Hyderabad – a destination of choice for Engineering R&D Services

Belcan India Pvt. Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Belcan Corporation, USA, set up in Hyderabad this year. Belcan is a well known provider of Engineering Design services and Technical staffing in US and Europe. It has about 7500 people worldwide, US being the largest. The main verticals that Belcan addresses include Aerospace and Heavy Industries. It has high expertise in design services in Aero-engines and Aircraft systems. Its customers include Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, GE, Caterpillar, Bayer etc.

The Vice President of Engineering of one of our leading customers in USA recently visited our newly set up Development Center at Raheja Mindspace. He asked us why Belcan chose Hyderabad to set up its unit in India. We mentioned the assessment of Mercer that Hyderabad is the best Indian city to live , high availability of engineers, presence of a large number of Engineering and IT Services companies and attention and encouragement to the Industry by the State government as some of the reasons. We told him about Apple setting up its first development center in India at Hyderabad.

Subsequently, I trained my thoughts on what really determines or enhances the suitability of a city for setting up an Engineering R&D (ER&D) Services unit. ER&D companies do well in a place which has a good eco-system to support their operations. The main resource is manpower, and good educational institutions are essential for this. The institutions should also be able to provide opportunities for pursuing advanced courses through continuing education programs. Presence of large manufacturing companies adds to the supporting environment. Research institutes that can help in attracting talent for work on the state of the art technologies are useful in such a scenario. Professional bodies in domains of manufacturing, engineering and research should have local chapters and there should be frequent conferences, seminars and workshops for the people to keep abreast of the latest developments in their fields.  Most companies service customers overseas in different time zones. Industrial laws that help in multi shift working for men and women are important for good customer service. World class physical, transport, network and security infrastructure is necessary.

Traditionally, Bengaluru (Bangalore) has been seen as having most of these attributes. Central government’s initial investments helped create a favorable eco-system. Bangalore is the headquarters for: Advanced  Laboratories – Gas Turbine Research Establishment, National Aerospace Labs, Aeronautical Development Establishment etc., Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Indian Space Research Organization, Bharat Electronics Ltd., Bharat Earth Movers Ltd., Indian Telephone Industries, IISc. etc. Chennai too has many of these elements of the eco-system.

Over the years, Hyderabad has caught up. There is high availability of engineers. It has Divisions of HAL and Bharat Electronics, Defense Laboratories like RCI, Bharat Dynamics Ltd., sizeable manufacturing activity and leading educational institutions like Indian School of Business, Indian Institute of Technology, Birla Instt. of Technology and Science and many other good technical institutions. Above all, the local government is extremely supportive, and there is abundance of high quality office space and land is available for office and residential buildings.

With some focus and effort, Hyderabad can establish itself as the leading destination of choice for ER&D Services. Your views on how this can be achieved are welcome.

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