The first Managing Director of Numaligarh Refinery Limited, R. K. Dutta, has passed away on Wednesday at Kolkata following brief illness. He was 75.
Dutta served as the managing director from August 1995 till April 2002.
In May 2002, he was inducted as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Oil India Limited and served till his superannuation in February 2006.
Dutta started his career at Assam Oil Company in Digboi – the place where oil industry in India was born. 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.
In 1985, he introduced LPG in the army cook houses which is considered one of his biggest achievements. The introduction of green fuel by Assam Oil in army cook houses came at a time when the general perception was to use kerosene or fire wood as a kitchen fuel all over the country.
The company logo of a charging one horn rhino remains iconic to this day. They are seen even today across the Northeast.
In 1995, Dutta was handpicked by the Indian Government 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.
Apart from being a doyen of Assam Oil industry, Dutta was also a humanitarian to the core and maintained the highest standard of honesty and integrity.
The demise of Dutta is considered a colossal loss to Oil and Gas industry in Assam as well the country. His contribution to the development of the industry in the Northeast remains unparalleled.