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Community > G Srinivasan
G Srinivasan

G Srinivasan

Founder

embWiSe Technologies

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startupcity - Expert

G Srinivasan's Advice

learn from your bitter experience

I am a huge cricket fan and the one thing that cricket has taught me is How to accept defeat.I think it is important for entrepreneurs to underst... more>>
Brief about company, offerings and foundation of the company

embWiSe
was founded in April 2004 by me and Mr.Alagu Sankar. embWiSe is an acronym for
Embedded Wireless Systems Engineering. As the name suggests, we provide
embedded WiFi connectivity software solutions on different hardware/OS
platforms for Mobile,CE and other connected devices. An embedded software stack
for SDIO interconnect technology,namely,SDIOWorx, WiSe-
Supplicant an enterprise security framework
conforming to Cisco's CCX specifications for
Application
Specific Devices and WiSe-Zeroconf , an OS independent Auto IP / Zeroconf
stack
framework ,complete our product/IP portfolio. These IPs complement or
supplement
our WiFi connectivity software offerings. As
one size doesn't fit all we provide platform customization of our offerings
through a
value-added NRE services model.

My thoughts related to entrepreneurship/ leadership and management
Moving from a contributor with
Primitive Skills to Leader has its challenges. I have found that taking a
planned approach to prioritizing along with the end result in mind , is most
likely to lead to success..


Most critical decision

The process of
ensuring transparency to the customer, Revenue enhancement & Profit Maximization along
with Resource Alignment on a daily basis is a tough job by itself, but the most critical
decision we had to take was to let go of many pure play embedded services opportunities
- unrelated to the technologies that we are focusing on - that came our way, when embWiSe
was in its infancy and when it needed cash to bootstrap its product development. It was
very tempting to go after those opportunities but a conscious decision 
was made not to

Motivation and Drives factor






Needless to say, the very idea of
our products getting into a tier-I vendors' devices gives all of us at embWiSe
,the greatest motivation. Additionally , my pursuit to Optimize is my key
motivation and that desire has translated in our constant search for
optimization of our internal business and the product development processes to
ensure that embWiSe meet its goal of providing faster and affordable quality
solution to customers .




Three big lessons/ mistakes encountered while building company

The key lessons
learnt as part of building this company is to identify the ideas that are risky versus the ideas
that provide benefit to the organization. We had committed a few mistakes on this front ,
fortunately for us at a very early stage of embWiSe,hurting us short term. We have matured our
process of selection and filtering of these ideas and ensured that the new product ideas that
we have chosen are realistic and align with the strategic objectives of the 
Organization.

Risks involved in business and way of addressing







embWiSe, like all other new
startups that are in the cusp of providing Products/Services had the primary
risks of Customer Acquisition, Relationship Development & Customer
Retention. But along with that we had some unique challenges that arise from
talent acquisition in an emerging technology then, which tier -I organizations'
India design centers were also seeking. We being a self-funded start-up, needed
to make sure that everything that we do can be supported by the revenues and
profits that we generate and would grow only as fast as our profits would allow
us to. Added to this, we had to face the customer perception of a small company
– particularly from India - going under or getting bought over by a competitor
and so not preferring to work with us, though we may have something compelling
that they can use. To overcome the risks, we had to create better credibility
and visibility through technology partnerships and building our products more
efficiently. And this has been a continuous process.

Some of the difficulties faced while building product/ solution




The biggest difficulty as in most
product development process is to perform the feasibility analysis on the idea
or solution conceived. The key part of the feasibility analysis is to ensure
that not only will the product meets the target market need but also includes concept
testing, forecasting and financial analysis. The key for any new product at
embWiSe is to put it through what we call as the “BURP” test - Believability,
Realistic, Usefulness & Practicality. And another practical difficulty that
we faced was (and still is) with acquiring good talent. When we started, with
the initial greenhorn resources available, the product development cycle and
schedule were taking a hit and was putting enormous pressure on the revenues
and cash flow. Bringing someone upto speed quickly, with the technology that we
focused on , was in itself a challenge.


Way of choosing my people

It has been the
ability of the organization to understand its gaps and hire the right people to fill the gap. I have
to admit that this has been a continuous challenge. We go through an elaborate process of
hiring the talent with the right attitude. We at embWiSe believe that it is easy to learn and
bridge the gap in one’s technical skills/abilities but if we do not have the right attitude, it
is a difficult gap to bridge. Our entire hiring process is focused on identifying talent
with the right attitude. We specifically look for people with the “Can Do” attitude.

The challenges and lessons learnt to get first customer

In the initial days,
our only sales and marketing tool was our website. The customers found us through search
engines! Our first customer is a feature phone vendor in Far-East – due to the language barriers,
the cycle of their evaluation of our first product, price negotiation and agreeing on the
legal aspects took a longer time than we would have liked. Subsequently we
set-up distributor network in key geographies, which helped in shortening the process.

Experience of reaching out to potential investors

It has been a
humbling and learning experience; I think the key skill that investors are looking for is the
ability to provide disruptive innovative solutions for clients but still maintaining focus on
scaling. In our case innovation is in our unique ability to reducing the product engineering
life cycle time and lower the Total Cost of Ownership of our customers. We have to admit
that we came short of expectations of investors in terms of scaling. We are constantly
brainstorming on this aspect to build a model by which we can scale up in the next two years.

Advice for fellow entrepreneurs
I am a huge cricket fan and the one
thing that cricket has taught me is How to accept defeat.I think it is
important for entrepreneurs to understand that some of their
thoughts,ideas,strategies and execution may not turn out to be correct the
first time but there is always something to learn from that experience and get
ready for the next match. Follow your instincts and Don't fear failure. But
don't fail twice because of the same mistakes.
Unique about my way of motivating troops




I am not sure if there are many
unique ways of motivating troops, but I think a sense of Mentoring and helping
every employee transition through the phase of advancing their skills and
becoming a leader in their area/skill is the biggest motivation possible. And
as I mentioned earlier, the very thought that each of them contibute to a
particular product engineering/development and which when gets embedded in say
a leading mobile phone or a digital camera or a printer , is a motivation by
itself.



Best company I admire globally


There have been a few like HP,Sony
and GE,as I grew up but the company that I admire most is Apple,primarily for
the way it has transformed itself in the last decade,their engineering
execellence,zeal with which it protects its Intellectual Property and the value
it creates for its shareholders.

As a leader how I make sure that I am connecting the right dots




The key aspect for me is to define
criteria for the assessment of projects / ideas and identifying how these
criteria will be addressed or assigned. Once that is assigned , providing the
responsibility, freedom and the right guidance from time to time for everyone
involved in the organization, has been the most effective way. The constant
internal brainstorming and deriving the correct methodology have been the error
mitigating factors. Inputs on the technology and business model from our
partners also go a long way in us planning on a lot of things proactively and
executing the plans with minimal error percentage.

Different actions if I rebuild my company from scratch all over again

If I have to start all over again, I would have invested on bringing senior engineers/managers onboard a little early on,in the venture


I would have a sales /marketing set-up in the Silicon Valley within the first year of starting up, to work in close proximity with the technology vendor partners, to create a better visibility


I would have looked at M&A options that came our way, a little sooner – to either grow inorganically or that would have created better visibility for embWiSe and would have facilitated our products and technologies get into designs of Tier I device vendors and our designs put to good use by customers,who otherwise wouldn't have worked with us.

My role at different dimensions as the company evolved
I had worn several different hats, some at the same time from conceptualization to operations, engineering /project management and financial management during embWiSe's early days. I have been a mentor as well as a student at the sametime – constantly teaching and learning too! The team has acquired new and experienced talents in the years gone by and has a settled look now.Currently I am working on the strategies for the future with an objective to scale to atleast 5x of what we are currently,within the next couple of years and at the same time handling  sales,marketing and business development. Mr.Alagu Sankar has taken over as the CEO of embWiSe, recently.
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