How a Barmer lad turned Cairn’s top rig boss

Friday, 4 January 2013 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Hindu Business Line: In 2001, when local boy Parasmal Ghanchi went to Barmer fields in Rajasthan, little did he know that he was going to become part of a project that has sold over 120 million barrels of crude oil to the country’s refiners and generated gross revenues in excess of $11 billion.

Not a trained engineer, Ghanchi today knows the “A-Z” of oil and gas drilling, belongs to the middle-class, sends his children to an English medium school, and has become a role model for his village.

Ghanchi’s story is what fairy tales are made of. It was curiosity that drew this local of Gudamalani Tehsil of Barmer district to the exploration site of Cairn India, which was then a Scottish company.

The 35-year-old Ghanchi, who after completing his graduation in humanities from Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur, while working at a workshop near his house, visited the site with some locals. Everyone in the neighbourhood was talking about this project, he said.

On his second visit, he chanced upon a job by a third party contractor, to work as a generator operator for Kachawa Electric Works, Jodhpur, which was deployed at the site.

He says luck favoured him and a Canadian working on the site encouraged him to learn to drill. As a generator operator, he worked one hour a day; the rest of the shift time was spent idling.

Always keen to work on a rig, Ghanchi made use of the opportunity. Subsequently, he was recruited by Cairn as a logistics consultant in mid-2005 and made an employee in 2008. Over the years he worked in several drilling programmes. His journey started with the IRI-750 Rig. Subsequently, he worked in both onshore and offshore drilling campaigns in India and Sri Lanka.

Taking cue, three more from his village joined the sector, particularly working on the rig.

On an emotional note Ghanchi says when it was time to receive the agreement papers (on June 13) to join the company, he had no words, and his eyes spoke instead. He agrees that not knowing English was a drawback, but slowly over the years, he has learnt the language. His salary from Cairn has elevated his status to middle class, and the reason why he is sending his children to English medium school is to ensure that they don’t face any language barrier.

After six years of onshore drilling, he was given the opportunity to handle offshore drilling for Cairn’s logistics team, which took him to Pipavav. This was followed by a deepwater offshore drilling job with the logistics team for the Sri Lanka project.

Today, he holds the position of In-charge, Drilling Warehouse for Rajasthan project.