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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

The Compulsive Partner

Aritra Bhattacharya
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Aritra Bhattacharya
The next time you happen to call Dr. Nikhil Jain, make sure you take his landline number. If you can’t reach him on his cell that is. Chances are you won’t, especially if you’re calling him after 3-4 months. The maverick Chief Technology Advisor of QUALCOMM India has changed his cell number several times in the last two years in a bid to get the “Real user experience” of services offered by telecom operators in India.

“We work with different service providers, and I want to personally experience the services that each one of them offer,” he says. In a further deviation from the indulgence expected of a person at his position, Jain uses mid-tier and low-tier handsets—the ubiquitous LG’s and Motorola’s.

A large majority of the chips his teams engineer are fitted in entry and mid-level handsets, and he feels that there’s nothing more important than putting oneself in the user’s (people’s) shoes. It helps him gauge the problems they might face, as well as the features that might be useful to them.

Such committed focus on the end-user has helped him develop a good understanding of the Indian market. “While most engineers start with the system, I start with the user,” he states. Building on from that starting point, Jain has been instrumental in his role in creating and commercializing various businesses in QUALCOMM, incidentally the world’s largest fabless semiconductor company. He was the inventor and the lead for GSM1x. In addition, he has worked on the next generation wireless technology based on OFDMA.

He has worked on various aspects of CDMA technology such as: infrastructure design and development, deployment and optimization. Currently, Jain is examining new opportunities for QUALCOMM in areas like healthcare and entertainment.

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