New Delhi: NTPC Ltd has started playing the role of a matchmaker with an intranet site aimed at promoting matrimonial alliances.
Access to NTPC’s Parinay site will be restricted to its 24,011 employees.
“This is to facilitate new executives within the NTPC family and also those employees whose children are of marriageable age. The site is on the lines of social networking and matrimonial sites but is only meant for NTPC’s employees,” said Arup Roy Choudhury, chairman and managing director of the state-controlled power producer.
The idea has already found traction with 931 employees becoming members of the site and at least two marriages being fixed through Parinay.
India’s largest utility has been augmenting its workforce to help it increase its present installed capacity of 39,174 megawatts (MW) to 75,000MW by 2017 and 128,000MW by 2032.
“We got the idea as we realized that we are recruiting young employees and executive trainees who are then assigned to our 27 project sites, which are located in remote areas. Apart from work, there are very limited avenues for interaction. We plan to bridge this need through our internal site,” Choudhury said.
“Earlier we used to get a lot of requests from parents of employees for the names of prospective brides and grooms. We have facilitated the exercise for our employees,” he said.
In the current fiscal year, NTPC has hired 380 executive trainees. It hired 650 trainees in 2010-11 and 750 in 2011-12. It recruits around 1,000 people every year.
“Generally corporates don’t prefer a married couple working in one department or office but PSUs (public sector units) think differently. In case of NTPC, they may be doing this because this way it would be far easy to convince a young couple to move to a remote location. Nowdays a lot of social networking platforms have marriage portals, but corporates may have their own ramifications,” said Aman Syal, CEO, Laurent and Benon, an HR consulting firm.
The utility also plans to launch a site to help retired employees stay in touch. The site will also help them secure job assignments besides acting as an interface with the company for facilities such as settlement of medical bills.
The utility has been making such attempts to stem attrition and encourage staff to serve in remote areas. Mint had earlier reported on NTPC’s plans to offer direct employment for employees’ spouses at the same projects. Most employees prefer to serve at NTPC’s seven regional headquarters than work sites.
The move is also part of NTPC’s efforts to stem attrition; it has been losing engineers to private firms. Earlier attempts included improving healthcare at projects and leveraging Super 30, a Patna-based coaching system for Indian Institutes of Technology aspirants, to train the children of employees. The utility is also working on a scheme to help employees set up housing cooperatives.
NTPC posted a net profit of Rs.9,224 crore on revenue of Rs.64,830 crore in the year ended 31 March. It had a cash surplus of Rs.17,000 crore at the year end.