Honeywell On Recruitment Spree, Still Bullish On India

The automation supplier recently opened a $50 million R&D Center in the country, and sees India as a critical manufacturing location in support of  its global growth strategy.

{mosimage} Honeywell Automation India (www.honeywell.com/sites/acs/hail) is expecting to recruit about 1,000 employees in India next year, as it was anticipating the economy would rebound, says Honeywell Automation India Managing Director Vimal Kapur.

This year, the company has recruited about 700 employees for the group. It currently employs 11,000 people and has been hiring 1,000 new employees annually in line with the growth in the past few years. It has five manufacturing facilities in the country.

Honeywell recently unveiled a new research, development and engineering facility in Bangalore, India, representing a $50 million investment and becoming the second dedicated Honeywell R&D facility in the area. At 690,000 square feet, the new center will accommodate approximately 3,000 people.

Kapur said recruitment will be made in all the verticals of the company—R&D, avionics (aircraft cockpit systems), automotive components and the chemicals division.

Encouraging financials

Honeywell Automation India has reported a good increase in standalone net profit for the quarter ended September 2009. During the quarter, the profit of the company rose 25 percent. Its financial performance in 2008 and over the first three quarters of 2009 has been superior to most other automation players in the country.

Shane Tedjarati, the company’s president and chief executive officer, has underlined the importance of India for the company's operations. “India is an integral part of Honeywell’s global growth strategy and is a critical manufacturing location,” Tedjarati said. “We expect to grow here to about $600 million in 2009.”

The road ahead

Tedjarati claims that nearly every commercial aircraft in India has Honeywell on board. The company is currently collaborating with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to produce aircraft engines in India.

The company is also involved in the automotive business, with a turbo manufacturing unit commissioned in Pune for the domestic market as well as for exports to the markets in Europe and Southeast Asia. In fact, the Pune site was recognized internally as one of the best Honeywell sites worldwide in 2008. Its capacity was doubled in 2009 and India is becoming a global hub for small turbo development.

According to market observers, the cost advantage and skill available locally is likely to ensure that the Indian unit remains the preferred outsourcing destination for Honeywell U.S. However, the competition from international players as well as larger peers such as ABB and Siemens could thin margins, especially if the company expands in the power industry.

Uday Lal Pai, udaylalpai@gmail.com, is a freelance journalist based in India.

Honeywell Automation India
www.honeywell.com/sites/acs/hail

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