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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hyundai's Second Home

Reuters reports on how Hyundai India (HMIL) takes care of its Korean employees in India:

Determined to make its 60-some Korean employees feel at home in Chennai, Hyundai is raising 50 white Yorkshire pigs and growing vegetables alongside its car and engine factories, offering its expatriates familiar cuisine.

Pork is rare in Chennai, where many people are vegetarian. For Koreans, who depend on the meat for much of their protein intake, that's a tough adjustment to make.

And adjusting is key, Hyundai says, because with more than $1 billion earmarked for its Indian operations, the world's sixth-biggest car maker is here for the long haul.

In addition to the scallions, peppers and radish grown at the lush 13,000 sq metre farm, the company arranges two grocery shipments a year from South Korea that expatriate workers from all Hyundai group firms in Chennai order by email.

Ford Motor Co. takes the opposite approach by expecting all its staff -- from the managing director to factory floor workers -- to share the same canteen serving Indian food. Its staff, including the chief executive, are mostly Indian.

Hyundai, whose Indian operations are more than 10 times that of Ford's, says its gastronomical arrangements do not mean that its staff are sheltered from the local culture.

All Korean employees new to India go through an induction course to learn about local etiquette and working conditions. They can also dine in the canteen that serves Indian fare if they choose and the Indian staff can also try out Korean food.


  • is it possible that the attitudes of the companies are due to their history

    Eg If you look at the Western MNCs earlier, they tried to provide a "western" home to their expats. With time they have moved closer to the local experience. In Rourkela Steel Plant there is a German Club that was used exclusively by the Germans (in the 60s)
    Maybe the Koreans and Japs will move out of this in a generation

    Food for thought

    Joseph - IIMB 1999-2001

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:43 AM  

  • So when our own home grown TCS or Infosys sets up a base in China, they need to set up canteens featuring Chinese Cusine.... not sure how many expat Indians (managing these Chinese Operations) would like to dine on them.

    By Blogger ramki830, at 7:47 PM  

  • Is it that big a deal. I work in Bangladesh, and there are times I get so homesick for basic rajma-chawal, or a good dosa you can't imagine.

    Korean cuisine is way different from traditional Indian food, so is it really a great issue if the company decides to just indulge some of the expats.

    Hell, I have had friends in Nagpur who complained that the kappi that they were getting in the college canteen tasted like horse piss when compared to the stuff you can get from even a roadside stall in B'lore.

    By Blogger Prometheus_Unbound, at 4:29 AM  

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