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KLA Location Spotlight: Chennai, India

Nov 23, 2021 4 min read

KLA has more than 13,000 employees across 19 countries. Some of us have traveled across the globe, while others may wonder about what life is like abroad.

To bring our diverse and global audience closer, we’re kicking off the KLA Location Spotlight series. In these posts, we will provide a snapshot of the area, share perspectives from employees, as well as highlight some of the exciting work being done in different locations to create technologies and ideas that transform our future and advance humanity.

In this post, we provide a glimpse into our growing presence in Chennai, India, and celebrate the recent opening of KLA’s two new facilities.

Regional Talent

Building on more than 15 years of business operations in Chennai, we’ve continued to grow and hire from the region. To support this growth, KLA recently opened two new facilities in Chennai, which includes our new Artificial Intelligence-Advanced Computing Lab (AI-ACL) and larger new offices at RMZ Millenia-II with modern workspaces to foster inspiration, collaboration and innovation.

Ahmad Khan, president of semiconductor process control at KLA, said the two facilities will help expand the reach of AI in our products and develop the next generation of innovations. At the AI-ACL, we will have researchers and engineers join AI experts to form a global team committed to pushing the boundaries of AI, software, image processing and parallel computing.

Here are some photos from the inauguration ceremony and a glimpse into the spaces where our Chennai employees will work to innovate and shape future technologies:

The AI-ACL is operated in partnership with the India Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, a top ranking public technical and research university located in Chennai. Director of IIT Madras Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthy said KLA and IIT Madras have been collaborating for more than 15 years.

“The IIT Madras Research Park ecosystem is a perfect enabler for such an industry with academic collaboration that is bringing together our resident experts, top student researchers and industry’s best minds.” – Director of IIT Madras Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthy

KLA’s new state-of-the-art, high-tech research and development center serves as a cultural and collaboration hub for the engineering teams. At KLA India, engineers, data scientists and problem-solvers design solutions that improve the performance of KLA’s process control products and facilitate customer success. There have been more than 50 patents filed by employees in the region, as well as numerous word-class software conferences hosted for KLA India and KLA’s global software community.

KLA India Reconnects in Chennai

Remote work enabled its benefits during the pandemic and we are incredibly proud of how productive our teams have been. As plans take shape to phase back into the office KLA India wanted to provide its employees the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and their workplace in a safe and engaging manner. “Reconnect Week” was developed to allow KLA India employees to come together in teams to re-establish relationships, meet new colleagues, provide opportunities for in-person collaboration, and regain a sense of belonging. With regular COVID testing and safety protocols in place, KLA employees from all around India were able to reconnect in the offices in Chennai with organized programs and activities as well as time for socializing and casual conversations. Held in December 2021, almost 95% of KLA India employees participated in the week-long programs. Hear from those who attended share their experiences and what Reconnect Week meant for them in this video.

KLA in the Community

KLA India employees regularly engage in community service to support STEM education, environment, social and humanitarian needs in the region. Some of their beneficiaries include Vidya Sagar, Foundation for Excellence and National Agro Foundation.

For over 20 years, the KLA Foundation has remained committed to aiding the communities in which our employees work and live. To prioritize the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and their families in the greater Chennai region, the KLA Foundation created a $550,000 India pandemic relief fund in May 2021. This fund aided healthcare facilities in procuring critically needed equipment in the fight against COVID-19. The donation also supports a long-term investment to expand ICU capacity in regional hospitals and better address the needs of under-privileged communities. KLA employees from around the world also raised more than $40,500 to support these efforts.

KLA Employee Experiences

Sundari Jayaraman

Software Engineering Manager Sundari Jayaraman was born and raised in Chennai and finds the area to be a peaceful, harmonious place. A mix of conservative and modern India, she said the location is unique because people are always smiling and willing to help each other.

“Chennai is home! I’m a hard core Chennaite, born and brought up here. It’s colorful, vibrant and buzzing with so much activity.” – Sundari Jayaraman

After work, Sundari spends her time shopping in Pondy Bazaar and T. Nagar. She said you can find anything there – from expensive ornaments to cheap accessories. Sundari recommends that those unfamiliar with the area visit Besant Nagar Beach, Santhome Church and the Kapaleeswarar Temple to enjoy detailed architecture and the beautiful views the city has to offer.

Srihare Ravindran

“People from all parts of India call this their home, which means there is a lot of diversity. All people feel included here.” – Srihare Ravindran

Srihare Ravindran, who works with KLA’s BBP software team, said he recommends trying authentic South Indian cuisine. There are many restaurants throughout Chennai that have been open a decade or more, he said. Srihare described the city as inviting and enjoys the variety of activities available to those who work there.

KLA India employees have fostered a fun and supportive workplace where inclusion and diversity fuel extraordinary talent.

If you’d like to be alerted when the next location spotlight publishes, subscribe to Advance. To start your career in Chennai, browse our India careers page.

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