HARTFORD — HCL Technologies, an Indian technology company that provides digital services to businesses, said Friday it expects to hire 200 over the next few years for its new global delivery center in downtown Hartford, a boost to the city’s efforts to raise its profile as a center of innovation.
HCL is leasing space at State House Square where the new center will heavily focus on manufacturing because its “anchor client” is New Britain-based Stanley Black & Decker, a global manufacturer of tools and storage equipment. The center, however, also will encompass insurance, aerospace, health care and life sciences.
“I strongly believe that Hartford is going play a very important part in the work that we are undertaking for our clients globally,” HCL’s chief executive C Vijayakumar, said at an event at State House Square marking the official opening of HCL’s space.
The opening was highlighted by a traditional Indian “lamp lighting” using candles, rather than a typical ribbon cutting. The lighting is used to take note of particularly significant events.
HCL said early last year that it would open the center in Hartford, and it reflects a strategy of establishing local offices near major clients, in this case, Stanley Black & Decker. The manufacturer also operates and advanced manufacturing accelerator on downtown Hartford’s Constitution Plaza.
“Our proposition was: ‘We’re going to be next to you. We will build a center here and we will used to build our presence in Connecticut,’ ” C Vijayakumar said.
HCL intends to hire 500 across Connecticut in the next two or three years, including the 200 in downtown Hartford. The center at State House Square also will include a “smart manufacturing lab” to showcase state-of-art technologies developed by HCL.
At Friday’s event, Stanley Black & Decker chief executive James M. Loree said HCL offers a way for companies to better respond to rapidly evolving changes in information technology. The pace of change had become an issue in the past five or six years.
“It just got faster and faster and faster,” Loree said. “And the skills that our people had were challenged. The new skills were evolving so quickly that it was hard for everyone to stay current.”
Stanley Black & Decker took the step of changing how it approached digital services and information technology, partnering with HCL and “it’s working.” Loree said.
The new jobs include positions leading-edge technology such as the “internet of things,” that encompasses devices that are connected to the internet and collect and share data.
Also, the jobs will cover augmented reality, aerospace engineering, infrastructure, digital workplace, IT applications and operations technology.
“These are great jobs,” Gov. Ned Lamont said at Friday’s event. “These are good-paying jobs with great benefits that give you the flexibility to work from home or wherever you want to be.”
HCL said it also will partner with community colleges and universities in the state to create new paths into the industry. The technology company also is developing a program for high school students.
HCL now employs 22,000 in the United States, and has $11 billion in annual revenue, 60% coming from America. HCL, based in India, operates in 50 countries, with a global workforce of 187,000.
At State House Square, HCL is leasing 16,500 square feet, but has options to triple that space.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the addition of HCL will build on the city’s efforts to become a center of innovation for advanced manufacturing, insurance technology and health care.
“That is a powerful accelerator to the efforts that have already been underway, and we’re thrilled about that,” Bronin said. “It’s a testament to the fact that being in Hartford makes an awful lot of sense, makes an awful lot of sense because we have global leaders in each of these industries.”
Kenneth R. Gosselin can be reached at [email protected]
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