Setting Sail in High Seas Amidst Troubled Waters: Transformational Saga of an Indian Defence Shipyard

Setting Sail in High Seas Amidst Troubled Waters: Transformational Saga of an Indian Defence Shipyard

Jhilmil Das
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5820-1.ch003
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


In this era of incessant turbulence and upheavals, organizations are bound to remain resilient and agile in order to sustain in such challenging scenarios. The study narrates the crises faced by a premier Indian shipyard which suffered a major setback due to the massive squall, leading to grounding of one of its major infrastructures. The case depicts the dilemma faced by the shipyard in the wake of the crises and the subsequent disposition of leadership, resilience, and commitment exhibited by its protagonist leader, who remains undeterred in the face of adversity and took it in his stride to answer the call of duty in order to rebuild the shipyard for a better tomorrow. This chapter highlights various tenets of transformational leadership emanating out of the burgeoning crisis based on the contingency theory of leadership. The study aims to uniquely contribute to the field of academics as well as practice through deliberative approach in understanding the nature of crisis and impact of the crisis management on HRM and leadership competencies required to handle crisis situations.
Chapter Preview

Organization Background

The genesis of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) dates back to 1884 when it started its journey as a small workshop to repair vessels of River Steam Navigation Company. The Company was taken over by the Government of India in 1960 after which there was no looking back. The first warship of Independent India, INS Ajay was delivered to the Indian Navy in 1961within one year of being taken over by the Ministry of Defence. Over the last 60 years, the shipyard has built more than 100 warships - the highest number of warships built and delivered by any shipyard of the country. From building 5 Ton Boats to 24600 Ton Fleet Tanker, GRSE has proved its mettle as a pioneer warship builder of the nation. -

Presently, GRSE has a total of 07 manufacturing units located across the eastern states of Kolkata and Jharkhand of the Indian sub-continent and happens to be the only defence shipyard of the country having Engineering Division & Marine Diesel Engine Division apart from Shipbuilding as the core division as elucidated under Figure 1.

The company derives a significant majority of its revenue from its shipbuilding division, which has contributed 94.14%, 90.13%, 92.19% and 94.76% to its gross revenue in fiscals 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 respectively (refer Figure 2). The shipyard receives the distinction of achieving over 90% indigenous content - a major step towards self-reliance in state-of-the-art warship design and construction. GRSE has been consistently making profits and paying dividend to the Government of India since 1993-94. Recognizing the brilliant performance of the company, the Government of India granted the “Mini Ratna- Category I” status to the shipyard on 05 Sep 2006, which made it the first Defence Shipyard to get this status. The shipyard also boasts of having the unique distinction of being the ‘Best Performing Defence Shipyard’, for four years in a row from 2010-11 to 2013-14. The first warship for export by the country, CGS Barracuda was also delivered by GRSE to Mauritius in the year 2014.

Blueprint for Growth

GRSE laid out a well drafted blueprint for growth, expansion and diversification to meet the future defence needs of the country. With proven capabilities to design and build state-of-the-art warships and robust order book, the shipyard aims to become a leading shipbuilding yard as well as multidimensional engineering company with high quality, competitive prices and timely delivery as its hallmark. The construction of three(3) stealth frigates under Project 17-A (order worth ~₹200,000 million) bagged by GRSE was slated to begin in the first half of 2018 with the first ship expected to be ready by 2023 followed by remaining ones at one (1) year intervals.

The first modernization project of the shipyard was completed on 06 June 2013 with an aim to build quality ships in reduced time frame with modular construction technology, which created state-of-the-art shipbuilding facilities comprising of a 10,000-tonne dry dock, a 4,500-tonne inclined berth and a large module hall for consolidation of mega-hull blocks. All these three major facilities are co-located and covered by a giant Goliath crane of 250-tonne capacity, to provide modern infrastructure for integrated modular construction. The modernization has created necessary infrastructure for construction of state-of-the-art frigates and destroyers and paved the way for executing the order for super sophisticated frigates under Project P-17A.

GRSE continues its market dominance in the field of the Bailey bridge industry with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 15% over the past five (5) years and expected to double in size through the coming five (5) years. The shipyard expects positive outlook as the deck machinery market in India is estimated to surge around ₹3,000 million in 2020 (source: Dataintelo Analysis).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Crisis Leadership: Empathy for the people affected in crisis.

Crisis: A time of intense difficulty or danger.

Transformational Leadership: A leadership style in which leaders encourage, inspire, and motivate employees to innovate and create change.

Change Management: The management of change and development within a business or similar organization.

Crisis Management: The process by which a business or other organization deals with a sudden emergency situation.

Transformation: A marked change in the form, nature, state, or situation.

Change: To make or become different.

Change Leadership: The ability to influence and inspire action in others, and respond with vision and agility.

Leadership: The action of leading a group of people or an organization.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: