T. Anand, managing director, Knewron
T. Anand, managing director, Knewron

Q. What is your organisation’s unique selling proposition (USP) for electronics design?
A. We mainly work on connected devices and systems, mostly multi-disciplinary projects. They are not hardware or software centric but usually involve all elements such as mechanical, hardware, software and Internet or Web-based approaches. We offer complete design and development support, right from product concept or idea and prototype to manufacture-ready stage.

Q. What are the key technologies you are working on?
A. Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic and we are currently developing many interesting tools and platforms for quick and easy deployment of products and concepts. Additionally, we are also working on building predictive analytics into our hardware solutions.

Q. Out of these, are there any technologies that you are well-known for?
A. We are mainly appreciated for connected systems’ development and our wholesome approach to product or system development.

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Q. Are there any niche industry applications you focus on?
A. Not really. However, until now, most of our products and designs have either been test and measurement (T&M) related or consumer electronics related.

Q. What are the major circuit or system design projects that you are currently working on?
A. Presently, we are working on IoT platform (hardware and software) development for faster go-to market approach by our customers.

Q. Do you target Indian customers or only global customers? Is your marketing strategy the same for both these clients?
A. We appreciate business from both. There is a slight change in strategy due to different context. Indian customers respond differently than international clients and thus, we obviously have to approach differently and customise our offerings accordingly.

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Q. How do you see the IoT phenomenon? Do you see it driving business growth for India’s independent design houses (IDHs) or is it more of a marketing gimmick?
A. IoT is really an interesting phenomenon and to some extent it will help IDHs improve their business. However, most of it is also marketing gimmick and therefore IDHs need to be really careful in catering to the right projects and focusing on genuine IoT work, rather than on gimmicks. While this is encouraging, some challenges are present for IDHs in India in terms of access to capable talent and incentives.

Q. Is this a priority area for your firm for future growth too?
A. IoT is not only a priority area for us, but also one of the main working areas already.

Q. What kind of projects does your team work on, in the IoT arena?
A. Besides working on customised development for our customers, we are also working on development and support tools for making IoT products. One of our major projects is a new venture called QUICKLY Solutions. At QUICKLY, our vision is to simplify connected (IoT) product development and deployment, thereby helping our customers’ go-to-market quickly! We have introduced two essential ingredients of the IoT system (quickSENSE and quickCONNECT) that can make your IoT product and solution a reality faster and help you achieve return-on-investment (RoI) quickly.

Q. How many circuit or system design engineers do you have?
A. We have three circuit and system designers and this count is set to go up in the next six months.

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Q. What positions would you be recruiting for? Do you also offer training programmes?
A. Positions are open for product designers and field application engineers. We have an internship programme. Although it is not run officially, we do appreciate and entertain interns to join us on a short-term basis.

Q. Do you hire freshers? How do you select them?
A. Yes, in some cases, we do hire freshers. We look for passionate engineers who have dealt with practical or hands-on projects. We give preference to freshers who are willing to work in an entrepreneurial environment rather than a laid-back culture. Besides that, KNEWRON follows flexi-work style and thus, each of the employees needs to be accustomed to that or willing to work in this kind of environment. People looking for nine-to-five office jobs are not considered at all.

Q. Do you only hire from Tier-1 or Tier-2 colleges or do you look for quality candidates from other institutes too?
A. We give preference to the candidate rather than the college. However, if it comes to that, we prefer colleges that treat all hiring companies equally.

Q. What are the skill-sets you find lacking in freshers?
A. First and foremost, the hands-on skills and techniques. Most of the candidates we come across cannot even do basic soldering or write simple program code and they are supposedly from prestigious colleges that claim that their students are trained to be industry-ready. It is important that students do not rely on colleges to impart these skills. On the contrary, they take should take charge of their own lives and seek internships or part-time jobs to acquire these skills. Attending training courses (which sell the course under the pretence of making them industry-ready) will not help much.

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