“The subject calls for self-confidence, understanding growth imperatives of the Indian economy, energy security issues, global technology development, IPR issues, etc. All these aspects make solar a very exciting field to work in. Salary and perks are as exciting as any other industry,” Subramanya informs.

“In solar industry, you can look forward to a career which is definitely rewarding. It’s an expensive proposition, which means, for a high-value project, a company will make sure that it gets good people and for that, it will have to reward them well. Also, most of the companies in this field are MNCs, and if Indian companies want to do well, they need to keep up with the high scales offered by the multinational firms. And the best part is, it’s going to be like that for the next couple of years because solar has no way to go but only up from here,” adds Dr Jani.

Tips from the experts

The industry can be divided into three major categories, namely manufacturing, system integration and project implementation. The leading firms in these sectors are Tata BP Solar, Lanco Solar, Moser Baer Solar, Indosolar, Reliance Solar and Aditya Birla Solar, amongst others.

Your next question is likely to be “How to get an edge over your competitors?” Overall, solar jobs are growing quickly and employers are having a hard time finding qualified workers. “We don’t have many qualified people in solar. People who come with some power project experience, know-how to handle projects and build systems can be trained in solar,” Dr Jani adds.

Jayakumar opines, “Specialisation in energy management in exceptional cases is sought for. However, opportunities exist for regular electrical, mechanical and civil engineers.”

“Since the number of jobs will exponentially increase in this industry in the coming years, PV power plant technology needs to be taught as a main subject in engineering colleges to address the huge shortage of manpower in the solar industry. At Agni Power, we offer on-the-job training. During the course of production and installation, people acquire the skillset and also gradually learn to independently handle the systems,” adds Ghosh.

To sum it up, good educational background with an urge to learn and innovate makes a candidate prospective. In addition, recruiters while hiring usually look for a candidate who has:

1. Willingness to travel to rural areas and understand issues for inclusive growth
2. Knowledge and exposure in advanced areas like semiconductor physics, system integration, installation and commissioning, troubleshooting, after-sales service, customer care, techno-commercial analysis of mega projects, and erection, commissioning and grid integration of large project
3. Planning and co-ordination skills in project management
4. Design skills
5. Communication and story writing skills

Well, solar by itself is not at all complicated. It is a very simple technology, which makes it even more attractive. Once you understand what solar is, it becomes very easy to adapt. As Dr Jani puts it, “The point is not to train people on solar but to adapt them to solar.”


The author is from EFY Bureau, New Delhi

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