At the COP26 Summit, India committed to an aspirational goal of 30% of its vehicles to be EVs (Electric Vehicles) by 2030. Indian automotive industry is the 5th largest in the world and has drawn the global leaders to India over the last few years. The industry and the government have been working together to transform this sector and influence consumer behaviours towards a greener environment.
The sector has struggled for a while due to a lack of favourable policies and sometimes, due to a lack of implementation support. As COVID19 gripped the world, some aspects of the transformational journey needed for India have received a fillip and we see some tailwinds. Consumers are looking for greener options and at the same time, the infrastructure for electric vehicles has gotten better backed by favourable policy frameworks and rigorous implementation.
EV business is at an inflexion point
Governments at the centre as well as the states are working at a pace seen never before to bring out initiatives that are boosting investments and innovation at the same time. Right from FDI (foreign direct investments) and PLI (production linked incentive) schemes to battery swapping policy and interoperability standards, the Indian state has been facilitating the growth of the sector.
We see start-ups in the ecosystem experimenting with new ideas to make the share of EVs in the mobility habits of Indians. Investments from multinationals as well as the large Indian companies have continued to flow into the sector. We can foretell, that the EV sector will transform at a quick pace as the IT industry demonstrated. Talent dynamics for the sector will change significantly as the IT industry has been over the last two decades.
Rapidly evolving EV ecosystem
Large companies like Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Hero Electric, Hyundai, MG Motors and many others have entered the EV space. There are many new entrants like Ola Electric, Ather Energy, Ampere Vehicles, Kinetic Green Energy and many others manufacturing 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers or 4-wheelers. Apart from these manufacturers, we have investments in battery manufacturing, charging infrastructure and other components of the EVs.
We see new business models such as renting or leasing, charging as a service, ride-hailing companies with all-EV fleets and battery swapping evolving. We see mergers, acquisitions and strategic partnerships being struck at a rapid pace, at an order of magnitude. India will become a hub of manufacturing and R&D for EVs soon.
Contours of Talent Dynamics
Hundreds of companies in the EV ecosystem are growing rapidly and all of them need to recruit new talent. MSDE (Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) has estimated the creation of 1 Crore direct jobs in the EV sector by 2030.
The large players with an IC engine-based automotive business have plugged out talented people from their existing workforce and aligned them with the new strategy and technology. This talent needs to be developed to be able to think and act with a high degree of agility as If their EV business is like a technology business. This is an interesting challenge for them and calls for transformational efforts.
The EV sector needs talent across the functions of engineering, operations and sales largely, in terms of the number of people an organisation needs. Quality Assurance, IT, HR, Finance and Supply Chain are the other crucial functions that need the right talent as well, albeit in smaller numbers. Due to the rapid growth in the sector, expectedly attrition is high and hence, the average tenure of employees in a firm is short.
Companies have to invest in employer branding and innovative practices in talent acquisition to deal with the talent shortage. They need to deploy the right search processes to get the right fit; invest energies in hiring fresh talent from campuses and develop them in line with the company culture. They will need to use interim staffing and gig workers in the strategic positions; use temporary staffing and contract-to-hire (C2H) models to get talent in operations, sales and engineering roles.
Companies have to build the right network of partners for charging and maintenance of their vehicles. They have to invest their energies in making sure that the manpower at the network partners is trained well and has the right skills to deliver the desired levels of service.
Participation of women in the workforce is another strategy that many automakers have successfully deployed. EV companies must apply this to avail the benefits of a blended workforce. The sector being new has significantly higher participation of women in leadership positions compared to their counterparts in the manufacturing and engineering sector as a whole.
These contours will keep evolving over the next 12-24 quarters as India aims to reach the goal of 30% EVs on the road by 2030.
Ref: #BuildingTomorrow: Future of Electric Vehicles: https://www.cielhr.com/buildingtomorrow-future-of-electric-vehicles/