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January - 2017 - Special issue > Entrepreneur of the Year - 2016

P Raja Manickam: Cutting Through the Stream of Impossibilities to Find an Array of Success

si Team
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
si Team
It is hard for any of us to muster up courage to chase the dream of our lives. But that is exactly what Raja Manickam Founder and CEO of Tessolve Semiconductor did, by quitting his cosy job at the age of 48; only to follow his passion of establishing a company that eliminates the inefficiency in Semiconductor Productization sector.

Having worked with giants like Texas Instruments, as well as emerging start-ups like STATS, when they were just established, Raja gained the knowledge of all aspects of product line activity from scratch. He had unique qualification of working in Product Lines, in captive factories in operations and engineering and outsourced OSAT factories. Although his forte is in engineering, he was involved in setting up Sales and Marketing offices and driving them to billion dollar organizations. He had developed methodologies to increase efficiency and reduce time to market. He believed this business model can be scaled in India with the availability and depth of engineering in India. With the strong personal desire to return to his homeland, India, Raja took the leap with the support of his wife, "If you think you are smart enough to start a company, just go for it," after which he never looked back.

The Execution

Raja, the Idealist, wanted to create a company that would be the best in what they did. He wanted to build the company "one brick at a time" by involving himself in every aspect of the company. The architect had no clue of a "World Class" Test Lab, so he had to fly to Singapore to see factories and labs, take notes and adapt them to the Indian environment. The labs needed to be run 24/7 as the equipmentwere expensive and will work only with precision power. This was a major challenge in India where power is unstable and fluctuations. With a clear perspective, Raja recruited young talent, trained them in the "Tessolve Way". Although this was not the fastest way to revenue generation, he believed the core engineering must have "Tessolve DNA".

Since Tessolve was breaking new grounds and pioneering the concept of productization, which was usually performed by internal staff, the start-up had to run at a tedious pace for three years until it could grab the attention of the sceptic clients in the industry. But once Raja proved Tessolve's value through exceptional deliveries in quality and innovation, projects started surging from all directions, enabling the company to grow rapidly for the past four years with remarkable profit.


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