New Delhi: State-owned NHPC Ltd, the country’s largest hydropower company, said it will hire 200 employees across its engineering, human resources and finance departments despite the economic downturn.
“We are planning to hire for various positions...in spite of the economic slowdown,” said S.K. Garg, chairman and managing director of NHPC.
Staff crunch: NHPC’s Garg says the firm plans to hire for several departments despite the downturn. Hindustan Times
NHPC, which employs 12,000 people, has in the past few years seen an exodus of employees to private sector power firms, the new entrants in the hydropower business, such as Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s Reliance Energy Ltd, Lanco In fratech Ltd and DSC Ltd (formerly DS Constructions).
“In the past few years, around 400-500 employees have quit NHPC to join private sector power companies,” Garg said.
Employees of public sector units (PSUs) such as NHPC, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd and NTPC Ltd were preferred over others by private players for their expertise and experience.
However, following the global economic downturn, PSUs are back in the limelight even for premier business schools, thanks to job security and the amenities provided by government-owned organizations.
Human resource consultant Anita Belani, country head at Right Management India Pvt. Ltd, said: “In the past few years, we had seen a lot of attraction towards other sectors such as investment banking, finance, among others. This (preference for PSU jobs) is interesting. Large PSUs are good learning grounds for new graduates. There is a growing realization about PSUs in terms of stability and exposure that they provide.”
India has a hydropower generation capacity of 32,000MW and plans to add another 16,553MW by 2012.
NHPC is currently engaged in the construction of 12 projects with a total installed capacity of 5,322MW and plans to raise its capacity to 10,000MW by 2012. It has an installed capacity of 4,200MW, and added 1,917MW during the 10th Plan (2002-07).
Hydropower projects are more complex to construct, and need specialized technology and design as against thermal power projects. NHPC has about 2,000 engineers on its payrolls.
“For the projects under construction, contracts have already been awarded,” Garg said.
He also pointed out the dearth of civil contractors in the country and said, “We have limited contracting agencies and need to have more civil contractors.”
Some of the major contracting companies in India include Patel Engineering Ltd, Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd and Gammon India Ltd.