Companies

BPCL chief connects with staff to take Dream Plan forward

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on July 29, 2014 Published on July 29, 2014

One of S Varadarajan's top priorities on taking over as CMD of Bharat Petroleum Corporation last October was to reach out to employees and see what they had to say about BPCL and the challenges ahead (file picture).

When S Varadarajan took over as CMD of Bharat Petroleum Corporation last October, his top priority was to connect with colleagues and get a feel of their aspirations for the company.

BPCL was then halfway through its Dream Plan initiative which focuses on building new targets across the energy chain, right from refining and marketing to exploration and production.

Varadarajan thought this was an opportune time to reach out to other employees and see what they had to say about BPCL and the challenges ahead. “We have always focused on leveraging people and technology at BPCL as our vision statement,” he told Business Line.

The company hires at least 300 engineers each year, which effectively means that there are youngsters at different levels with their own plans and ambitions. This was the basis for the ‘Let us Talk’ drive where, via video conferencing, Varadarajan spoke to nearly 1,800 management staff. There was then another session with 2,000 field staff.

Inputs were then taken from these people on what BPCL needed to do in order to be a success story. It was tough going given that there was a 35-minute presentation for each group followed by a relatively rigorous Q&A session. The employees concerned filled up a questionnaire on aspirations for themselves and the organisation.

“We received some very good inputs and are going to work on these suggestions as part of the next phase of change. All this will be done over the next two years,” Varadarajan said. Some of the feedback pertained to creating leadership for BPCL in the energy space, upstream opportunities, refining capacity, renewable energy, retail, etc.

“The suggestions were outstanding and the energy levels awesome,” a delighted Varadarajan said. It was not the easiest of tasks to plan this exercise given that everything had to be in place, be it technology or logistics, for a CEO to address such large groups over a short period. Typically, these groups had 200 people each and the sessions were distributed across the refineries and regional offices.

Traditionally, BPCL has evolved strategies from the ground level which meant even union leaders gave their inputs for this exercise. According to Varadarajan, ‘Let us Talk’ has given the momentum to make BPCL’s Dream Plan a success. Beyond 2015, the ‘Let us Deliver’ phase will kick off, which will incorporate a whole lot of these suggestions.

In 2005, BPCL had kicked off a similar vision plan called Project Destiny which involved a set of goals to be achieved in 2010, which included the Bina refinery and the exploration foray. Likewise, Project Crescendo examined efficiencies in the value chain, while Project Win came in handy during the 2008-09 oil price crisis when it was important to keep a cap on expenditure.

By the end of the Dream Plan in 2015, BPCL is expected to have over 40 million tonnes of refining capacity in place from its facilities in Mumbai, Kochi, Bina (MP) and Numaligarh in Assam. On the exploration side, it is upbeat on prospects in Brazil and Mozambique.

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Published on July 29, 2014
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