Engineers Meeting Global Standards In Demand: MD, Egis India
"Any changes that happen in the project requirement, affect our recruitment process as well as recruitment numbers", says Sandeep Gulati, MD of Egis India
Egis, a French Engineering Company has been present in India for about 25 years and working on some very high profile infra projects in the country.
Sandeep Gulati, MD, Egis India talks to BW People about their hiring plans, diversity in the company along with career opportunities in the engineering sector.
How requirement or business changes influence your hiring plans for current FY?
Our recruitment process is totally dependent on business requirements. For example, we have one single project in Madhya Pradesh wherein one-fifth of our entire workforce in the country is deployed. Therefore, any changes that happen in the project requirement, affect our recruitment process as well as recruitment numbers.
What skills do you plan to hire for? How difficult is it to find candidates meeting the skillset requirements?
As an engineering consultant, most of the skills we look for hiring are technical/subject matter expertise. The projects come with very specific requirements which limit the number of potential employees. Since it becomes a very small talent pool and there are lots of projects vying for the same talents – sometimes even globally, it becomes quite challenging at times to hire particular talents with specific requirements.
What is the diversity ratio in the organization? How do you plan to increase the ratio going ahead?
Presently, our diversity ratio is not very high as this issue is observed across the sector. Since our work involves a lot of travel and onsite work, it is more popular amongst the masculine gender. Having said that, we are putting our efforts to balance this ratio by providing equal opportunity to females via different roles at support and office staff.
How are employment opportunities shaping up in the engineering sector? How do employees keep up with the change?
The engineering sector, especially the ones directly and indirectly associated with infrastructure, are doing very well. India is one of the largest growing economies in the world today and to keep up the present growth it needs to continue investments in infrastructure development. This has its own set of opportunities and threats.
There is a huge demand for a qualified and experienced staff of global standards. However, there is a serious scarcity of talent that meets global standards. At Egis, there is a continuous technology transfer that happens between the Group (at France) and India which keeps our workforce updated with global experience and expertise. We also have exchange programs wherein we send our employees from India to different international locations to learn and experience particular skills. This, later on, is translated via knowledge transfer which has been beneficial for business development as well as employee development in the recent past
How important is showing a clear picture to the employees to keep them engaged? Do you also need to ramp up your efforts during tough times to keep the momentum going?
At Egis, we believe in transparency at all levels. We share all relevant and important communication with our employees, at regular intervals including changes brought into the system. Our global leadership teams visit us on a regular basis and we often organize the interaction of the employees with them so that the employees can see the global picture within and outside the group from their perspective. The Group gives us a lot of freedom to develop local strategies and liaise with the Group to keep the employees engaged at all times. The Group invests regularly irrespective of good and challenging times to keep employee morale & skill development high.
What are some major challenges for the HR function in the industry?
As the world is getting smaller, more and more global companies are trying to tap the limited and niche talent pool. The opportunities have become more ubiquitous for global talent and therefore difficult to retain. The employees nowadays do not just work for money or position, there is a deeper need for self-actualization through work and the opportunities at work. For example, a lot of our employees want us to associate and support social causes dear to them. We try and ensure that we support them in that endeavor in the best possible way. The workplace has become a second home for many employees where sometimes they spend more time than at home. To cater to these changing dynamics, it needs a different set of skills in HR people to attract, nurture and retain talent.
How different or difficult is managing the workforce in India compared to a global workforce?
I think every market has its own set of challenges. Every region has its own set of cultures which has some positives as well as developmental areas. What I believe is, focus on the strengths and work on the weaknesses. So the Indian workforce is always very excited to learn something new. Global exposure and experience are highly coveted. There is a sense of urgency and desire (at least in Egis India) that we want to grow and deliver. There is a huge hunger to succeed to prove. So overall, I think it is challenging for Indian corporate leaders to keep such a hungry for success workforce focused and motivated towards a common goal and a long term vision.