It’s not quite the Chinese way of doing things, but localisation seems to be the mantra among big Chinese firms setting shops here—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. The firm says 98% of its staff is Indian. Recruiting locals seem to be helping these firms in more ways than one. First, it easily addresses the complex visa regimes between the two countries. Besides creating employment opportunities for Indians, the firms also benefit from the Indian talent pool in terms of their R&D skills.
Chinese firms are also eyeing the expanding Indian markets. “India is a major future market for us. And we plans to have more than 90% of the staffs 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 localisation is also complete with Chinese personnel even taking Indian names for practical purposes. Many Chinese also keep an English name.
Both countries are also looking at increasing the investment as well.
“Promoting investments from firms in each others countries is a sure way to better trade ties,” says Liang Wentao, deputy director general at the Chinese commerce ministry. China’s banks are also doing the trade financing in a major way for Indian firms.