Once upon a time long long ago I was part of an organisation which did the statutory audit of Hindustan Petroleum. My contempt for Public Sector Units only grew greater. However the people working in some of these organisations were far, far superior to some of the guys I met in the private sector.
However organisations like IOC, Ongc, Air-India were really well run at some point in time. Air India’s murder was started by Ms. Indira Gandhi and continues till today. In the 1960’s Air India was a well run air line which was loved by many people in the WORLD, the Maharaja was a symbol which people would keep in their showcases, the food was great and JRD Tata was the Chairman. Of course the Tata group did not own the airline, it had a reservation policy and was part of what JRD Tata called the ‘Joint Sector’.
However the combined actions of Indira Gandhi and Morarji Desai effectively made it into a lousy airline.
Then came Jet Airways. Nobody was sure who owns it. Fingers of ownership were always pointed towards Dubai, Sharad Pawar,…and many others. One heard on the grapevine that the IPO was delayed to clean up the balance sheet…but nothing came out of it. The service by Jet Airways has always been excellent, the food good, the timings great….
However once they came into play the ministerial mis-managing of Air India was accelerated. Pilots went on strike, aircraft buying got delayed, revival package was delayed…..If Jet was allowed to run AI (with a view to increase the profits of Jet) they could not have done a better job!
So operation ‘Ruin Air India’ is working on full swing. The BJP is of course silent…well that is another story.
Similarly Ongc, Indian Oil, …the list is endless. I know of 2 brilliant people in Indian Oil who were asked to check an agreement that I O C was being asked to sign with Reliance. One clause (which got dropped luckily) was to cost I O C Rs. 200 crores.
Seeing all this one wonders…should my daughter work in the public sector and kow tow to the Babu or kow tow to the goon called ‘private business man’. I am happy that she has to make that choice, not me.
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