Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: HAL's senior-most director & HR head Sanjeev Sahi quits; joins GMR as president

Friday, April 16, 2010

HAL's senior-most director & HR head Sanjeev Sahi quits; joins GMR as president

MEN MOVE OUT, YET MEMORIES STAY: HAL's senior-most director and HR head Sanjeev Sahi releases the first copy of company's popular newspaper Minsk Square Matters (MSM) in the presence of Ms Pallavi Jha, CMD of Dale Carnegie India and granddaughter of HAL’s founder late Seth Walchand Hirachand on September 1, 2006. Like MSM, the man in picture too has left HAL, leaving many wonder-stuck as to what's happening in their company.


HAL’s senior-most director Sanjeev Sahi has quit the company and joined the GMR Group. Sahi, who was the HR  head of the Bangalore-headquartered plane-making firm has joined GMR as president, HR, and will be functioning from its Bangalore office.
Sources confirmed to tarmak007 that Sahi assumed office at GMR on April 12th. Sahi’s decision, though on expected lines to many within HAL, will further dent the prospects of the company which is hit by a plethora of production-related concerns in the recent-past.
Known as the most popular faces of HAL, insiders claim that Sahi was a stand-out material, who injected many revolutionary thought processes into the top management. He was also the most-accessible and senior-most serving directors of HAL.
Sahi had lost out the race to become HAL chairman,a post many of his loyalists and a minority in the South Block, thought would have been best suited for him considering his man-management skills. However, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had to succumb to the strong lobby which wanted ‘only a technical man’ to head the Navaratna firm. Hence, Sahi lost out to junior-most director A. Nayak, who became the chairman on April 1 , 2009.
Aides close to Sahi knew that he was buying time and would move out of HAL once the coast was clear. He put in his papers in October 2009 and the same was forwarded to Delhi for the mandatory clearances. However, the clearances never came owing to his ‘alleged involvement’ in an HR-related case reported by the HAL’s infamous vigilance department. When the clearances got delayed, Sahi went on a long leave and operated from Delhi fighting it day in and out to clear his name from the mess.
It is learnt that the case was closed following an independent examination by CVC after verifying all the files. Sources also said that the CVC felt that the MoD mishandled the case with no proof to point the finger at Sahi. However, tarmak007 could not verify this fact independently.
Sahi’s exit will weaken HAL’s HR and Lean initiatives -- which were single-handedly scripted by him. However, his opponents always accused him of showing favoritism to a coterie, who revolved around him like ‘planets.’ It is left to be seen the fate of some of these 'counter-productive polishing masters.'
HAL’s famed-Corporate Communication Department was set-up during Sahi’s tenure and his ‘partial role’ in making it defunct cannot be ignored considering that the team was reporting to him. In the process Minsk Square Matters and The Plane – two world class publications brought out by Corporate Communication too were shelved. Though Sahi claims that it was a decision taken by Nayak & group, insiders say that Sahi was very much part of this 'evil design' killing a fine concept and putting the lives of many professionals to quandary. (Blogger’s thoughts: As you sow, so shall you reap!)
Considering that every coin has two sides and every two sides will reflect two different faces, it is sad that a man who gave HAL the boost on many fronts has to leave abruptly mid-way. It might create a crisis among HAL’s already-thinning leadership, insiders say.
Known as the blue-eyed boy of former HAL head N.R. Mohanty, Sahi climbed HAL ranks at lighting speed only to become the youngest director of the company. Insiders say it will be difficult to get a man of his stature. “He waited and waited for the MoD clearance and finally got fed-up and decided to leave. His final clearance is yet to come,” a close aide of Sahi calimed. Sahi was also the chairman of HATSOFF  -- an HAL-CAE JV on chopper simulators.
It was also unprecedented in HAL for a director to leave and join a private firm, considering the thrills and frills one get to enjoy sitting inside ivory towers. Sahi might also wanted to prove MoD and his junior directors within the company that he is 'a different spirit.'
To cut a long story short, HAL’s loss might be GMR’s gain!

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