Making oneself at home

Making one's mark in the car industry in India has been a major preoccupation for car manufacturers. But Korean company Hyundai has taken it more literally than others: it has opened a farm next to its factory to ensure its workers are treated to home delights.

by Reuters
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

Koreans love their meat and the 60-odd Koreans working at the Chennai plant, south India, have found it difficult to adjust to the local vegetarian diet. The company chairman, Chung Mong-koo, therefore decided to start a farm where pigs would be raised and vegetables such as scallions, peppers, cabbage and radish. The canteen cooks have also been trained to South Korean cuisine.

"Adjusting here is really easy," says Suh Sang-won, a manager at a Hyundai firm. "They do a good job by making us feel comfortable."

Korean staff are also free to eat in the Indian canteen, where most of the 4,000 employees eat, and Indian employees have been invited to try South Korean dishes.

Like most foreign manufacturers, Hyundai has been keen to win over the local community. It has made a donation toward the renovation of Madras University, and has funded a cultural centre to introduce Chennai residents to South Korean art and dancing.

But not all carmakers have taken the same approach. At Ford, for instance, all staff - from managers to factory floor workers - are expected to eat in the same canteen, where Indian food is served.

Source: Hyundai makes a home in India

Review by Emilie Filou

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