How WhatsApp can help a turnaround

Western Coalfields tides over conventional problems with unconventional approach

pujab

Puja Bhattacharjee | April 28, 2016


#BCCL   #CIL   #Anil Swarup   #Jharia Coal Field   #Coal India   #Coal   #Coal Mines   #Western Coalfields  

Western Coalfields (WCL), a CIL subsidiary, was making profits till 2009-10. But it had to scale down its production due to extra safety precautions following a labourer’s death in a mine mishap in September 2010. It resulted in five years of negative growth in production and dispatch. For three consecutive years, the company made losses and was about to be referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).

When Rajiv Mishra, then director (personnel), Central Coal Fields, joined WCL as chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) in October 2014, he inherited a heavily demoralised workforce and a sick company. “At that time there were 42 projects, none of which were viable. I could start work on 36 projects out of them by making some technical and parameter changes,” he says.

It was necessary to motivate the employees before focusing on ground problems. Mishra found that a whopping 70 percent of the workforce was due to retire by 2019-20 and WCL will have to depend largely on relatively young people. He summoned about 500 employees – from management trainees to assistant managers – and asked them to imagine WCL in 2020. “I told them that their dream will be their vision and they have to create milestones to achieve those dreams,” he says. The positivity quickly percolated to other employees.

WCL made ‘Samvad teams’ in each location comprising people from labourers to general managers and delegated powers to them. “We told them to decide whatever they considered the best in that area and implement it. They could get my approval post-facto,” he says. Mishra was also a member of these teams which gave the lowest rung workers access to him. Following these measures, the company turned around in three months.

In 2014-15, WCL achieved a growth of 3.6 percent and made a profit of Rs 161 crore. In a year’s time, WCL was heading for a growth of 10 percent. Mishra then focused his attention on resolving issues on the ground. Acquiring land for projects was of course a major hurdle. WCL teams visited about 50 villages in two months and engaged with villagers. Once resettlement and rehabilitation policies were modified, WCL was able to launch one project every month. “We lined up all 36 projects in 36 months. In 11 months we have opened 11 projects – and have fixed a timeline of all 36 projects,” says Mishra.

The CMD uses social media to bond and keep in touch with the employees. “We have formed WhatsApp groups with workers. I am a member of those groups and that’s where decisions are taken,” he says. Any major decision taken by the board is immediately shared over WhatsApp to keep everyone in loop.

From April 2015 to January 2016, the company grew by seven percent, and in January, it achieved the 100 percent production target. n
Puja Bhattacharjee

Comments

 

Other News

Fewer and fewer parliament sittings

The winter session of parliament this year is going to be from December 15 to January 5, which will result in fewer sittings and impact legislative productivity. When parliament meets for a fewer days, it is bound to have an adverse impact on the work. The parliamentarians do get to spend mo

Indians most affected by global internet policies: Aruna Sundararajan

 People in India are most affected by global internet policies, said secretary, department of telecommunications, Aruna Sundararajan. Flagging the challenges of national governance, Sundararajan said on social media India has the largest number of users.   

Three killed as train derails in UP

Three passengers were killed and around a dozen sustained grievous injuries after nine coaches of Vasco Da Gama-Patna express derailed near Manikpur railway station in Uttar Pradesh on Friday morning. Similarly, 14 wagons of a goods train also jumped off the track near Cuttack in Odisha. 

Should Patidars of Gujarat be given reservation?

Should Patidars of Gujarat be given reservation?

Job market is currently experiencing structural change: Nathan

SV Nathan, partner and chief talent officer, Deloitte India spoke to Praggya Guptaa about the current job market situation and the upcoming opportunities in India. How would you assess the job market situation in India? If you look at the economy today

Are we seriously fighting malnutrition?

It did not surprise me when the India: health of the nation’s states, the India state-level disease burden initiative report released recently reported malnutrition the prime risk factor driving the most deaths and disability in Madhya Pradesh. Even in 1990 malnutrition was the frontrunner and after



Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter