It happened in banking, it happened in pharmaceuticals, it happened in insurance and it happened in aviation. Now, it is the turn of the power sector. The public sector has become a happy hunting ground for talent-hungry private players warming up to poach skilled people and key managers, offering lucrative pay packages. With high growth expected in the power sector in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, the trend could only catch on.
Anil Ambani’s Reliance Energy and Tata Power are among the key private sector players in the game. While capital markets may help them with money for investment, many of the people who will do the hard work come from the public sector. Often, these are folks working at a fraction of wages a comparable professional would command in a developed country.
More than 200 trained engineers at various levels in power generation giant NTPC and nearly 400 middle and entry level engineers from the National Hydroelectric Power corporation have quit recently to take up lucrative offers with private sector power companies, sources in the government and industry told Hindustan Times.
“Let us not call it an exodus. If one compares the number of those quitting to the actual staff strength of these PSUs (public sector undertakings), the numbers are minimal, but certainly it a sort of ‘brain drain’ as these PSUs are losing trained manpower,” a official at the power ministry told Hindustan Times.
Government sources said, to fight growing staff attrition, PSUs are lobbying the government to ask the Sixth Pay Commission to incorporate a differential pay structure favouring employees with technical expertise.
While NTPC has a total staff strength of nearly 24,000, NHPC has about 13,000 employees.
About 100 middle to senior level engineers have joined private firms including Tata Power, Reliance Energy from NTPC. Many of NHPC’s trained staff members have joined the Jaypee Group that has entered the hydropower generation sector in a big way.