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Power postings

Jobs with attractive benefits in the power sector make up for the lack of buzz about it.

Shamni Pande        Print Edition: February 7, 2010

A good dipstick for change in the jobs market is often the highlevel movements. The power sector saw a rush of senior-level appointments at the peak of the slowdown. Last year, for instance, Pankaj Sachdeva joined as Deputy Managing Director at Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd from ABB India, and Ravi Uppal, who was ABB's Global Marketing Head, joined L and T as Head (Power Projects). "The power sector and other related infrastructure segments are all set to attract CEOs and senior-level people from the international circuit as well as other manufacturing segments in India," says R. Suresh, MD, Stanton Chase.

Power is being tipped as the "next IT"—a destination that has huge manpower requirements at all levels. The country hopes to add more than 70,000 MW—it may be an ambitious target, though—over the next three years, and this has led to a great deal of activity across the various power segments—coal-based thermal, wind, solar and hydro. "Given the energy needs, we even think that nuclear power, which is currently a public sector preserve, will also open up," says Madhav Sharan, Senior Client Partner and Asia-Pacific Head (Industrial), Korn/Ferry International.

Currently, there is a huge supplydemand gap of talent in the power sector. Top recruiters put various reasons for this: The sector suffers from a distinct lack of buzz, which is often generated by campus recruitments — many of the power players are yet to tap this avenue in a serious manner; projects at remote sites make it unattractive for some, and, of course, there is sheer shortage of technically-qualified people with relevant experience. Hence, for requirements in the technical space, the sector will source people from existing players or from the overseas market. In administrative positions, it would look at other industries.

In fact, the private sector, thus far, has seen the recruitment of people from public sector units such as NTPC and BHEL, prompting an industry insider to say that NTPC has "virtually been emptied out". So, what makes the power sector hot? "Salaries and benefits are certainly much better than what the IT sector has to offer. The glamour of overseas travel may be lacking, but this is, indeed, a possibility in the case of multinational players," says Gopinath Govindan, VP (HR), CLP Power India—which is the largest foreign investor in the wind power sector. So, while things are not visibly crackling, "the scope to stand out and make a difference is much greater", claims Govindan.


WHO'S HIRING?
CLP India, L and T-Mitsubishi, GVK Power, Siemens, Alstom, Suzlon, Vestas, Tata Power.

AT WHAT SALARIES?
CEO (Rs 1 crore and above), senior level (above Rs 50 lakh), mid level (Rs 30 lakh) and junior level (Rs 12-20 lakh).

WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?
The sector needs at least 2,000 people in top management; over 15,000 in the mid and junior levels over the next three years.

 WHAT IS THE SECTOR'S GROWTH POTENTIAL?
The Ninth Five-year Plan (2007-12) envisages a capacity addition of 78,577 MW.

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