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Engineers: Get campus ready for the automotive industry

15 September, 2016

Tata Motors believes that the backbone of a manufacturing business is its people - the engineers. By providing them with the right opportunities, we gear them to take on larger responsibilities, accelerating their professional growth.

TimesJobs recently invited our CHRO, Gajendra Chandel to interact LIVE with young and aspiring engineers over their ‘High Tea Session'. He advised young and budding engineers on making the right career decisions, responding to queries ranging from the pre-requisite qualities expected in graduate engineer to the most sought-after jobs in the sector.

On Engineer's Day (Sept 15), we bring you excerpts from that interactive session.

Gajendra Chandel: Hi everyone, it's a pleasure to be a part of this interaction with all of you as you begin your career. My name is Gajendra Chandel and I am the Chief Human Resources Officer at Tata Motors. I look forward to a lively and engaging discussion with you all. So let's go right ahead. Who is shooting the first question?

Dalip: What are the qualities a mechanical engineer should possess to join a company like Tata Motors?
Answer: Thanks, Dalip for the first question! There is no doubt that one needs to have excellent technical knowledge in their respective field. Equally important are the behavioural skills and competencies, like a keen desire to learn (and unlearn), teamwork, thinking agility and the ability to put your thoughts into action.

Ashwin: What qualities does an automobile company expect from a GET and where can they see themselves down the line in five years?
Answer: Thanks, Ashwin for the question! As mentioned earlier, apart from the technical and functional knowledge of your field, one needs to have requisite behavioural competencies like a keen desire to learn (and unlearn), teamwork, thinking agility, ability to put your thoughts into action, etc. 

As for what a GET can expect in five years, it depends on the field one chooses or is deployed in. For instance, we see to it that our GETs take on the responsibilities as first-line managers. Those who are in operations, like manufacturing, or those deployed in the engineering function start moving towards being specialists in any of the specific automotive technology areas. Those who go into customer support, move into the role of customer support managers. So it depends on which area one chooses.

Dipankar Dey: Sir, I am looking for a job in the automobile Industry. I have almost 12 years of experience in automobile and mechanical service and after-market works. I hold a Diploma in Automobile Engineering from the West Bengal State Council of Technical Education. I also have working experience with several leading automobile and mechanical industries from shop floor to administrative level and I have the ability to achieve functional as well as organisational goals.
Answer: Thanks, Dipankardey for the question! As the economy picks up and market opens up further, the automotive industry is bound to do much better especially when large infrastructure projects actually take off. With this expansion of the automotive industry it will open up vistas for professionals like you whether in OEMs (automotive companies) or with the dealers and authorised service centres. We too, like many other companies, are looking at expanding our customer touch-points including many more service centres. I would encourage you to even consider becoming an entrepreneur i.e., going in for a franchisee service centre. Not many opt for that, but I can say that it's quite fulfilling and profitable.

Dhaibat Bhattacharya: Dear Sir, I am Dhaibat Bhattacharya, a B.Tech graduate in Automobile Engineering from West Bengal University of Technology, 2015 batch. My GDPA during the course was 7.85/10. I have had three months of hands-on practical training in automobile servicing at a Hyundai service centre in Kolkata. I also have a certification in CATIA and solid works for one month from MSME. I dream of getting in a reputed OEM like TATA. Please guide me.
Answer: Thanks, Dhaibhat for your question! From your question, I am not very clear what it is that you REALLY want to do. On one hand you have done training in a service centre and on the other you have done some course in CATIA. You need to be absolutely clear about your choice i.e., what kind of career you want to get into and then pursue it single-mindedly, acquire knowledge specifically in that field if you want to pick up a career in automotive. Of course, you have a choice to go in for a career in IT as well, which needs domain knowledge of various areas like automotive as they service clients in all these industries.

Saikumar: I am a recent graduate in automotive engineering having specialised in vehicle dynamics. I am looking forward to work in a prestigious company like Tata Motors.
Answer: Thanks, Saikumar for your question! I am not sure about which all companies you have tried. Sure, the industry is still very cautious, but more important is the fact that the companies are working on building much higher levels of productivity to be competitive. Hence, the industry looks not just at the educational qualification but also the quality of talent and equally importantly at competencies like drive for results, timely decision making, managing vision and purpose, dealing with ambiguity, taking ownership, teamwork, etc.

Nimish Dubey: What are the most in-demand engineering jobs in the automobile sector?
Answer: Thanks, Nimish for your question! In my view, maximum job requirements that come up in the industry as a whole are the customer support/service jobs including the service centres/franchisees. Next and perhaps even more important are the manufacturing jobs including all manufacturers in the value chain i.e., suppliers/vendors.

Ankur: I am a mechanical engineer graduate from the 2011 batch. During my engineering I was really enthusiastic about automobiles. I did my training in Premier Motors. I was an active member in BAHA SAE. I completed PRO E course. Unfortunately, I didn't make my way into the automobile sector. I received a job offer from mechanical EPC company in their marketing department. Can you please guide me as I am looking forward to make my career in the automobile sector?
Answer: Thanks, Ankur for your question! It depends on your interest area as well KNOWLEDGE which you are capable of deploying in specific areas. In case you think you have competence and interest in customer support, go after it. But if you have the experience, interest and competence in manufacturing, then you must go for it. In the automotive industry there's another field viz. project management, which is quite selective. Maybe you can go for it if you think you have experience and expertise in that area.

Piyush: Hello Sir, I have experience in the oil and gas industry and I want to switch to the automobile industry. But most of the companies need experience in auto sector. Please suggest how I can make the switch.
Answer: Thanks, Piyush for your question! It depends on what kind of experience you have; whether it's in operations or service or commissioning and installation, etc.

Sanjay Kumar: Dear sir. I have 1.5 years of experience in NPI department and am a Quality Inspector from the automobile sector. Please let me know of any vacancies in the automobile sector. Thank you, Sir.
Answer: Thanks, Sanjay for your question! NPI is a good field. Vacancies depend on what specific experience you have.

Pankaj Gokul: Respected Sir, I am Pankaj, currently in the last year of M.Tech.I have filed two patents on automobile safety at my college level. Sir, how can I build my career in the automobile development field? Your valuable guidance will be very useful to me
Answer: First of all, congratulations Pankaj for your achievement in terms of patents! I would suggest you share/showcase specifically your patent details with the automotive companies. Many companies would be willing to lap it up.

Moderator: Thank you everyone for taking out time to participate in the session! Hope the session was useful for you. We apologise that Mr. Chandel could not answer all your questions due to time constraint. The chat transcripts of the session will be made available for your future read, soon on the site.
Answer: Thanks to you all. It was such a fantastic experience being a part of this High Tea conversation. It certainly helped me learn a lot from the questions you all asked. So, thanks to each of you! I do hope this helped you to get some perspective on the various careers for engineers in the automobile sector.

Source: TimesJobs.com

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