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September - 2006 - issue > Company Profile
TESting-new-frontiers
Aritra Bhattacharya
Friday, September 1, 2006
Zipping through a snazzy expressway somewhere in Europe, your mind races ahead to the snow-clad Alps that promise you relief from the rigmarole of daily life. With no network on your cell-phone and the road bereft of mortals, the process of being disconnected from the world has already begun. Your mind still races ahead, when you
suddenly discover that you’ve lost your way.

Whom will you ask for directions? You panic, but hold on! Isn’t your car equipped with a car navigation instrument? You turn it on, and in a matter of seconds it tells you your location; it gives you an entire lowdown on which road will take you where.

At the heart of the navigation equipment that saved your day was a miniscule chip, which had embedded in it all the necessary applications, and TES PV, a design services organization, is one of the few companies that undertake such tasks.

The organization created a complete chip for video-conferencing for a Japanese firm back in 2003. From merely a design services organization then, TES PV today is looking to become a top-level ‘design-upwards organization’. “That means addressing customers’ needs, from beginning to end, spanning the areas of board design, putting the codecs, and creating system integration solutions and helping clients go to the market,” says Jagannathan Balaji, President and CEO, TES PV Electronic Solutions.

Scoring over others
TES PV, formerly Purple Vision, today offers design services in the segments of multimedia, telematics and wireless communication, and its clients span the globe. There are three fundamental things, according to Balaji, that influence customers in their choice of Bangalore based TES PV: “The first is the vast system knowledge that we bring to the table; a smart design services firm should have a very good thought process on the application level, and that’s where we score.” The second critical aspect, says Balaji, is TES PV’s clear understanding that they do not specialize in everything. “While there are some Intellectual Properties (IP) that we build, we also buy some IPs from the market. This helps our customers to break into the market with a time cycle advantage and fast forward their success.” The third factor influencing customers is the cost advantage the organization brings to the table.

Also, being an early mover in the game of electronic design services in India—they started out in May 2000-TES PV’s knowledge of the market’s DNA enables them to gauge what can and what cannot be successfully done out of India. It was this DNA, says Balaji, that facilitated them in designing an application that propels a portable video recorder (PVR). This recorder helps you record ones favorite TV programs and play it when one is on the move.

Purple Vision’s acquisition by France based TES Electronic Solutions, has enabled its access to European technologies, like the one used in Mars Rover. This has helped TES PV, cut across multiple segments. Today, the organization has become more of a one-stop shop. It can build its customers a certain IP; the engineers can design the chip, do the board, force the drivers, build the application, and certify the board and the system. “We even fix the problems our customers come to us with,” says Balaji.

Dogs and Warriors!
Apart from designing numerous run-of-the-mill applications, TES PV has created quite a few ‘really cool’ IPs in the field of graphics and multimedia as also DVD/video broadcast based applications and security camera applications for its clients. And fuelling such ‘innovative concepts’ is a two-pronged work culture: the Viking warriors’ culture and the lead-dog approach.

The Vikings were ruthless in their conquest of islands, one after the other, and what enabled them in these conquests was the fact that they burnt down their ships once they reached a particular isle. That way, they ensured that there was no looking back. “Likewise,” notes Balaji, “we don’t take no for an answer from our employees; for us there’s no way you can face ultimate failure in the organization. There definitely will be crashes, but they have to ultimately help you to learn to move towards success.”

The ‘Lead Dog Story’ on the other hand is about sledges in Alaska that are drawn by rows of wolf dogs. Balaji talks of how only the ones in the front row get to see the horizon while the others see the back of the dogs ahead of them. “In one part or the other, we always want to be the lead dog,” says Balaji. “We realize that there are regulations but there has to be some amount of risk-taking as well.”

Encouragement given to engineers to indulge in unstructured thinking over and above the evident is something that has contributed to TES PV’s growth. “This approach helped us design a revolutionary media processor for one of India’s top media organizations. Fundamental to this design was how a snake slithers as it moves. That’s the way we decided to handle data in the processors,” says Balaji.

TES PV trains its engineers in methodology as well as vertical technology. While the latter helps the engineers in creating new technologies, methodology teaches them to use certain tools to achieve desired results. It works for the organization in a way that they can augment resources; as do other design service organizations, as also create new applications.

The heads at TES PV have a very clear understanding of their strengths, namely functional verification, turnkey solutions and physical design. “There are areas where we are leaders, and there are areas where we are laggards… that’s fine with us as long as we know what we are here to do, and excel in that,” notes Balaji. And to round things off, the organization that once called itself Purple Vision does not believe in a vision for the future, for that is something ‘too ornamental’; they would rather achieve the objectives that form their bedrock.

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