A Flender success story that begins in India 25 years ago
In 1996 Flender founded the Software Engineering Office (SEO) in Chennai. It was the starting shot for an ongoing success story in global co-operation between Flender locations. Read here how it developed, from eight young Indian engineers coming to Germany in January 96 to a more than 130-people-strong engineering hub today.
Anecdotes abound, Eduard Mensing and Sivakumar Valavala don’t even have to think twice. "In the beginning, we had satellite dishes on the roof to send the data back and forth," Mensing recalls. "That came a bit later. In the early days, we always sent the drawings from India to Germany by courier on Fridays," Sivakumar says.
"In the early days", that was 1996. The Internet was still in its infancy; no one thought of files stored in a Cloud that could be accessed from anywhere in the world. It was the year Flender founded the Software Engineering Office (SEO) in Madras, known today as Chennai. Today, 25 years later, the SEO is a success story in global co-operation between Flender locations.
Sivakumar, who has been with the SEO as a Development Engineer for many years was among the first employees and manages the Engineering Office today. Together with Eduard Mensing, who is today heading the department for Standards and Technical Documentation, he fondly remembers the developments over the 25 years: "What stands out for me is the freedom that I had in working, learning and contributing. I believe this is true for most of the others, too. The constant exchange with the German plants and the trips to participate in training courses and projects in Germany are crucial for the growth of the SEO and its engineers. Bocholt is like a second home to me."
Indian Engineering Office as support for design offices in German plants
In the mid-90s, Flender was seeking support for the design offices in the German plants. Customer orders and development projects were to be processed faster and Flender’s competitiveness ensured. "In the past, due to capacity and cost constraints, important sales-support aids could not be established in time. This has to be improved as soon as possible," wrote Dr.-Ing. Johannes Schmeink in Flender’s company magazine, who was then the Head of Development, Branch Centres and Order Design. He was asked by the then Member of the Management Board Dr.-Ing. Heinz Benthake to set up an engineering office in India.