Case – Study (HRP – 2nd Unit)
PROMOTING THE PROTÉGÉ
The die was cast. Prem Nath Divan, executive chairman of Vertigo, the country’s largest engineering project organization, decided to switch tracks for a career in academics. Divan was still 6 years short of the company’s retirement age of 65. His premature exit was bound to create a flutter at the Vertigo board. Having joined Vertigo as a management trainee soon after college, he has gradually risen through the hierarchy to take a board position as the marketing director of the firm at 32. He had become the president 5 yrs later and the youngest chairman of the company at 45. But, by the time he was 50, the whizkid had acquired the larger than life image of a role model for the younger mangers and the statesman who symbolized the best and brightest face of Indian Management. On his wife suggestion that it would be wise to discuss the move with one of his trusted colleagues before making a formal announcement of his intention to seek premature retirement. Divan called on Mr. Ram Charan Saxena, a solicitor who has been on the vertigo board for over a decade. Saxena was surprised at Divan’s plans. But he was unfazed. “If that was what you want to do for the rest of your life, we can only wish you well”, he told him. “The board will miss you”. But the business should go on. We should get down to the task of choosing a successor. The sooner it is done, the better”. “I think the choice is quite obvious”, said Divan, “Ranjan Waqrrior”. He is good and …..” Divan was taken aback to see Saxena grimace. “You don’t have anything against him, do you”? he asked him. “No, no,” said Saxena. “He is good. A financial strategist and a visionary. His conceptual skills have served the company well. But he has always had staff role with no line experience. What we need is someone from operations. Like Richard Crasta.” “Richard knows things inside out alright”, said Divan, but he is just a doer. Not fire in the belly. Vertigo...
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