May 8 (Reuters) - Rockwell Automation is mulling expanding its technology workforce and opening more factories to boost manufacturing in India, a senior executive said on Wednesday, days after unveiling plans to construct a plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The industrial automation equipment maker, which completed 40 years in India in 2023, counts many manufacturing giants, including Reliance Industries, Mahindra Group and MRF , as its customers.

"We see India as a technology hub for our current and future product development, hardware and software," Rockwell Asia Pacific Regional President Scott Wooldridge told Reuters on Wednesday.

Rockwell, which currently employs 4,500 people and has a majority of its Indian tech workers in Noida, Pune and Bengaluru, also plans to sharpen its focus on hardware and software product development by hiring more people for its technology centers.

"We'd continue to expand at a similar rate to what we've expanded the last five or six years, where we went from 500 to 3,500," Wooldridge said.

Rockwell's plan comes at a time when Indian IT majors are going slow on hiring due to clients cutting back spending and deferring projects due to macroeconomic challenges.

Last week, Rockwell, which has products that are deployed in a range of manufacturing sectors including tyremaking machines and vaccine production lines, said it would open a factory in the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Rockwell has plans to open more factories in India, which is benefiting from global manufacturers vying to expand their production footprint beyond China.

"We see (the Chennai plant) as a start of a manufacturing campus strategy ... We're looking for the opportunity to build more manufacturing capacity and move more products to India," Woolridge said.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)