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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

February - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

Preparing for the Future

Aritra Bhattacharya
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Aritra Bhattacharya
Sham Banerji is sitting at one end of the chequered chessboard, contemplating his moves. The other side is heavily laden, with government bodies, regulatory authorities, and competing voices. Banerji, Director-Corporate Business (India), Texas Instruments must move his pawns carefully. He has to anticipate what regulatory issues might cut through the company’s existing product line, what might capture the whims of the bullish customers and snowball into a pressing demand, and reign them in in the moves he makes.

New to the role, Banerji has his hands spread on quite a few things. Not only does it involve driving the India business strategy but also forging partner alliances and key business relationships, and pursuing public affairs and policies, along with growing TI’s university initiatives (see box). Over and above these defined chores, he works closely with the company’s strategic marketing group in Dallas. The group looks across all business units and TI products, and looks at the scenario 3-5 years ahead of time. With India now being part of TI’s market, Banerji has to represent appropriately the needs of 1 billion new potential customers (from the subcontinent) that have come on the company’s radar.

“The sheer market size inspires immense interest and curiosity in the strategic group,” he says. Even though many spheres of the market in India are growing in tune with worldwide growth trends, the needs in this country can be very different. The medical market is a case in point. A portable ultrasound machine is now a pressing need in the Indian market. Not so much in the developed economies, where there are ultrasound clinics all around, but in Indian villages, the machine is a must. Not only does it have to scan but also must be able to transmit the image, if required, to a more qualified doctor in the city.

A large part of Banerji’s time goes in identifying such ‘sockets’ that TI’s products can plug. LoCosto—the single-chip mobile phone platform for ultra-low to entry-range wireless handsets was one socket that was plugged recently. Says he, “The first call on the chip was made from India. In fact the Chairman of TI Worldwide, Thomas Engibous came down to India specifically for the purpose.”

The chip was driven by trends in the India market. There was a pressing need for low-cost handsets, with all value-add features in place. Responding to the need, TI developed a GSM-only chip that supports standard voice codecs in dual-band phones, along with system security and optimized memory footprint.

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