Have you ever heard of HCL? HCL stands for Hindustan Computers Limited, a leading lT service company headquartered in India. From their European Headquarter, located in Eschborn in Hessen, they service many of Germany’s Top 40 companies as well as clients in Austria and Switzerland.
We wanted to know why the company opted to locate in Hessen and talked to Dr. Rolf Frank Fehler, Senior Vice President & Country Head Germany at HCL Technologies. Not only did the conversation cover HCL’s strategic location decision, but we also learned about their cricket team and a cow named Elsa! Learn more:
First of all: Can you give us an overview of HCL Technologies in Hessen?
The story of HCL in Germany started 20 years ago. With just a few it-specialists, each of them a suitcase in their hands. And with a lot of hope. Today, we are around 1,800 people in three offices and ten delivery centers in Germany – and we are planning to strengthen our presence all over the country. However, our heart remains in Hessen. Our headquarters are located in the city of Eschborn, near Frankfurt. Here, we focus on financial services and the automotive sector. For example, we provide software for modern electric vehicles. Besides our office, we are also operating an innovation center in Eschborn. By the way, this was the first innovation center of an Indian origin company in Hessen, maybe even in Germany. In this center, we are working on IT and business transformation solutions for our customers by combining the global know-how of our entire group of more than 198,000 employees with the local business know-how of our colleagues in Germany. This combination turned our hope into a longstanding success story. And it was made possible through the support of Hessen Trade & Invest and the local economic development agency of Eschborn.
What is one of the main topics you work on nowadays?
We work on various technological solutions, for example on the blockchain technology.
In this topic, we work with an end-to-end logistics provider. The company is collecting vegetables from the field, sorts them, cleans them and brings them to a factory, where they are processed and afterwards delivered to a fast-food restaurant. At the end of the day, the company will be able to seamlessly explain the entire supply chain backwards. So, if you eat burger and fries in the restaurant, you will know that the cow’s name was Elsa and that the potatoes come from a field close to a small village in the north-east of Hessen. This is traceability and the best way to achieve this is blockchain. While some of my friends think about strange people doing business with bitcoins, when they hear the word „blockchain“, we use blockchain for transparency and sustainability and making the world a little better.
That’s impressive. I guess sustainability is a growing business field for you?
Definitely. For instance, we use digitals twins to reduce the energy consumption in factories.
The automotive industry is another area for our services. One of the biggest car manufacturers in Germany for example pays three billion dollars per year for energy, which means electricity and gas. Can you imagine? We currently plan to help them reducing the electricity bill by two percent. Two percent of three billion. This is 60 million euros.
And it is not only about the money. The question also is what it means for the environment, considering that the industry sector is one of the largest contributors to energy consumption in Germany. And we can help our industrial companies to meet their own sustainability goals. Becoming carbon-neutral as soon as possible is our collective mission.
Why did you choose Eschborn for your regional German headquarters?
One of the advantages Hessen offers us is talent – the most important asset in our industry. In Hessen, we found and still find the best talent. This is certainly due to the high education standard in the entire state. Moreover, it is easy to find suitable office space in Hessen, also in Eschborn. Just recently, we were happy to find new office space, also for our innovation center. Now, we are investing in our Hessen location with a new roof terrace and by rebuilding and renovating our offices. This is why we recently extended the rental contract with our landlord.
We also benefit from the great infrastructure. You can get anywhere in the country, even in the world, very quickly. Having a home in Frankfurt and in Berlin, I can speak from personal experience. Let’s just say I have two extremes in my life and I highly appreciate the mobility in Frankfurt.
Another great advantage is the openness of the region, especially for us as an international company. Frankfurt as a city and the whole region has such an international atmosphere that my colleagues from all over the world feel very much at home here. The region also offers space to maintain the own culture.
Can you give us an example?
Of course. My colleagues founded their own cricket team. And now they are pushing me to join them for a cricket match. Well, I promised them to do so next year. I think it is great to see how happy they are here. This is possible because Hessen and the people in Hessen give room to establish new things and hereby create a very unique culture. We appreciate that and we see that more and more people like to come.
Many of my international colleagues came to work and now also plan to stay in the region. They buy houses or apartments because they feel comfortable and picture their future here. They don’t stay in Berlin, they don’t stay in Munich. They stay in Frankfurt.
Especially families are very, very happy to move into the Taunus, to the countryside. They come from huge cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi and like to have both, the city and the countryside. It is ten minutes by car from a small village to one of the most attractive cities of the country. This is the great thing about Frankfurt and Hessen: That you have both worlds so close. Where else can you have that?
Thank you for talking to us!
By Daria Dietz