Pratul Shroff, founder CEO of eInfoChips, talks to Dilin Anand of EFY about his company, eInfoChips.
Q. Could you introduce us to your company?
A. EinfoChips is a 20-year old company and we are focused on product engineering services. The kind of products that I mean are electronic appliances, surveillance cameras, and other consumer electronics. Unlike any other company in the area, we do a lot of product design. For us almost 80 per cent of the revenue comes from the actual design and development process. We also partner with companies like TI, Freescale. Because of the strong partnership, we work with their current processors and next-gen processors. This allows our engineers to be familiar with their architecture and become trained in them, thus, allowing them to work on next-gen products unlike most of our competitors. Our top ten customers are all billion dollar corporations.
Q. Does eInfoChips design only Chips or do you design products as well?
A. Well, if you look at our workforce you’ll see that 1/4th of them are on the chip design side, 2/3rd of the engineers are on the system design. 65 per cent of our revenue comes from software development, board development, and product development, 35 per cent comes from the chip design side. So predominantly 2/3rd of the company is on the system side.
Q. Where are all the branches of eInfoChips located in?
A. We have a subsidiary in the USA, Japan, Taiwan, and Ireland. We have branch offices in UK and Singapore. So we have presence across the globe in 3 continents and 8 different countries.
Q. What are you currently working on?
A. There’s a 10 billion dollar display giant out of Taiwan and right now we are developing a demonstration kit for that company based on 3D video conferencing. I believe this is a first for any company India.
Q. What are the verticals that you focus on?
A. The first one is the consumer electronics, which is related to the 3D conference system. The second vertical is avionics and defense; third vertical is Security and Surveillance; fourth vertical is Semiconductors industry itself and the fifth one is health care.
The underlying strength comes from the horizontal technology platforms. First one is the chip design and services, the second one is the board level design, the third is the operating system optimisation for various products, the fourth is video streaming as a technology. Finally, the fifth is networking and communication. These five technologies are common across all the industry verticals.
A challenge in Security and Surveillance is that if I have 100 cameras in the field, how do I handle all those video feeds and how do I store them at my server and the kind of complete solution required from the camera in the field to the video storage and processing at the server. We specialise in this as we have all the IP required to handle all this.
Q. What is the USP of your company?
A. First of all, we work closely with half a dozen semiconductor companies like TI, Freescale, etc. Because we work intimately with them, we are aware of those functions and features of their chips and their processors. This also allows us to advice our customers how to design the architecture, how to optimise, and the bill of material for the products. Secondly, because we are aware of their next-roadmap products, our engineers can collaborate with our customers to bring out next generation design before other Indian companies.
Moreover, if you look at our chip design side, over the past several years we have been investing on the latest tools and technologies, and methodologies to stay ahead of the competition. As a result we were ranked number One Worldwide in Chip Design Services by Gartner in 2009. Third USP is that we really spend a lot of money training our people and investing in next-generation processors. So, I would those say those are the major differentiators.
Q. Is everything done in-house?
A. Everything except manufacturing is done in-house. But if some of our customers want the design and manufacturing to be done by us then we are able to provide that as well. For instance, there is a company in the USA who provide surveillance solutions for school buses in the US. This customer, is a Texas based customer who have come to us to provide the product development cycle and the installation and we have taken up that responsibility. And now they are talking of giving us the complete product including the manufacturing. For them, it is a very good way of partnering as the accountability for them is very high, since they have only one company to deal with.