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Auto companies set to create job boom

By Chanchal Pal Chauhan in New Delhi
November 09, 2006 10:43 IST
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India's booming auto industry has lined up investments of some Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion) in either new capacity, vehicle platforms or engine-making facilities, unleashing a massive demand for talent, both in newer areas such as R&D, design, automation and software, as well as in production, assembly, servicing, repair, sales, management and at dealerships.

The main spenders will be market leader Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL, Rs 9,000 crore); Hyundai Motor Indian Ltd. (HMIL, Rs 5,000 crore) which will double its capacity; and Tata Motors, (Rs 10,000 crore), which wants to launch a Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000) car. Honda Siel, Ford, GM, Toyota and M&M will invest smaller amounts.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), over 200,000 people are currently employed in vehicle manufacturing, another 250,000 in component companies and 10 million at different levels of the value chain.

SIAM expects the automotive sector's growth in investment and output over the next 10 years to create an additional 25 million jobs-- directly and indirectly.

Maruti expects to finalise ambitious hiring plans for its three different plants by January 2007, but has already recruited 1,250 people for the time being and will induct more from early next year.

Says H Y Siddiqui, MUL's chief general manager (HRD): "It is a mega exercise, as our production will triple. We will need people in production, quality, engineering, R&D, supply chain, sales and marketing. We will be going to ITIs and technical institutes in search of fresh talent. Our managerial level requirements have increased three-fold and the intake would be about 250-275 candidates, compared to the current 100 per year."

Tata Motors, which has lined up the Novis range of trucks and the CRDi range of cars, expects to create 10,000 more jobs in different operations.

Says a Tata Motors spokesman: "In view of our expansion plans, our managerial team will require skillsets ranging from new product development to manufacturing, sourcing, sales and marketing. About 1,000 new managerial assignments are being created at present. We are targeting individuals who have a few years' experience, who can quickly become operational and have the ability to work in teams in a matrix structure."

HMIL, which introduced robotics in its production lines early on, will need 2,000 more people. To boost workforce productivity, it will also send a team to Korea for special training.

"Since our new products will be based on higher technology, training sessions are being conducted in India as well as Korea. With the emphasis being on exports, our long-term manpower strategy will aim to meet our level our automation. We are going in for knowledge professionals in large numbers," says a senior HR official.

The new niche area in the automotive industry is auto design. The well-known Swedish company, Caran Design Ltd., will therefore set up its first centre in India and will recruit over 300 engineers in three years-- almost one-third its 1,000-strong engineering force in Europe.

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Chanchal Pal Chauhan in New Delhi
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