A global product engineering and technology solutions company has chosen Columbus as the location for its North American headquarters.

Bangalore, India-based AXISCADES will initially lease space at 810 Brown St. to serve as its North American headquarters and house its management functions, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday. The company also plans to establish satellite offices around Indiana for customer-focused engineering teams.

The company serves the aerospace, defense, heavy engineering, automotive, energy, medical and healthcare sectors. The engineering and technology solutions AXISCADES provides have broad applications. Examples include airplane electronics, wind turbines, medical devices and air, ground and marine defense systems.

AXISCADES employs more than 1,900 engineers worldwide, including about 250 in North American offices in Peoria, Illinois, and Montreal, Canada. It also has 14 engineering centers globally, including North America, Europe and Asia.

The company announced in November plans to locate in and invest up to $10 million over the next five years to launch the North American headquarters in Indiana in order to grow its U.S. operations and help address engineering needs of U.S.-based original equipment manufacturers.

AXISCADES will begin with 10 jobs in Columbus, but has plans for growth, said Jason Hester, president of the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp.

The company anticipates creating up to 100 new jobs statewide within the first year of establishing operation in Columbus, and up to 500 total, high-wage jobs statewide by the end of 2023, the IEDC said.

The company plans to begin hiring for engineering jobs in Indiana in the spring, it said.

Drawn to Indiana

“The state offers us a central location for our business and a strong pro-business environment,” Sudhakar Gande, vice chairman of AXISCADES, said in the news release.

“The advanced manufacturing and high-technology environment in Indiana also provides a key element in our selection. We are excited to leverage the availability of skilled engineering talent in Indiana as well as the state’s strong education system to meet the growing skill demands of the future,” Gande said.

The IEDC’s board of directors offered AXISCADES up to $4.3 million in conditional tax credits, and up to $500,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans. The board still must approve the incentives, which are performance-based. The IEDC also will consider additional incentives up to $1 million through the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund to support infrastructure needs, it said.

The city, at the request of Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp., has offered up to $50,000 of performance-based incentive support from its Economic Development Income Tax fund, to be used for relocation and start-up expenses.

“Columbus, Indiana, is known for being a community that welcomes foreign direct investment along with the best and brightest engineering talent in the world,” Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop said. “We are exceptionally pleased to welcome India-based AXISCADES and their team members to Columbus, and we look forward to supporting their success.”

Lienhoop participated in business roundtable discussion Wednesday afternoon after the AXISCADES announcement at the Indiana Government Center South in Indianapolis.

The roundtable, which was to include State of Indiana officials, representatives of AXISCADES and other companies, was coordinated by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. It was to include a broad discussion on technology, talent attraction and retention, and the value of advanced manufacturing, Lienhoop said in advance of the discussion.

How deal came together

Hester said his office and the mayor’s office began tracking AXISCADES in the summer after learning through sources that it might be ripe for growth in the U.S.

“What most interested us about this company is that it’s an engineering company, it’s a foreign-owned enterprise and wanted to expand in the U.S.,” Hester said.

However, local officials didn’t have contact with the company until after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb met with AXISCADES executives in during his trade mission to India in late October and early November, Hester said.

It was Holcomb’s first trade mission to India, and he was accompanied by Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. The governor established a sister-state relationship between Indiana and the state of Karnataka, and met with global business executives during the trip.

AXISCADES is headquartered in Karnataka, which is an Indian hub for technology, biotechnology and innovation.

It was during the governor’s trip to India that AXISCADES announced its plans to locate its North American headquarters in Indiana.

“Indiana is leading in the areas of science, technology, engineering and manufacturing, which offers us (the) right environment for our business growth,” Gande said in November when Holcomb visited. “This is part of our strategic initiatives to continuously evolve and invest in expanding across North America and to provide high-end technology solutions.”

Hester said the governor won the deal for Indiana.

“We were pleased to see the announcement that came out of the governor’s office. It confirmed our suspicions,” Hester said.

City’s sales pitch

After the November announcement, Hester said he began efforts to contact AXISCADES to set up interviews so the city could make its sales pitch, but the company actually contacted him first.

AXICADES had been doing its own due diligence by researching potential communities for the headquarters, and the research showed that Columbus needed to be considered because of its engineering and manufacturing strengths, Hester said.

City officials hosted AXISCADES executives on two occasions within the past week. During the first visit, one executive met with Hester and local real estate brokers about potential properties. The second visit included the company’s CEO and included a meeting with the mayor, lunch and another look at properties, Hester said.

City officials also used the visits to speak about Columbus’ selling points: its engineering strength, history of welcoming foreign direct investment and an internationally diverse community.

“We hit it off pretty quickly,” Hester said.

Columbus was one of four finalists for the headquarters, and the city learned Tuesday that it had been confirmed as the choice, Hester said.

The company’s choice of the Brown Street location is probably due to its proximity to regional manufacturers — potential customers for AXISCADES, Hester said.

About AXISCADES

What: Global product engineering and technology solutions company

Where: Global headquarters in Bangalore, India; Columbus chosen to be site for its North American headquarters

Employees: More than 1,900 worldwide

Locations: 14 engineering centers throughout North America, Europe and Asia

Author photo
Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.