So far, only a few of Bristlecone’s employees have moved into their offces in Schaffhausen. Supply chain specialists, they are familiar with the complex operations of the international IT system integration and consulting firm and have relocated from abroad. “We want to start small and gradually expand our European headquarters,” comments CEO Ashok Santhanam. Established in the Silicon Valley in 1998 and taken over by the Mahindra Group of India in 2004, Bristlecone has specialised in consultancy and system integration in the supply chain management field. Bristlecone has a global workforce of around 1,000 people and has subsidiaries in the USA and Canada, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany and the UK. “As time has gone on, our European business has focused more on Germany, Austria and Switzerland,” says Santhanam. “that’s why we made the decision to move our European headquarters from London two years ago.”
No sooner said than done
Bristlecone knew about the advantages of Switzerland as a business location: “Attractive taxes, English-speaking workforce and pro-business laws”. Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) became involved in a roundabout way. “The Mahindra Group’s management cultivates close contacts with the business hub in Mumbai, which advised us to contact S-GE, an organization experienced in location issues.”
The initial discussions were held soon after in Zurich. “Within a few weeks contacts had been arranged with representatives of the authorities, so that we were quickly able to visit various locations and choose from several options in different parts of the country,” says Santhanam. Schaffhausen won. In addition to attractive taxes and the potential of the industry located in the region, its central location and close proximity to Germany, in particular, were the decisive factors.