Last month we reported that Silicon Valley-based Synapse Design Inc., through their Indian subsidiary, had acquired the Ranchi-based engineering services company, Asilicon.

While that acquisition resulted in a gain of 80 engineers for Synapse Techno Design Innovations Pvt. Ltd, they announced that they planned to hire 200 engineers to work at the Ranchi facility.

EE Times India talked to Synapse Techno Design Innovations Pvt. Ltd about the acquisition, the location and their talent acquisition plans.

Vivek Nanda, EE Times: Why choose a second-tier city like Ranchi [for an expansion]?

Devesh Gautam, COO, MD, Synapse Techno Design: We have found that Eastern India has great focus on creating a strong environment for drawing high-tech businesses. In fact, when exploring areas where we might invest, the IT minister of Jharkhand, Mr Sunil Kumar Barnwal, has assured full support for Synapse. Ranchi is very “customer oriented” and we appreciate that level of commitment. Ranchi has a great deal of untapped talent, so we look forward to helping Jharkhand grow and become a model state for Eastern India while benefitting from their infrastructure and talent. When researching growth states, we found that Jharkhand is the fourth fastest growing state. They have a number of technical institutions and colleges supporting our opportunity to tap into further engineering talent. In fact, Ranchi is home to Birla Institute of Technology, a well-respected college. In larger states, hiring is difficult, there is a lack of resources and attrition is a problem. We believe that Jharkhand is going to be an excellent environment for our goals of fast growth... Also, the Digital India initiative is guaranteeing a strong infrastructure in Jharkhand and other sates so, while in the past we had to be concerned about stability of electricity and internet, for instance, that is no longer a problem. We can depend on uninterrupted internet with 100M[bps] or higher throughput and three-level electric backup.

Satish Bagalkotkar, CEO, President, Synapse Techno Design:  It’s no secret that there is [a] huge shortage of available talented engineers in Bangalore, specifically in [the] semiconductor space… As Synapse has operations all around the world, opening a second centre in India is a no brainer, and going to eastern India makes good sense, as it allows Synapse to leverage a large pool of very talented engineers to continue to support the demands of our top tier customers at a sustainable cost. The key to successful project execution in cutting-edge technology is to build and maintain a team for several generations of projects. We are already working on 7nm technology in our Bangalore office, and that technology will become main stream in 2025, so it is imperative for Synapse to not only maintain the existing team in 2017, but be able to grow it exponentially over the next 7-8 years. The same is true about 10nm where we already have completed five tape-outs and plan to grow that capability. The competition for talent in Bangalore means we are often rebuilding teams every few months. In huge demand-driven markets is a losing battle, particularly when you are working on very advance nodes. This will not be a problem in Ranchi for the near future. Bangalore will still remain the main technical hub for us in India. We have almost 100 position opening in Bangalore office and we will continue to hire locally. Ranchi, with 80 engineers and a goal to hire 200 more over 18 months will play a vital role in developing and focusing on 7nm and 10nm designs. Just as the Silicon Valley is the main hub for us in the U.S., other locations like RTP, Portland, Austin, Boston, etc. but play a vital role.

Vivek: Will Ranchi focus on something other than what Bangalore does?

Devesh: Our focus in Ranchi is the same as Bangalore but, as I said, we believe that we have strong hiring opportunities in Jharkhand and that it will be a more stable environment.

Satish: Yes, Ranchi will be focused primarily on being dedicated design centre for key clients to service in cutting edge technology in 10nm and 7nm. It allows us to build and maintain a solid team for a very long time which is key for our customer and Synapse success.

Vivek: Beyond a development location, is India picking up as a market? Can you say something about the local market trends?

Devesh: …Recent fast growth is due largely to PM Modi’s commitment to “Digital India” creating a stable environment for fast growth companies like ours. The initiative includes creating stability throughout India including providing fast internet through fibre and connecting schools. This shows a commitment to the education of our youth which helps lead to a future of talent that we need to grow high tech companies and grow India as a powerhouse.

Satish: India has definitely become a key player for system and semiconductor industry. Most progressive, successful high-tech companies have an operation in India and our country will continue to grow as long as the cost and attrition rate can be maintained. The current market trends will allow India to continue to become a dominant player; however, this assumes we solve the current manpower shortage in concentrated pockets. Otherwise, other countries with skilled engineers and a lower cost structure will seem attractive over time. We have to balance the skills as well as maintain the cost and ensure productivity doesn’t suffer due to attrition as time to market is key to everyone’s success.