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Pune, June 15

THE $15.6-billion manufacturing giant Emerson on Tuesday said it was stepping up recruitment for its engineering design centre in Pune, which is the group's third largest design centre globally.

"We hope to reach 400-500 engineers in the next two to three years and are working with universities and colleges of engineering so that we can get the best engineers on board," Mr Randall Ledford, Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, said.

The Emerson Engineering Design Centre, set up in June 2003 here, plays a key role in product development.

Thegroup has 60 industry-leading divisions, according to Mr Ledford. He said the India team recently developed a wet-dry industrial vacuum cleaner, right from the concept to its completion.

"One-third of the total engineers in our global tools division is with the engineering design centre in Pune," he said.

The Pune centreis the only multi-divisional engineering design centre in Emerson Corporation. Mr Ledford said the sole reason it was not getting ahead of the other two centres was because recruitments were not happening at the pace the group would like.

Emerson's number one engineering design centre is in China, while the second largest is in the Philippines.

The corporation, which has presence in the entire spectrum of manufacturing - from electric motors to hand tools to process automation - has 6,000 engineers globally.

With traditional markets such as the US and Europe now making way for emerging markets in Asia (50 per cent sales come from outside the US, where the company is growing at 3-4 per cent), the corporation is expanding its presence in these markets. It is setting up operations from sourcing material, manufacturing, sales and marketing to engineering support locally.

The group's sales in China crossed the $1-billion mark last year and its business in India is at $300 million, with scope for rapid growth.

"Twenty seven of our divisions are already operational in India and, over the next couple of years, we might bring in half a dozen more," Mr Ledford said. "Our process automation business in India is expected to double this year and we are looking to recruit mechanical, electronic and software engineers as well as scientists to keep up with the speed of our global growth."

Engineers from the centre are being sponsored by Emerson to pursue MTech programmes at the College of Engineering Pune.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 16, 2005)
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