Uttamkumar S. Ningthoujam A Strategic Planner For Enhancing Overall Productivity In Semiconductor IC Design
Uttamkumar S. Ningthoujam
After proving a track record in project and program management in designing circuits and ensuring successful delivery to the customers, Uttam manages ELVEEGO Circuits that has capability to provide high-quality, end-to-end design service from specifications through GDS.
As technology evolves, technology-based careers don’t change at the same speed, but they do evolve, and the savvy IT professional recognizes that his or her role will not stay the same. Having close to 20 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, Uttamkumar S Ningthoujam has worked on various Analog & Mixed Signals IC Designs and successfully led & managed projects & teams in IC Design Start-ups. His technical expertise has been in the Design of Circuits for SerDes, Transceivers & Electrical PHY, PLLs, Filters & Amplifiers, Telephone IC, and Voltage Regulators, etc. In 2010, he sourced all his experience together, and laid the foundation to ELVEEGO Circuits together with his co-founding team. This firm is specialized in the design of Analog, Mixed-Signal and RF Integrated Circuits. Before co-founding ELVEEGO Circuits, Uttam was a member of the senior management team of TESLA Semiconductor, an IC design center for a dedicated Japanese customer in Bengaluru and was responsible for managing the day to day execution and delivery of all projects executed at TESLA Semiconductor. Uttam, in a rendezvous with CIO Insider, shares his experience in the entrepreneurial journey and talks about his motivation and expertise working in semiconductor industry.
As semiconductor companies leverage digital technologies to generate value, there is a need for leaders to strategize to set them apart. Tell us your story, what drove you to start your own venture?
While many system design requirements are driven by advancements in digital technologies, the human interface is always analog. The actual human experience of all the latest technologies are made possible by high precision and high-performance Analog interfaces; interfaces towards the real word and interfaces towards the digital systems. The founding team of ELVEEGO Circuits being Analog Design Engineers, has always felt that there are not many specialized Analog Semiconductor design companies. So, we wanted to fill this gap by creating ELVEEGO Circuits, focusing on designing State of the Art Analog Circuits for various applications.
What pain points in the industry did you observe which sowed the idea for your current organization? Tell us about ELVEEGO Circuits’ operations.
The semiconductor design industry, especially in India is flooded with resource augmentation companies that supply specific skill-based engineers. ELVEEGO Circuits is a one-stop turnkey design service and solutions company. We provide end-to-end products and IP design services to various Electronics companies of the world. Today, we have design teams in Bangalore and different locations in Japan. ELVEEGO Circuits’ focus domains are Analog, Mixed-Signal and RFIC designs in applications like Consumer Electronics, Automotive application, Medical application, Wired and Wireless communication, Space application, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc.
Opportunities can always be created and there is always room for disruption
Please quote one significant challenge that you came across during your leadership term. And tell us how you overcame the same.
When we started ELVEEGO Circuits in 2010, there were many challenges around us, such as bringing in a team of good Analog designers, convincing customers for our end-to-end design offerings and funding challenges. Since the Indian semiconductor design industry is dominated by the resource augmentation model, it has always been a challenge to convince a customer in India that we can take up a complete design from Specification to GDS. We
have been able to address these challenges by focusing on continuous technological skill enhancement, focus on few Tier1 customers outside India with long term engagements. The challenging and technologically enhancing projects that we do has helped us to keep a good analog design team. Also, operational and financial discipline is always needed when we are in any business, especially in such a capital intensive domain like.
What is the biggest missed opportunity you're seeing today that would-be entrepreneurs should jump on?
Opportunities can always be created and there is always room for disruption. What is important is the market differentiation you are offering. But if we talk specifically about the Indian Semiconductor industry, I feel we should focus more on creating products for the domestic market that could be scaled to a global level.
People think they need to take a certain job they might not like to help them get the next opportunity. What do you think?
There is always a short term and long term perspective to something. However, one should always takeup what they are passionate about. Opportunities will come and go, but if one takes up a job they don't like, it is just a matter of time for dissatisfaction to seep in. So, the plan should always be to excel in something you enjoy doing.
Given your experience in the semiconductor industry, what advice/opinion would you give the young entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Today, technology up-gradation is happening at such a fast pace that one needs to be prepared for what would be in demand in the next couple of years from today. So, technological vision and preparedness is one important factor. On the other side, collaboration is the need of the hour. One may try to do many things by him/herself but, turnaround time and time to market is one major factor for product development, so focusing on one’s specialization and collaborating with other ecosystem partners is equally important. Additionally, having a mentor in the domain of interest is also an important factor.
Organization: Elveego Circuits
Headquartered: Bengaluru, Karnataka
Domain: Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Design