In Thales' global hiring spree, company to hire 550 Indian engineers - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 28 February 2023

In Thales' global hiring spree, company to hire 550 Indian engineers

French defence giant to discharge offsets for Rafale purchase, Mirage 2000 upgrade (Photo: Upgraded Mirage at Dassault's' Istres plant)


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 28th Feb 23


French electronics giant Thales announced on Monday that it will hire more than 12,000 new employees worldwide in 2023 to support its growth trajectory.


In India, the new hireswill include over 550 people for Thales’ engineering centres in Bengaluru and Noida. 


“The Group will be hiring all over the world and expects to take on 5,500 new employees in France, 550 in India, 1,050 in the United Kingdom, 600 in Australia, and 540 in the United States,” the company said in a press release.


Thales is recruiting people in a range of jobs.2022 saw a record level of recruitment, with 11,500 new hires –a 50 per cent rise over its worldwide hiring in 2021.


It also demonstrated Thales’ “success in creating jobs during the Covid public health crisis, particularly by continuing hiring for the engineering centres in Bengaluru and Noida,” announced Thales in a statement today.


Thales also stated it was working to improve the gender balance in its workforce. In 2022, women accounted for 25 per cent of new hires in India, and represented 22 per cent of its India workforce.


Thales is required to discharge offset obligations worth billions of dollars in India, linked with the purchase of 36 Rafale fighters, upgrading of 51 Mirage 2000 fighters, construction of six Scorpene submarines and other high-value sales to India.


Offsets liabilities have been gradually accumulating. Minister of State for Defence AjayBhatt told Parliament on August 5, 2022 that, of $6.83 billion worth of offset obligations due to be discharged till August 1, 2022, vendors had submitted offset claims worth only $5.58 billion – or 82.13% of their cumulative commitment.


A study in 2019 by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, carried out to assess the impact of offsets on the Indian defence industry, revealed that more than 90 per cent of offset obligations were discharged by vendors through direct purchase of products and services from Indian companies. Hardly any vendors were opting to bring in foreign direct investment for discharging their offsets.


The study also highlighted that about 87 per cent of offset obligations had been discharged through 15 Indian Offset Partners (IOPs). Of these, the top five IOPs received 51.76 per cent of the offset business and the top 10 as much as 76.11 per cent. This indicated that the direct benefit of offsets was restricted to a few big Indian defence companies.


Thales, as one of the big global high technology firms that invests in digital and “deep tech” innovations — connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cyber security and quantum technology – is watched carefully by the MoD to ascertain whether it discharges its offsets liabilities in those fields or in simple manufacture.


2022 was a record-breaking year for recruitment by Thales. Even so, it is continuing to hire in 2023 tosupport its strong growth trajectory in its three core markets: Aerospace, defence and security and digital identity and security.


“Thales is recruiting people in a range of job profiles for its engineering operations in India,” said Thales. It is hiring in every discipline across all its business segments, and in particular for its sites in Noida and Bengaluru, Thales is recruiting people on permanent or fixed-term contracts as well as providing several internal mobility opportunities in Thales in India and across the globe.


At these sites, Thales is mainly seeking hardware engineers, software engineers, systems architects, experts in digital technologies and project managers, offering them the opportunity to help to build a safer, greener, more inclusive world. 


In 2021, Thales’ 77,000 employees in 68 countries generated sales of €16.2 billion. Thales harnesses the talents of 35,000 R&D engineers, who have built up a portfolio of 20,000 patents in fields such as quantum technologies, AI, lasers and cyber security. 

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