French tyre major Michelin on Wednesday said it will hire about 200 people in India this year as it gears up to start production from its Chennai plant in the next two years. The company is investing Rs 40 billion (Rs 4,000 crore) over a period of seven years on setting up the plant in Tamil Nadu that will produce truck and bus radial tyres.
"Our goal is to hire a little less than 200 people this year. They will be sent to Thailand for a three-week course once they come on board with us, after which they will be assigned to one of our overseas facility till the plant in Chennai becomes operational," Michelin President (Africa, India and Middle East) Prashant Prabhu said.
He said the company has already hired about 60 people for its Chennai plant. In November last year, Michelin announced that it would invest Rs 4,000 crore on setting up a truck and a bus radial facility in Tamil Nadu scheduled to start operations in 2012.
The proposed facility, spread over 290 acres, would be constructed near Chennai and will employ a total of about 1,500 workers from local communities. "By late 2011 or early 2012, we will start bringing wage labourers at the Chennai plant," Prabhu said, without divulging details.
On marketing and sales side, the company will enhance its workforce as its Chennai plant goes on stream, he added but declined to reveal the exact number. Michelin has about 200 people on its sales and marketing team in India.
Asked what Michelin plans to do with the 100 acre land at Rajangaon in Pune, which it had inherited from its aborted joint venture with Apollo Tyres [ Get Quote ], Prabhu said the company is yet to decide on its future course of action. He exuded confidence that the company's decision to focus on the truck and bus radial tyres in India will pay off.
"The rate of radialisation of truck and bus tyres in India is just about 10-15 per cent, which is the lowest for any market of such a big size... It offers a lot of potential for us," he said.