Flextronics to double design staff in Asia

Dec. 12, 2002 – Singapore – Flextronics International Ltd. plans to double its Asian design staff, particularly in China, by 1Q03, a senior executive said.

The move comes as the Singapore-based company attempts to branch out from the electronics contract manufacturing business to offer outsourcing services, such as product development and testing, reported Dow Jones.

Flextronics plans to increase the number of employees at its Asian design centers to 280, from the current 140, by March, John McCarvel, VP of Flextronics’ design, test, and semiconductor division said.

“There is a very strong focus on adding (design) capabilities … (as) there is a big push to outsource, especially in a down market,” he said.

Flextronics has 90 staff to develop mobile communications and printing and imaging products in its two Singapore design centers. It plans to get another 60 employees on board in the next three months. It will also hire another 80 staff for its Taiwan and China design centers in that period. The centers currently have about 50 employees in all.

“We will set up more design centers (in Asia) … A lot of expansion and growth will come in China,” McCarvel said, adding Flextronics was focusing on the latter to tap into the growing Chinese market.

It already has design centers in Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

“We have no design presence yet in Shanghai, so that’s a major focus for us for the next six months,” he added.

But Flextronics doesn’t plan to move its design headquarters to China yet, as Singapore will continue to provide the expertise for complex product design.

The company has invested between US$1 and US$5 million in its Asian design operations this year, McCarvel said, but declined to say how much this will grow in 2003 or to set targets for the division. “It’s a service so it’s not necessarily going to produce revenue today,” he said.


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