RIL hires over 1,500 engineers; head-count dips by 808



RIL hires over 1,500 engineers; head-count dips by 808 New Delhi: Country's top corporate entity Reliance Industries added more than 1,500 engineers to its payroll but its total head-count dipped by over 800 employees during fiscal 2008-09, a period marked with massive job losses in India and across the world.

One of the biggest employers among the non-IT private sector companies, Mukesh Ambani-led RIL had a total of 24,679 employees at the end of the latest fiscal, down 808 from 225,487 people at the end of the previous fiscal, according to company's annual report for 2008-09.

The total head-count declined -- the first dip for RIL in the past six years -- despite the company hiring more than 1,500 engineers during 2008-09.

Along with its subsidiaries such as Reliance Retail, the company had a total workforce in excess of 48,000 at the end of 2007-08, according to the company's annual filing for that year for its shareholders. However, RIL has not disclosed the total staff strength including that of subsidiaries for the year 2008-09, a period when there had been various reports of heavy job losses in its retail and SEZ businesses.

Besides, the average age of the employees at the company also increased from 34 years to 39 years during 2008-09, indicating higher job losses in the lower-age group staff.

The report said that RIL's human talent today is 24,679. This includes engineers, management graduates, accountants and other professionals.

"The average age is 39 years, which for an organisation of RIL's size and age clearly reflects a bias towards the youth. The company increased its talent pool by hiring 1,500 plus engineering talent in FY 2008-09," the company said.

Prior to the last fiscal, RIL's headcount had been rising every year since 2004-05. The previous fall was in 2003-04, when the headcount fell from 12,915 to 11,358 employees. During 2007-08, the headcount rose by close to 791 employees and by a massive 12,156 people in 2006-07.

While the company has not disclosed the consolidated headcount, or that including subsidiaries, for 2008-09, in its annual report for 2007-08, RIL had put this figure at over 48,000 individuals, including subsidiaries.

That included more than 200 doctorates, over 10,000 employees, 3,000 plus management graduates, 1000 plus accountants and over 1,000 other professionals.

Depite a lower headcount, the company's employee cost rose to Rs 2,398 crore in 2008-09 from Rs 2,119 crore in the previous fiscal.

The total employee cost for the latest year included Rs 111 crore paid towards a voluntary separation scheme for the employees of Patalganga unit during the year. About 430 employees accepted the VSS offer by the company, RIL said.

RIL disclosed that its contribution to national exchequer also fell further to Rs 11,574 crore in 2008-09, from Rs 13, 696 crore in the previous year. It stood at Rs 15,344 crore in 2006-07 and Rs 15,950 crore in 2005-06.

Bureau Report