Mahindra Group, whose companies are in a range of businesses from tractors to software, plans to set up five engineering colleges to tackle a shortage of manpower in the country. “I’m hoping that the students will have guaranteed absorption in Mahindra Group,” said Mahindra’s vice-chairman Anand G. Mahindra. “But I’ll be more than happy if they get poached by other companies.”
The venture will be spearheaded by group company Tech Mahindra Ltd, which sells telecommunications software. The first engineering college will come up in Chandigarh, where land has been allotted to the group, and they expect to start academic sessions from 2008, Mahindra said.
The group has identified land in Maharashtra and Goa for the second and third campuses, while the search was still on for the other two campuses, he added. The Press Trust of India reported that Mahindra would spend Rs250 crore in this venture, a figure which couldn’t be independently verified by Mint.
M&M managing director Anand G. Mahindra
As the economy expands at more than 9% a year, manufacturing companies are increasing production to keep pace with growing demand. This has increased their own intake of workers. However, few of the country’s government-funded industrial training institutes have kept pace with the changing needs of industry and the ballooning demand for technically-trained staff.
Auto makers have previously said they have a hard time hiring the right people because of a dearth of talent, made worse by intensified competition.
Companies across industries such as automobiles and information technology are allying with academic institutions and industrial training institutes for training their workforce and enhancing productivity levels. The country’s top 5 software companies will together spend close to Rs1,721 crore this fiscal year in training the around 100,000 engineers they would have hired in the same period.
Mahindra won’t be the first to set up educational institutes in the country. Shiv Nadar, the founder of HCL Infosystems Ltd and HCL Technologies Ltd, has set up engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu.
Each Mahindra campus will be supported by the state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and will specialize in a certain area of expertise, which they will share with the others through video courses, Mahindra said.
The group’s flagship company Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, India’s largest maker of tractors and utility vehicles, employs around 13,000 people.