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Government initiatives like Make in India and Smart Cities likely to create over 5 lakh new jobs in FY17 
By Prachi Verma, ET Bureau | 29 Jan, 2016, 07.00AM IST

 NEW DELHI: Ambitious government initiatives such as Make in India and Smart Cities are likely to create more than 5 lakh new jobs in FY17 on the project side, according to recruiters and headhunters.

ManpowerGroup India, Kelly Services and TeamLease Services are among those that 
see a four-fold jump in demand for workers in rail and metro transport, construction, energy, especially renewables, ports and other infrastructure. This jobs recovery will likely push salaries to an all-time high of Rs 1 crore-plus for leadership roles, they said. Overall, the increase in salaries at the top and mid level will be about 30% in the next year or so.

"The forecast till 2020 is that about 16 lakh jobs in the space of new projects across all sectors would be added and by 2012016-17 we are looking at over 5 lakh new jobs being added from new projects," said Rituparna Chakraborty, president of the Indian Staffing Federation and TeamLease senior vice president.

Schneider Electric India is among those hiring project managers in sectors such as power, oil and gas, renewable energy, industry automation, buildings, residential and energy management. 

"Make in India campaign is definitely a trigger for creating additional avenues for project execution and project managers," said Rachna Mukherjee, chief human resources officer at Schneider. "Looking at the current demand of the profile, these profiles will start seeking a premium from a compensation standpoint in future." 

Global Hunt has 15 searches for project directors compared with two a year ago. EMA Partners has close to 10 for the same profile. At the top end, salaries are in the Rs 1-2 crore range, while at the mid-level, these are Rs 10-20 lakh. 

"Crore plus salary is a new phenomenon for the project directors but still there is no adequate talent as suddenly the momentum has picked up in rolling stock, infrastructure, etc.," said a partner at another leading search firm. Those looking for people include AlstomBSE 1.07 %, Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Powerprojects, Azure Power, Shapoorji Pallonji, Reliance and the Adani Group, he said, not wanting to be named.

Those working on new projects are looking for engineers with exposure to finance. "Companies are looking out for people who can understand the importance of quality, financial planning and most importantly ensure adherence to the timelines," said Ratul Puri, chairman of Hindustan Powerprojects. 

 The gap between supply and demand may lift pay, especially at the top, by 25-30% in the coming year, recruiters said. "Salaries at the top could even touch Rs 3 crore in some cases," said Global Hunt managing director Sunil Goel. 

Other profiles in demand are of project managers, programme managers with preference for specialisations in engineering or technology in addition to finance experience. A project has a typical shelf life of three-four years and more at time.

"But companies like to see the project closing earlier than the timeline to maximise on profits," said A Ramachandran of EMA Partners. Nearly 9 million new project management roles are projected to be needed by 2020 just for the Delhi-Mumbai Corridor development project.

The surge will be spurred by infrastructure investments by the government in construction, which is projected to grow by more than 70% to $15 trillion by 2025, according to Chakraborty of TeamLease. 

Most of the current hiring is at mid-level with salaries peaking at Rs 20 lakh per year, said Kamal Karanth, managing director of Kelly Services.

"Demand for project management professionals is largely due to the need to optimise investments, resources and time allocation for projects," Karanth said. Project managers need to be agile and abreast of innovations in technology, said AG Rao, group MD at ManpowerGroup India. "In addition to the country's ever-strong IT sector, , India's top hiring industries include healthcare, and oil and gas," Rao said.

Also, with government engaging consulting firms in projects such as e-governance, smart cities, digitalisation, etc., there is pressure on consulting firms to acquire talent at all levels. For example, Siemens, BCG and McKinsey are hiring engineers, management graduates and graduates from other streams for new projects. 

"With the technical innovation on a rise and technology constantly evolving, project managers need to demonstrate an aptitude with agile approaches and the skills to work with ease with the latest technology." Ramesh Shankar (Executive Vice President and Head, HR, Siemens India) said.