Top-level exits, high attrition mar MCX’s future



“It is going to be a Herculean task for the exchange to find fresh talent from the limited pool of talent with knowledge on the commodities market.”


After fighting several legal battles, MCX seems headed for a bigger challenge to retain talent and fill up the void left by top level exits. Though some of the resignation by senior officials could be traced to the clean up act undertaken by the exchange, employees’ morale appears to be hit by the spate of negative developments.

Sumesh  Parasrampuria, Director, Business Development, who is considered to be a close confidant of promoter Jignesh Shah, has moved out. It is reliably learnt that PP Kaladharan, Senior Vice-President, Technology also put in his papers a few days ago.

The special audit report on the MCX by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) had pointed out various lapses in surveillance and systems followed at the exchange.

MCX did not respond to the detailed questionnaire sent by Business Line on attrition, and the exchange’s strategy to deal with the crisis.

Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO and Managing Director, The Head Hunters, a hiring agency, said it would be a difficult task for the management to find the right talent, given the current state of affairs at the exchange.

He added that things would change for the better if a new promoter of repute took over, as it had happened in the case of Satyam.

Sunil Goel, Director, Global Hunt said it was going to be a Herculean task for the exchange to find fresh talent from the limited pool of talent with knowledge on the commodities market.

The Commission’s decision not to allow MCX to launch new contracts for trading has hit employees’ morale further, sources said. For all practical purposes, the exchange would need to shut shop if promoter Financial Technologies did not reduce its stake to two per cent from 26 per cent as per the Commission’s directive.

The attempt by the exchange to find a suitor for its stake was delayed, after the exchange put out the synopsis of the PWC audit report on the stock exchanges website. The report highlighted ad hoc decisions taken by senior management officials, violating the norms laid down by the market regulator.

The special audit was conducted to ascertain the impact of the 5,600-crore settlement default by the National Spot Exchange, a group company of Financial Technologies, which owns the MCX.There has been a mass exodus of senior officials in the exchange over the last few months.The process of getting the exchange back on its feet was hampered after Manoj Vyas, Managing Director, quit in May, after just three months on the job.The Forward Market Commission had to call back Deputy Managing Director Parveen Kumar Singhal, who was on leave in the US, to take charge as interim CEO.

The exchange’s Chief Financial Officer Hemant Vastani; Company Secretary P Ramanathan; and Senior Vice-President Sameer Patil; also resigned recently.The Head Hunters’ Lakshmikanth said since the cream of talent has already quit, the mindset of the remaining employees has been completely demoralised.“Not everything is wrong with the exchange. Personal greed has led to the present crisis. The Government would not let the MCX shut down, as it is too big to fail,” he said.