• Monday, March 20, 2023


Here’s why Boeing & Airbus are hunting for skilled labour in India

(Up) The Airbus logo (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images) and (above) The Boeing logo (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

While some major Indian carriers recently made the headlines for placing mega orders with two giant aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus, it has also been reported that the two companies are looking to India for high-skilled, low-cost engineers to meet a rise in demand for planes and expand their manufacturing presence in the south Asian nation.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Airbus plans to recruit 1,000 people in India in the current year out of 13,000 across the world.

Boeing and its suppliers, which already employ about 18,000 workers in India, have been expanding by some 1,500 staff members a year, Salil Gupte, India head of the US manufacturer, told the news outlet in an interview.

India, with around 1.5 million engineering students graduating a year, is a major source of talent for plane manufacturers that have been facing huge orders from carriers as travelling surges post the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cost is also a key determinant when it comes to hiring the Indian talent. The US manufacturer, for example, can rope in an engineer in India’s Bengaluru for seven per cent of the cost of a similar role in Seattle, the Bloomberg report added, citing salary data compiler Glassdoor.

Gupte, who mentioned that India is home to Boeing’s second-largest workforce in the world, said at the Aero India show in Bengaluru in February that companies eye India for “incredible talent” in innovation and not just in technology and software but also in hard engineering and manufacturing.

Besides the hiring, both Boeing and Airbus are also setting up some production in India as the West’s clashes with China escalate.

Airbus has also been projecting India’s manufacturing prospects as it goes on a hiring spree in the Asian country. Last October, prime minister Narendra Modi attended a ceremony in the western state of Gujarat to mark the beginning of construction of a facility where Airbus Defence & Space SA and a unit of local conglomerate Tata Group will manufacture C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian military.

The country is also an emerging market for sales with Air India, which was taken over by the Tatas last year, placing a massive order of 470 jets last month between the two manufacturing giants.

“The time is right for India to turn into an international hub,” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said at the time of the aircraft order.

“India is well on its way.”

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