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Going global, Chinese turn local in India

It's not quite the Chinese way of doing things. But localization seems to be the mantra of the big Chinese firms setting shops with an eye on expanding Indian market. Jayanth Jacob reports.

business Updated: Mar 24, 2012 22:20 IST
Jayanth Jacob

It’s not quite the Chinese way of doing things. But localization seems to be the mantra of the big Chinese firms setting shops with an eye on expanding Indian market.

Shanghai Electric Corporation, the biggest Chinese power company that has recently announced its Indian subsidiary, is set to recruit over 90% of its staffs from India. The telecom major Huawei, which runs its biggest Research Office outside China, has 2000 Indian employees at its Bangalore office that began operations in 1998. And the firm says altogether 98% of its staff comes from India. Recruiting Indians and going local seem to be helping these firms in more ways than one. First of all, it can address the complex visa regimes between the two countries.

Besides creating employment opportunities for Indians, the firms also get benefited from the Indian talent pool in terms of their R&D skills.

Chinese firms are also eyeing the expanding Indian markets in a huge way. “India is a major future market for us. And its our plans that more than 90% of the staffs will be from India”, says president of Shanghai Electric Group Corporation Zheng Jianhua.

The company has 12 major power projects in India, either completed or on progress. The firm also has a pact with Reliance Power worth $8.3 billion — the single largest business contract between the two nations.

“We believe that the local talent can help the company grow”, says Scott Sykes, vice president at Huawei that has over 200 million $ investment in India. The localization is also complete with the Chinese personnels even taking Indian names for practical purposes. Many Chinese anyways keep an English name, too

Both countries are also looking at increasingly the investment as well.

“Promoting investments from firms in each others country is a sure way to better trade ties”, says Liang Wentao, deputy director general at the Chinese commerce ministry. The Chinese banks are also doing the trade financing in a major way for the Indian firms.