India's leading passenger carmaker Maruti Suzuki India limited (MSIL) is looking at recruiting workers from Gujarat for its Manesar plant, and has recently taken a preliminary test for 1,181 candidates.
This is the first time that the company is hiring in such high numbers from the state, a senior official indicated.
In the backdrop of the ongoing labour trouble at the company's Manesar plant in Haryana for the past few years, and to top it all the recent violence in July last year that claimed the life of a senior manager at Maruti, the move to recruit in high numbers from other states becomes significant.
A state government official in the know said that the company had recently conducted a written test to select candidates at the Kubernagar Industrial Training Institute (ITI).
When contacted, N H Patel, official in the placement cell of the ITI confirmed the development and said that around 1181 students had appeared for the test recently.
The written test would be followed up by an interview as well as a practical test, Patel said adding that if selected these candidates would undergo training at Manesar.
A senior MSIL official, said on grounds of anonymity, "This is indeed that first time we are recruiting from Gujarat in such high numbers. The Manesar third line or C plant is expected to be operational this year, and the recruitment process is on for that."
As to why the company chose Gujarat, the official said, "We now have an association with the state, Gujarat would be housing our upcoming plants, and also, as the state is emerging an an auto-hub, relevant talent is readily available."
He admitted that the recent situation in Haryana, has indeed prompted the company to look outside the National Capital Region (NCR).
Analysts feel, that not just the recent worker unrests, labour costs can also be one of the potential reasons why companies can avoid recruiting from the Haryana belt.
An auto analyst with Angel Broking said, "Workers in the NCR auto belt have been demanding higher wages for sometime now, as for example the recent Hero MotoCorp situation. This, coupled with a tradition of labour unrest, are prompting companies to look for talent outside the NCR."
Maruti's Gujarat plant is likely to go onstream in 2015-16, and the recruitment process for the same is yet to begin. A state government official also informed that Maruti plans to train around 500 youth from the state for its upcoming plant at Hansalpur.
The company also plans to collaborate with the state government to develop skill development institutes to train the workforce here.