Coca-Cola to hunt for engineering talent

Written by Diksha Dutta | Diksha Dutta | Updated: Sep 3 2012, 09:31am hrs
Beverage giant Coca-Cola India and its bottling companies are planning to recruit fresh hires from different engineering colleges for its operations, quality and manufacturing business. Until now, only the company-owned bottling businesses recruited technical students and, for the same, the company went to different regional colleges like Delhi College of Engineering, Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Patiala, and National Institute of Technology at multiple locations across the country for recruitment.

But now, students from engineering colleges will also be recruited for other operations of Coca-Cola and the beverage major will invest about R28,000 crore ($5 billion) in India by 2020 on various activities, including setting up of new bottling plants. The hiring process of technical graduates will be similar to that done for the business school graduates that Coca-Cola India hires.

Sameer Wadhawan, vice-president, human resources and services, Coca-Cola India and South-West Asia, says, Until now, we have usually picked up experienced people for our technical team, but now we will also be hiring fresh engineering graduates. We will be going to engineering colleges to fill positions in operations, manufacturing and our quality team.

As far as the hiring process is concerned, Wadhawan says, We will replicate a similar model as we do for business schools. For the past five years, Coca-Cola India has been following a 100% pre-placement offer (PPO) model when it hires from business schools like IIMs, XLRI and FMS.

PPOs help us in 100% retention, more focused employees by the time they join us and a good quality of talent, Wadhawan adds. Coca-Cola trains around 20-25 business interns every year for a period of eight weeks. Out of them, approximately four to five students are absorbed by the company based on their performance. These students are given exposure to live business cases. Wadhawan also says that a few of these students are also hired for overseas operations, again based on their ranking in performance.