Amid the purring of Santros, i10s, and i20s, it’s easy to miss the bleats and oinks. Hyundai Motor India, the country’s second-largest multinational passenger car maker, has a 10-acre farm within its 525-acre manufacturing complex in Sriperumbudur near Chennai.
The farm was created in 2005-06, when the auto giant was exploring ways to reduce the cost of grocery imports while serving Korean fare to make expat employees feel at home. “It gives us easy access to authentic Korean cuisine in India as well as a place to relax,” says Hyundai spokesperson Rajiv Mitra.
The thrust is on stocking the in-house kitchen with ingredients required in Korean cuisine, including meat and vegetables such as mu (Korean radish), hobak (pumpkin), yangpa (onion), which are not easily available in India. Because Korean companies such as Samsung have established bases in the Chennai area, local restaurants have also started offering Korean fare. This has perhaps reduced the gastronomical relevance of Hyundai’s farm that started with 50 pigs.