By Consultants Review Team
State Bank of India (SBI) is looking to hire retired employees from the public and private sectors with an engineering background to offer technical expertise on lending to emerging sectors such as electric vehicles, green hydrogen, battery, and semiconductors, according to a document.
The country’s largest lender is looking for domain experts who can assist its internal appraisal and monitoring teams on project finance proposals from these sectors, showing a SBI notice seeking applications. Selected candidates will receive a fixed salary of ₹300,000 per year. In addition, they will receive a variable pay of ₹75,000 for every assignment. These experts would be hired on a one-year retainership.
“State Bank of India is looking for professionals with suitable domain expertise to provide relevant inputs….to fully grasp the nuances of various assumptions, events and situations which could have an implication on the risk parameters or mitigations, pace, and impact on the actual implementation compared to project schedule…," it said. The bank wants these consultants to advise on the technical aspects, various assumptions of individual projects and that of the respective sectors. They must attend meetings with consultants on technical issues during appraisal or during the monitoring phase and provide support during the implementation of these projects.
Their role includes advising the “bank on the impact of variations in the technical specifications of the plant and machinery and operating parameters on the project during the project implementation, monitoring and control phases."
As India shifts towards greener fuels, lenders are preparing to finance such initiatives. SBI and several other local banks have already been funding renewable projects. However, newer avenues like EVs and green hydrogen would require expertise beyond their existing project finance experience.
The green transition also presents a lending opportunity for banks. In a speech on 6 January, Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das cited estimates of the International Finance Corp. (IFC) on funding requirements for green transition in South Asia. He said that between 2018 and 2030, the funding requirements for investment in renewable energy, greening the vehicle fleet and making future building stock green and resilient to climate change risks in South Asia alone would be over $410 billion, $670 billion and $1.5 trillion, respectively.
Earlier this month, the Union cabinet approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission, with an initial outlay of INR 19,744 crore.