Companies

BPCL plans ‘learning centre’ in Kochi for future leaders

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018

BPCL is laying the foundation for its young managers to meet future challenges

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This is part of a plan to train employees for new challenges

Bharat Petroleum Corporation is readying a career growth script for its employees, which will prepare them for future challenges.

As part of this plan, a full-fledged ‘learning centre’ is being readied at Kochi’s Marine Drive promenade, which should become a reality in 2018. When it is ready to roll, the vast pool of talent within BPCL would be able to access some of the best brains in India and the world from the Indian Institutes of Management, Indian School of Business, Harvard, Wharton and the like.

The company has been carrying out training programmes for its employees over the last two years. However, these are typically done through different executive batches through a year. Even here, the kind of training imparted has some of the top guns from Ivy League schools globally, but BPCL believes it makes more sense to have a dedicated institute in place.

“Getting trained by some of the world’s best management experts is absolutely imperative at this point in time,” says a top official. Today, things are a lot different with the advent of the digital age and the onset of competition. Traditional practices and conventional business models are becoming redundant with the advent of digitisation while consumer behaviour, preferences and demands are changing dynamically.

BPCL has also grown exponentially beyond the time it only had a handful of refineries in its kitty and had to focus primarily on fuel sales. Today, it is a company that has huge plans in exploration and production, where the new frontiers are countries such as Mozambique and Brazil. In addition, it is looking at a host of energy alternatives such as solar and electric in the near future. Besides, the company is rewriting its retail fuel strategy with the prime focus being customer convenience and providing varied services by participating in the Centre’s financial inclusion initiative.

“It is also important to keep in mind that all workplaces are going digital, which means companies like BPCL need to constantly stay ahead of the intellectual curve. The learning tools of yesterday will not help today’s cause,” adds the official.

Effectively, all this requires top levels of expertise to be able to cope with these new challenges. While typically there is no better alternative to on-the-job learning, there are a host of new skills required in the rapidly changing scenario, both here and overseas. This is where extensive training is required in the classroom where employees can imbibe lessons from some of the best brains in their respective domains.

What has been especially heartening for the BPCL management is that the young flow of talent from top engineering, management and professional schools is eager to push the envelope. “They are totally involved with the company and are keen to see it enter a host of new business areas. BPCL is clearly in good hands,” says the official.

This puts in context why the training centre at Kochi is an integral part of the bigger plan to develop human resources effectively. Kochi is already home to BPCL’s refinery, which recently expanded capacity to 15 mt and is its largest facility. The other refineries are in Mumbai, Bina (Madhya Pradesh) and Numaligarh in Assam.

Published on October 26, 2016

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