For some enterprises, cost arbitrage is a definition of their India strategy. Intel has differed. For one, it has set up India to be a full-fledged profit center, delivering mission-critical products from scratch. And then it views India itself as one of its largest market, and is casting plans for capitalizing the growing economy. How has it performed? Ketan Sampath explains.
“The kind of work we are doing is leading edge not just in India but anywhere else on the planet,” says Ketan Sampath, President, Intel India, commenting on the chip giant’s charter for India. An interesting project close to his heart is Intel’s Social Investment, empowering over 20,000 government-run schools with computers, thereby turning out close to a million PC-savvy kids. “Leadership is all about commitment and healthy interaction with your clients,” says the Intel India president, during an interview at Intel facilities in Santa Clara, CA.
Born in Bombay, Ketan Sampath graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology with a degree in Electrical Engineering and followed it up with an M.S. in Computer Science from Syracuse University. “And since then, Intel has been the only company I have worked for,” says the India head, currently with a score years at the company. Sampath began in Intel in1984, designing silicon debug hooks and in-circuit emulators for processors. Later on he worked in the Intel’s profitable embedded systems and his experience in Europe while working on product line was—as he calls it “trial by fire by the customers.” From there his next milestone was Enterprise and E-business solutions that he headed in Asia. A champion for setting up India operations, he was one of the early principals in Intel’s India charter, finally moving to Bangalore in 2003 to head the India operations.
Intel India’s Initiatives
Sampath says, “India’s emerging consumer market is a key to Intel’s high-growth plans. India holds the third place in Intel’s revenue chart for fastest growing consumer market in the world.” Sampath’s charter for India is based on four key elements.