Now that it has been accepted all over the world, that India is the current seat of world class talent, that is available in great numbers and at a fraction of the cost of that of western countries, major international oil companies are pouring in to hire young Indian engineering graduates. To be in the race, even the national oil companies are striving hard to make their offers more lucrative for the young and ambitious Indian graduate. The real problem, however, lies not in attracting talent but to retain them. Indian graduates, especially from top tier institutes such as the Indian Institutes of Technology or Regional Engineering colleges, have a proven record of being highly opportunistic and ambitious. As such, they always on a look for a more challenging, more lucrative and faster paced career. The companies hiring them should, therefore, ensure that, during the initial few years, they adopt specific strategies to retain this vast skill pool. The author, a fresh graduate and into a major oil company, analyses the situation from an insider's perspective and offers some solutions for the same.


With the advent of globalization and liberalization of economic policies, multinationals are flocking to India in great numbers. Be it any sector viz. software, manufacturing, fast moving consumer goods, petroleum, banking or others services, most of world's biggest firms have opened their offices in India. One of principal reason for this is the vast majority of Indian talent present and that too at a fraction of the price of the same in developed countries. Of this large talent pool, a large majority consists of engineers. Per year India produces more engineers than Europe and almost as many as the whole of the American continent.

However this generation of talented engineers, having got a global exposure and having a plethora of companies to choose from, are very opportunistic and often switch jobs getting a better opportunity. This poses a great problem to the multinationals as to how to retain the best talent.

The problem of talent retention is more acute in the Oil companies than in others because of a number of reasons. With oil prices hovering around 100 $ per barrel, oil companies are striving to beat each other in getting the best talent. The global reserves for easy oil decreasing by leaps and bounds each day, they face attrition threats from other sectors as well. Moreover, higher salary levels in other sectors lure the young minds and they are prone to shift jobs.

The following study analyses the problem from the point of view of a young Indian graduate. A statistical survey was conducted to support the conclusions.

The Young Indian Graduate:

The social situation in India at present is quite different from that used to be even a decade earlier. The children, while growing up are exposed to more of the westernized capitalistic attitude than the Indian holistic attitude. They are unlike the people from the previous generation for whom a simple comfortable life was enough to be satisfied. The influence of international TV channels, movies, foreign branded products and international education has exposed this generation to a variety of comforts that was unavailable before. The children are taught to be very much career focused since quite early in life. As such, this generation, eager to enjoy such benefits, is very ambitious and always keen to grab better opportunities, even at the cost of a not so consistent career profile.

What does a young Indian graduate perceive as key motivators for staying in a company? A statistical survey was conducted as a part of the study, among a sample population of fresh graduates from Indian Institutes, employed in various sectors, to get a baseline view of the key factors that are perceived by the graduates to be of highest importance. Although no survey reveal show the complete truth, this of course gives an idea about the general perception of the graduates.

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