Tata Technologies plans to hire over 4000 employees in the coming year order to meet the requirements of new projects in engineering and software product development.
In February, the company said it planned to hire at least 1000 employees more after having indicated its intent to take on board 3000-odd people during the year. In Q3 alone, the company is said to have recruited around 1500.
Sriram Lakshminarayanan, CTO, Tata Technologies told Autocar Professional that a major part of the recruitment is for areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence, software development amongst others. "We are trying to strengthen our capabilities which includes taking the existing ones and then further strengthening it, incubating capabilities or getting into a partnership ecosystem.” The challenge is to identify specific avenues which are going to become big in next 5-6 years and then go after it at full strength, he added.
Local and global hubs
The hiring plans come the back of increasing demand for autonomous, connected, electrification and shared (ACES) mobility and accelerated investment in digital as companies adapt to the evolving customer needs. Tata Technologies, therefore, aims to strengthen its workforce across its global and India hubs including in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, amongst others. Tata Technologies counts the who's who of global and India auto companies as its clients and has over 8,000 people on its payroll.
Embedded vehicle electronics
The hiring by Tata Technologies' comes even as the company looks to close the current fiscal at around Rs 3,700 crore ($ 500 million), up 40 percent over previous year when it saw a 16.5 percent decline to Rs 2,381 crore. The management's confidence stems from the company's current growth trajectory and a brisk order-book gained in the past few quarters, particularly in the embedded vehicle electronics and digital domains. In the third quarter ended December 31, 2021, Tata Technology posted its best-ever quarterly performance with operating revenue of Rs 1,034 crore and PAT of Rs 201 crore.
The company says it has seen a significant uptick in the embedded technology business segment, amidst the pandemic and has been partnering with automakers from India, China, Japan, and Sweden amongst others for its adoption. While most orders are from overseas four-wheeler OEMs, there are some from two-wheeler OEMs too with a significant part of the new business coming from the EV category. For instance, Tata Technologies' mechatronics has enabled infotainment integration and validation for a premium European luxury carmaker. Similarly, for a Swedish carmaker, Tata Technologies provided complete systems integration apart from offering validation and functional safety motor controllers for a Japanese EV maker. Likewise, Tata Technologies is working with an Indian OEM with its next-gen electric scooters.
The prospects for auto industry from ACES perspective is significant as OEMs are likely to spend close to $70 billion over next few years to acquire capabilities across the ACES technologies, a Mckinsey report titled ' The future of mobility is at our doorstep' released in 2021 suggests. The automotive sector has been undergoing extraordinary changes including advancements associated with powertrain, electronics, software, changing consumer preferences and new materials. However, the developments have also brought with itself its own set of challenges which include volatility in demand and supply, disrupted supply chains, increased pressure to reduce product cycle time and overall operational costs.
With regard to the company’s current recruitment drive, Lakshminarayanan explained that while hiring a large number for the workforce remains, the process itself has been challenging. The shortage of enough candidates with desired skillsets is one factor. As a result of which finding even 50 suitable candidates with desired skillsets is a challenge. Further, a higher- than-normal attrition levels in the industry continue to aggravate the situation, he noted. Tata Technologies's s attrition rate during FY 2021 was 11 percent, lower than the industry average.
Tata Technologies works with OEMs and tier suppliers across geographies on two broad propositions. One is for the turnkey projects that start from the conceptualization stage to design, and develop products, and the second is helping customers identify and deploy technologies and solutions as per their needs. The company leadership highlights that it has helped in considerably reducing the vehicle developing time to about 25-27 months from about 38-45 months earlier.
In order to create a talent pool for the industry from which it could benefit as well, Tata Technologies has started tapping the budding talent at the educational institutes by partnering with several State governments including Karnataka, Bihar, Manipur amongst others. The plan is that while a chunk of those trained can be absorbed by various auto companies, while the rest can get into entrepreneurship by opening small manufacturing facilities that could supply components to tier 1 suppliers. Until last year, the company through its 'Ready Engineer program' says it equipped more than 20,800 graduate engineers with relevant job skillsets.
The company collaborated with close to two dozen global industry partners to implement this project by upgrading the overall facilities, developing an ITI course curriculum leveraging its manufacturing domain knowledge around advanced areas of technology, conducting training programs, and providing equipment and software support at the ITI centres.
The management’s narrative in this regard is that the project will help in improving the availability of advanced skills required for smart manufacturing and provide the necessary impetus for skill-led manufacturing. All this is aimed at helping the industry embrace Industry 4.0 technologies. These ITIs will cater to advanced skill requirements of students as well as prospective employers and act as talent pools and skill centres for the large industry as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).