MANILA — Multinational technology company Dyson said its soon-to-rise research and manufacturing "campus" in the Philippines, which will be the size of 92 basketball courts, will be its largest software center.
"It'll become the biggest software hub of Dyson," Edwin Adriaansen, Dyson's global software director, told journalists in a recent interview at the company's global headquarters in Singapore.
The multibillion-dollar British firm known for its bladeless fans, bagless vacuums, and hair styling products also operates in the UK and Malaysia.
Dyson — which currently has a software lab in Alabang and a manufacturing facility in Calamba, Laguna — will launch its P11-billion hybrid plant in Santo Tomas, Batangas in the third quarter of 2024 in a bid to consolidate all of its Philippines offices under one roof.
It targets to hire an additional 400 engineers and more than 50 graduate engineers for the new hub. The firm earlier said the investment would generate around 1,250 employees by mid-2024.
Adriaansen says they do not consider the Philippines a support entity for Dyson. They instead see the Batangas operations as key to the company's development, adding that the country has "very talented people."
"We can work with universities, we can set the tone, we can set the goals, we can set the future for the Philippines software," he said.
A lot of things had been considered before Dyson chose the Philippines as its location for the billion-peso investment. There are other equally viable locations where it can put its money. But for Adriaansen, the Philippines "has the best characteristics to be successful."
"We believe in the way working at campus you have to combine factory and staff with legal people with software engineers, hardware, design engineers," he said.
He aims for the software facility to be the leading one in the Philippines, adding that Dyson Philippines "will have dedicated products being developed."
The software director also hopes that Dyson's new location at the First Philippine Industrial Park in Santo Tomas will attract other companies to the area, which he calls the "Silicon Valley of the Philippines."
When asked what Filipinos bring to the table, Dyson Chief Technology Officer John Churchill said, "What we see for me in the Philippines is the ability to learn... the huge amount of great communication."
"We are a global company. We want people who can communicate and also people who have the passion to want to bring the energy to the team to work as a team," Churchill added.
He said it was the first time that Dyson looked to make an office and a manufacturing facility in one place.
"It's magic for me when we bring manufacturing and design together because the world of the theory intersects with the world of reality," he said.
Building the Batangas facility could be a risky undertaking for Dyson, especially with the huge investment it would shell out to complete the mega hub from scratch amid the global economic situation and tech layoffs.
But Adriaansen, the software director, explained that the "DNA" of family-owned Dyson is that they "can do a lot of things" and they "don't give up early."
"The option is go, go, go for it. The same with our products, 75 percent of our products never make it to the market — you will never see it. The same with campus, there's no reason it shouldn't work."