Indian IT giant to hire half hundred Estonians

Aivar Pau
, tech journalist
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Photo: Eero Vabamägi

Yesterday, Indian enterprise HCL Technologies of $6bn in turnover opened regional centre in Tallinn to offer IT services to entire Europe. Of the hundred-some staff, half will be hired form Estonia. 

In the 31-strong network of HCL global development centres, the one in Tallinn will be of great weight in the region offering IT services to entire mainland of Europe. The company’s European clients are well-known even in Estonia: Statoil, Electrolux, Deutche Bank, Nordea.

Why Estonia and Tallinn? Financial services president Rahul Singh pointed out two main reasons.

«Firstly for the professional quality of the local people, for their excellent IT-skills. Our clients need state-of-the-art solutions and Estonia has lots of people with excellent knowledge of new technologies,» said Rahul Singh.

Mr Singh, possessor of Estonian e-residency, says the enterprise has been in thorough preparations regarding Estonia and noticed that even per inhabitant start-ups pot up in larger numbers than in most other nations.

«Or the digitalisation level of the economy, or the e-Estonia project triggered by your government – these are impressive examples. All of that put together proved decisive. We decided that this is the very place from where to offer our customers the new generation IT-services,» said Mr Singh.

Another factor was the geography – from Tallinn, clients in Finland, other Nordics, and Benelux can be visited in one working day.

Also vital for the development centre were direct contacts of Estonian businessmen and IT-personalities with Indian partners.

HCL offers its clients development of applications, transformation of digital and base systems, modernisation of systems and infrastructure services. By the end of last year, its Estonian development centre will hire about a hundred people.

The enterprise is mainly interested in middle and higher level IT skilled people to develop such technologies as e-commerce, high level digital services and modern applications.

At the moment, only two have been hired in Estonia but the company’s recruiters do have a global grasp and the business model prescribes cooperation of cultures.

«Naturally we like to be local and discover the local talents but in our US branch, for example, 50–60 percent of staff are not Americans. Also, we think in Estonia up to 60 percent might be locals and the rest from abroad,» said Mr Singh.

Why did Rahul Singh pick the Estonian e-residency? He says this allows him to handle the Estonian centre’s paperwork while far away. «We are a global enterprise, I travel around the world all the time, and e-residency helps me do business in Estonia easier,» he said.

Estonian ambassador to India Viljar Lubi said that while Sanskrit was taught in University of Tartu as early as in 19th century, Java and Phyton are the new lingua franca in Estonia-India relations. «I am convinced that IT-cooperation has by far the greatest impact on developing the relations between the two nations. HCL is warmly welcome,» said Mr Lubi.

Indian ambassador to Estonia and Finland Ashok Kumar Sharma said the HCL office opened in Tallinn is the start of larger economic cooperation between the two nations as in a couple of years several Indian software companies are intending to expand into Estonia.

«The coming of HCL paves the way for other Indian enterprises. This is a strong foundation. I have been talking to many Indian enterprises and they want to expand their offices-network to,» Mr Sharma told BNS.

As neighbours to HCL at Karl Papello building of Ülemiste City, IT-enterprises have set up shop as and Astrec Data, as well as E-profiil, Egesys, Deck Engineering, Rudus and KoneCranes. Also among the larger IT-enterprises, the campus hosts Parallels with Russian background. At the beginning of next year, a Playtech development centre will be opened.

HCL Technologies

  • Turned global in 1999
  • Consolidated turnover $6.1bn
  • Units in 31 nations
  • Over 105,000 employees
  • 21 development centres and over 200 clients in Europe