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

Mumbai civic body invites urban designers to improve five streets

To redesign and make its streets safer and inclusive in a studio project, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has invited urban designers to join hands with its engineers so as to create innovative place-making strategies for improving walkabilty and vehicular efficiency. 

Corporate taxes cut to spur economy

Aiming to dispel the clouds of a slowdown, the government on Friday announced a series of measures including corporate tax breaks to revive economic activities. The stock market, depressed for a while, welcomed the move that would cost the exchequer Rs 1,45,000 crore. Union minister for fina

E-cigarette ban welcome; now aim for more tobacco control

In what it describes as a “major health and wellness initiative for the country”, the union cabinet has approved the promulgation of an ordinance to ban electronic cigarettes. The move, coming amid a debate over the ways to control tobacco use, should be welcomed, and it needs to be complemente

Ajay Singh is president’s press secretary

Ajay Kumar Singh, who has been the editorial director of Governance Now, has been appointed the press secretary of the president of India. The decision was made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The appointment will be on contract

Amit Shah on India’s languages: What else he said

Home minister Amit Shah’s remark on the need for a single national language has rightly sparked a debate, but the headlines missed much in his speech about language, culture, and identity. Giving away Rajbhasha Gaurav Puraskar and Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar awards on the occasion of Hin

On A Personal note with musician Apache Indian

Renowned British singer, songwriter and reggae DJ, Apache Indian (originally known as Steven Kapoor) shot to fame with his style of music which came to be known as bhangramuffin (also called bhangragga) – a mix of bhangra, reggaemuffin and traditional dance hall in the early 1990s. His style changed



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter