Revitalized from the relaxing Easter weekend the first visit started early in the morning with a warm welcome from the Sulzer Chemtech company, which is one of the four core divisions of Sulzer corporation. As safety is a very important part of the organization, we were briefed with detailed safety and emergency instructions, given by Mr Oliver Hoppach, the Head operations Development EMIRA. Referring to these issues, they standardize processes in order to have a unified Sulzer company.
Mr. Balaji, the president of Sulzer India, introduced us to Sulzer Chemtech in India, a prestigious engineering, technology and innovation firm, which has its operations based on three core values: customer partnership, operational excellence and committed people.
Sulzer Chemtech is the market leader in separation, mixing and service solutions conducting over 40% of the sales in emerging markets with India being one of the top ten sales destinations.
The introduction was followed by giving a background of India’s history as well as current diverse facts about the country. Mr Balaji mentioned that India has the 2nd largest mobile user base and the largest movie industry in the world. Sulzer chose Pune as a manufacturing location because of various aspects such as the proximity to Mumbai Port, the major education centre due to the high availability of engineering talent. Besides the advantages, he also emphasized some current challenges pointing out to the infrastructure being on a level of a third world country, and the huge investment gaps the country faces. In addition, the companies have to deal with high employee attrition rates and therefore are obliged to offer solutions such as continuous rewards and recognition.
After splitting into three groups the Focus India delegation visited the manufacturing facilities after the presentation and later on the sponsor of Focus India offered us the possibility to interact with engineering freshmen as well as Indians who had previously gained working-experience in Switzerland. Last but not least, Mr. Hoppach shared his experience of being an expatriate in India.
After a tasteful lunch at the Sulzer canteen we moved on to the second sponsor visit at Burckhardt Compression. The managing director, Mr. Rao, introduced us to the company, which is the leading manufacturer of piston compressors with a 80% market share within the chemical industry. He explained that this enterprise went through a management buy-out from the Sulzer Corporation. The location in India was chosen due to several reasons including low per capita cost, consumption and sourcing opportunities. He also pointed out to their commitment towards social responsibilities focusing on the employability improvement and the support of facilities such as special schools for blind or deaf children.
At the end of the day another interactive session took place where young professionals talked about an employees life cycle within the company. Furthermore, they commented on the life at Burckhardt Compression which favours social interaction apart from work in order to strengthen relationships and share knowledge.
Given that both companies enabled us to interact with their employees and listen to their perceptions of Switzerland and its people, we had the chance to critically reflect on our own culture and patterns of behaviour.
Martina Steiner / Amila Basic
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