Hyundai's Second Home
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.