Power is one of those sectors which are showing a promise of growth and expansion amidst the economic slowdown clatter. It may even benefit from the current recession. Its steady rise can be attributed to the immediate need for infrastructure.
As corporate majors look to cut costs and increase productivity, the one way they are likely to achieve this is through introduction of a cost-effective power solution. In fact, the Target Mission of India ‘Power for All by 2012’ would mean achieving the target of 1000 kWh (units) of per capita consumption of electricity by this period. Hence, if you wish to make your own contribution to the growth story of emerging India, this is one sector that will provide immense scope and opportunity.
The power story…
Let’s first probe a little deep inside India’s growth story. It is well known that the growth of a country can be sustained only if its infrastructure keeps pace with it. Power is the most prominent vertical amongst the infrastructural sectors. According to a midterm report released by Assocham, it topped the list of the most preferred investment sectors with 18.4 per cent of the total infrastructural investment.
The current economic recession doesn’t seem to have had any significant impact on job opportunities in the power sector. Commenting on an upbeat employment scenario in the power industry, Sunil Bhatnagar, director, Parker Power System, says, “In times of an economic slowdown the government looks to pump in more with respect to public expenditure, thus ensuring continuous job creation. For this reason, the power sector has the greatest element of anti-cyclical behaviour, thereby maintaining a healthy growth rate”.
Bhatnagar also outlines the new recruitment plan for his organisation. The recruitment trends of PSUs also are in accordance with his comment. NTPC itself has recruited about 1225 professionals last year and is planning to hire more than 1000 engineering and management professionals every year over the coming years. Other power companies—private- as well as public-sector—would also have high manpower requirements in the coming years in view of the growth opportunities present.
Large investments from private-sector players like Tata Power, Sterlite Industries, Jindal India Thermal Power and Lanco Group are increasing the chances of new job creation. Moreover, private players in energy management sectors like Conzerv, Enercon and APC are also in hiring mode. Bhatnagar feels that power will be the highest job-generating sector by 2012.
Be a part of the power game
Since the power sector comprises a wide range of firms from fairly large and mature companies to the SMBs, the manpower requirement also varies accordingly. The skill requirements are vast and there is room for professionals in product design and development, project engineering, product management, marketing and sales. Professionals who have a superior understanding of electronics, instrumentation, electrical, mechanical and power engineering are required amongst others.
Most of the companies have ambitious expansion as well as diversification plans. Companies like NTPC have taken a number of steps to emerge as an integrated power company with presence in coal mining, hydel power generation, power trading and power distribution. Accordingly, there are huge job opportunities for new entrants.
While there is still a shortage of quality manpower in the power sector, this seems to be easing out with changing preferences among the fresh engineers from IT to core fields like power and other heavy industries. “We do find that entry-level technical graduates are still charmed by the IT industry, however this trend is changing and bright youngsters are choosing careers in the power industry looking at the long-term growth perspective,” says Anil Kumar Challyil, technical services manager, Arrow Electronics.
In the times of an economic slowdown, the government looks to pump in more with respect to public expenditure, thus ensuring continuous job creation. For this reason, the power sector has the greatest element of anti-cyclical behaviour, thereby maintaining a healthy growth rate.
—Sunil Bhatnagar, director, Parker Power System
As an electronics professional you may find your place in the power circuit design section of a solutions providing firm. But opportunities are present even in the maintenance, instrumentation and control sections of any power plant. Work opportunities in the power sector primarily include creation, expansion and enlarging of existing units by utilising both renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Upgradation of the existing capacity through modernisation of equipment and introduction of new technolo-gies and better instrumentation may finally open up new job opportunities.
Adjunct systems operating with core infrastructure, such as smart energy management systems for commercial and industrial units, may be a right choice for your career.