The locations of these cities are also ideal for businesses looking to further expand into other regional markets such as the Middle East and Europe.
BENGALURU / CHENNAI: Some Singapore firms are setting up operations in Indian cities as they search for a bigger talent pool, quicker production, and cheaper labour and material costs.
Bengaluru and Chennai, among the fastest growing cities in the world, have attracted companies across industries including those specialising in robotics, manufacturing and waste management.
Industry observers said foreign companies are increasingly turning to India as part of their expansion strategy due to appealing policies and a pro-business environment.
“Why Singaporean companies choose (India) is the access, the connectivity, availability of human resources and land at a cheaper cost. (Also,) a stable government with proactive policies which are available and very accessible,” said Mr Jeyesh Nmp, southern regional director of trade association Confederation of Indian Industry.
The locations of these cities are also ideal for businesses looking to further expand into other regional markets such as the Middle East and Europe, the firms said.
Among the Singapore technology firms that have established a presence in India is robotics start-up Botsync, which builds autonomous industrial robots for transporting large items in places such as factories.
The company set up its research and development lab in Bengaluru, attracted by the technology hub’s large pool of digital and artificial intelligence (AI) talent.
“We want to build software that makes our systems more intelligent. So we moved to India and built up a team capable of delivering such solutions. Our day-to-day conversations in the Bangalore office stem around simplifying this automation scope,” said Botsync’s co-founder Nikhil Venkatesh.
The state has long been referred to as India’s Silicon Valley, and is home to one of the fastest growing start-up scenes in Asia.
The sector has been bolstered by various government initiatives rolled out in recent years. These include plans mooted last year for a dedicated start-up park near its international airport, which is expected to boost the growth of another 25,000 new firms.
Over in Chennai, robotics firm LionsBot has set up a facility to support the development of its cleaning robots back in Singapore.
“Chennai has a talent pool in all tech sectors. Not only in software, but also in mechanical, automobile, electronics and wire harnessing,” said the firm’s India head of operations Bharathi Raj.
“We take care of the complete testing, bug fixing, and fine-tuning, then we send the component back to headquarters (in Singapore). This helps to maximise productivity and meet their timeline to release any new products,” said Mr Bharathi.
The company is planning to boost its current workforce of 200 employees by hiring another 100 workers, including engineers, at its Chennai office in the coming months.
By Alif Amsyar and Darrelle Ng. 19 Jul 2023
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