We have been successfully able to groom talent from within and we are contributing this talent to the overall industry
We hold regular live webcasts with our executives across the country for updates and communication
“Today PSUs are not protected as they were twenty years ago. In a scenario where competition is very high, talent is a very important component for businesses. Before liberalization, growth was ensured. Today, one should be able to attract the best talent, motivate them and ensure that the organization is enabling empowerment to retain and groom the best talent,” says Mr. B. M. Bansal, Chairman & Director (Planning & Business Development) of IndianOil Corporation Ltd. when quizzed on why having a great workplace is important for IOCL. Reckoned as a true Indian giant, IOCL portrays the new age developing India. Where on one hand IOCL is modern in its ideas, dynamism and approach, it is stubbornly Indian in its ideals, vision and morals, on the other. With close to 35,000 employees working for this behemoth, IOCL has made sure that the core values for which the company stands for viz. Care, Innovation, Passion and Trust, run down with each employee of the organization. Liberalization has indeed turned around the outlook of this oil-major toward managing, developing and retaining talent. And this is validated by the Great Place to Work® Institute. Ranked #31 in the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Study, IOCL also ranks #6 in the Industry Category of the Manufacturing & Production sector. In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Mr. Bansal and Mr. V. C. Agarwal, Director HR, IOCL, talk about the challenges the company faced in terms of talent when it diversified into natural gas and petrochemicals.
What challenges you faced from the HR point of view while diversifying into non-core businesses?
Mr. Bansal: In the last few years, we’ve consolidated our core areas of refining and marketing and have also grown very fast in strategic initiatives across the hydrocarbon value chain. With a consortium approach, we’ve grown in upstream integration into oil exploration and production, downstream integration into petrochemicals, and have diversified into natural gas business, besides globalizing marketing operations. We faced a major challenge in terms of talent shortage, especially in the areas of new businesses. We’ve overcome those challenges by partnering with other PSUs and international companies and have been able to leverage those partnerships to build internal capabilities too over a period of time. Today, we have the confidence that we have those required capabilities ourselves.
Mr. Agarwal: Considering our core business is refining and marketing, it has been a huge change in terms of the talent we needed to attract and develop internally to run these diversified businesses. We groomed people from in-house combining with external recruitment from private sector as well. Today, this talent challenge is stabilizing as we have successfully groomed various managers from the traditional business to the new businesses. A proof of this is that we’re now experiencing people from the private sector of Deputy General Manager level moving as experts on the petrochemical field. We’ve successfully groomed talent from within and are contributing this talent to the overall industry.
What makes IOCL a great workplace?
Mr. Bansal: The key things that make IOCL a great workplace are visible right from the day a person joins the organization. We take good care of them and provide good working environment and facilities. I must say that even at the entrance level, remuneration, credit and exposure at IOCL are better than the private sector.
IOCL is defined as an organization with modern practices and traditional soul. What is your opinion?
Mr. Agarwal: We have many practices where we leverage technology to create communication channels and access to the management team. That way I agree that we have been able to keep ourselves up-to-date with technology. We hold regular live webcasts with our executives across the country for updates and communication. There are also web people chat options to encourage communication among employees. In terms of accessibility to the management team, we create channels for employees to raise issues directly. We empower our employees to take ownership of their work and the performance of the organization; they are willing to take the risk.