GUWAHATI: R K Dutta, the first Managing Director of Numaligarh Refinery Limited ( from August 1995 to April 2002) passed away today at Kolkata after a brief ilness . He was 75. Dutta also held the position of CMD of Oil India Limited ( from May 2002 till his superannuation in February 2006). His wife Julie Dutta predeceased him last year.
Dutta was considered a colossus in the Oil and Gas Industry in the country and his contribution to the development of the Oil and Gas industry in the North East is unparalleled. He was one of the rare professionals in the Indian oil industry who had worked, headed and excelled in all the streams of oil industry, i.e., downstream, upstream and midstream. He started his career at Assam Oil Company, Digboi- the birth place of oil industry in India. As a hard core oil marketing professional, he expanded Assam Oil's penetration in retail marketing by building up retail outlets, developing fleet owners, building storage and supply terminals all over the North East India. One of his biggest achievements was introduction of LPG in the army cook houses in 1985. Assam Oil was the first company to introduce this green fuel in the cook houses of the army at a time when the general perception was to use kerosene or fire wood as a kitchen fuel all over the country.
Mr. Dutta was able to strengthen and spread the marketing network throughout the North Eastern India and the visibility of its logo of the Charging one horn rhino is seen even today all across the north eastern region. He headed the organisation for 11 long years till 1995.
In 1995, Mr. Dutta was handpicked by the Government of India to head the historic 'Assam Accord' refinery now known as Numaligarh Refinery Limited. He not only constructed and commissioned the refinery within its scheduled time, but also created a new company – a PSU which is a glowing example of successful business enterprise in the region. Mr. Dutta, possessed an inherent 'risk-taking capability and also took hard decisions, whenever required, while maintaining the essential qualities of humility and courtesy. He was a humanitarian to the core and maintained the highest standard of honesty and integrity and always led by example.
The State of Assam in particular and the Indian Oil Industry in general is much poorer by his demise.