Anticipating a severe shortage of skilled personnel, power-generation major NTPC plans to introduce a differential salary structure and double its recruitment of engineers to 1,000 every year, beginning 2012.
Currently, public sector units (PSU) are governed by standardized pay structures, which are not as attractive as those offered by the private sector. The company’s staff has been shrinking since the entry of private players in the power sector.
NTPC believes that this trend will become critical in five years when there is a greater demand for engineers as the private power plants go on stream and fresh capacity is added.
Of the total capacity of 23,250MW that is expected to be finally added during the 10th Plan period (2002-07), the private sector’s contribution will be 8.30%. However, in the 11th Plan (2007-12), this share is projected to jump to 13.4% of the overall target of 68,870MW.
“We are the obvious target for poaching as we have been in the business for long. The problem at the moment is not very acute as the private sector participation has just started in the sector. Right now, they are recruiting only for the construction of the power projects. Once the projects that are being set up become fully operational, we expect the private players to lure away our operations and maintenance engineers. We are planning to double our intake keeping that scenario in mind,” G.K. Aggarwal, executive director, human resources, NTPC, told Mint.
The company is now contemplating the introduction of differential salaries to its engineers to retain them. “We will try to make it difficult for poachers to take away talent from us,” Aggarwal claimed.
The alarming attrition levels at the leading public sector oil and gas exploration company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has now begun to afflict the Indian power sector and majority of the government-owned public sector companies in general.
NTPC has lost 100 engineers over the period of last one year to firms such as Tata Power, Reliance Energy Ltd. and Lanco Infratech. The company expects the attrition to double to 200 engineers by 2012.
Similarly, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, a transmission major, lost around 50 engineers to the private companies in the last one year. Power-equipment major, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (Bhel), lost 50 engineers last year and expect the numbers to double in the next financial year (2007-08).
The situation is expected to deteriorate with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (in collaboration with Larsen and Toubro) and Dongfeng planning to set up shop here.
P.S. Kulshrestha, executive director, human resources, Bhel, said, “The time has come that the variable pay concept is introduced. The PSUs are seriously looking at this model.”