Can you believe that even factory workers can be millionaires? And not one, two or even ten, but most of them! Literally!
Yes. There is a factory which has each and every employee, including laborers, peons and watchmen who are multi-millionaires.
Factories in motown Sanand are faced with an unusual HR problem — handling crorepati labourers. There has been a windfall of Rs 2,000 crore for land owners in and around Sanand, where Gujarat government acquired over 4,000 hectares of land over the last nine years.
Many locals, who turned crorepatis overnight, work as machine operators, floor supervisors, security personnel and even peons in several units operational here.
As many as 150 workers, out of the 300 employed at Raviraj Foils Ltd in Sanand, have more than Rs 1 crore in their banks.
The salaries of these crorepatis is between Rs 9,000 to 20,000, as they work only to keep themselves occupied. Locals residents have also invested in long term savings like gold and land.
The unexpected prosperity came when Tata Motors decided to bring its Nano plant to Sanand, after an invitation from then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
What followed was a flood of automobile giants, including Honda, Ford and Maruti Suzuki, arriving in, triggering a rapid rise in land rates. About 200 big and small companies have set up units in the estate run by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, which acquired land in villages like Bol, Hirapur and Khoraj.
But the management of the factories admit that handling crorepati workers isn't exactly easy.
"Retaining labour is a major challenge for us. We have to be very cautious in dealing with workers as these jobs are no longer their primary source of income. Only carrot policy works, stick has to be spared," one member of the management in a factory told Times of India.
Before Nano drove into Sanand, only two banks operated nine branches with deposits worth Rs 104 crore. Bankers say over the last few years, 25 banks have established 56 branches here, handling deposits worth Rs 3,000 crore.
"There are many units that employ crorepati workers. At one point of time, units were hit with high attrition as workers quit jobs after receiving crores of rupees for their land. Thankfully, many have got back to work," says Shailesh Thakkar, secretary, Sanand Industries Association.
Parixit Patel, managing director of Nami Steel, employs about a dozen such crorepatis. "We have high-net-worth individuals in our security and machine operations. Most of them work to keep themselves constructively occupied rather than earn money," says Patel.
But, with the wealth came problems.
Loaded with cash, most beneficiaries went on a buying spree, picking up expensive cars and gadgets, only to realize that empty mind was devil's workshop.
Local resident, Jagatsinh Vaghela told The Times OF India ,"After I received money, I quit my job to watch Cricket World Cup 2011. India won the cup and the tournament was over. I was left with a lot of money and no work. A man without work is nothing less than a live bomb," says Jagatsinhwho resumed his job as a pump manager in the same firm from where he had resigned. Vaghela, who has invested in industrial plots in Changodar and Shantipura, earns a salary of Rs 18,000 per month.
Narendrasinh Barad, a store officer with Rs 11,000 monthly salary, had received Rs 4 crore for his land. "Two of my relatives quit their jobs after they got money. I decided to continue working as it keeps me busy," says Barad.
Similarly, Dharmendrasinh Vaghela gets more than Rs 60,000 interest income from Rs 2 crore fixed deposit his family has. However, the 31-year-old continues to work as a grinding machine operator.