Dyson is known for its consumer gadgets such as vacuum cleaners, hair styling products and air purifiers, but it’s now branching out into a new generation of products.
Recently launched devices like its 360 Vis Nav robot vacuum come with “smart” features, which require more software development – and the company has ramped up hiring in order to support those features.
“We’ve really seen the number of our engineers working in software increase tenfold over the last few years,” said John Churchill, Dyson’s chief technology officer. “We are looking for the greatest talents, from university graduates to experienced people, to join us in moving Dyson towards a more software world.”
The company is trying to hire 2,000 more engineers globally, according to Dyson’s upstream robotics director Kashyap Chandrasekar.
“Robotics and software are the biggest pools of people we’re trying to hire,” he said.
The Dyson 360 Vis Nav robot vacuum is on display at the company’s headquarters at St. James Power Station in Singapore in May 2023.
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Another Dyson device that has caught the eye, due to its futuristic look, is the Dyson Zone – a headset that doubles as a portable purifier.
While the box was criticized for its $999.99 price tag and bulky appearance, Churchill remained optimistic.
“With new products, we have a high selling price because there’s so much investment in this technology,” he told CNBC in an interview.
“The first generation of products is really the stepping stone, in terms of the journey, and the products will continue to evolve.”
Asked about public health and access, Churchill said: “We will continue to look at how we can reduce costs to make it accessible to more people.”
Since its inception in 1991, founder Sir James Dyson has embarked on pioneering new technology. Dyson started in the UK, before branching out to Australian, European, American and Asian markets.
As Dyson faced headwinds like rising costs and chip shortages like many other consumer tech companies, the privately held company reported £6.5 billion ($8.15 billion) in revenue for 2022compared to £6 billion the previous year.
The company currently has a £2.75 billion investment plan split between Singapore, UK and Philippines. The company already has research and development-focused campuses in the UK, Malaysia and Shanghai – and is currently investing £166m in a new tech campus in Batangas, Philippines.
Dyson Singapore headquarters at St. James Power Station.
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A key part of Dyson’s global investment program is the 247,000 square foot battery factory in Singapore. The company has estimated that it will be operational by 2025.
“Our new battery factory allows Dyson to have a much longer term view because they are backed by a very clear strategy from the government to allow us to make big investments, with the certainty that they are going to be supported”, Churchill explained.
Dyson’s decision to build its battery factory in Singapore comes after the company moved its global headquarters to the UK city-state. The company has come under fire for the 2019 decision, thanks in part to founder Sir James Dyson’s vocal support for Brexit.
Of 14,000 employees worldwide, 1,400 are based in Singapore, including 600 engineers.
“If we want to have a manufacturing footprint in this part of the world, you need engineers nearby,” Chandrasekar said. “It helps that there is also a good deal of government pressure in the field of robotics. There are a lot of initiatives. There are a lot of competent research groups. All of this lends itself well to building up a a talent pool that can support that.”
Churchill added that Dyson sees itself as a global technology brand, rather than a purely British one.
“We really want to understand some of these cultures and diversities that will inspire us to create new ideas, to solve problems that concern people from different countries.”