We are now interviewing people who have been already interviewed once, but this is a follow up interview to understand what changes have taken place since the last one.
We had interviewed Dr. Ameet Patil, Founder and CEO Spundhan Softwares Pvt. Ltd. Belgaum in May 2009.
Dr. Ameet Patil obtained his a PhD. in Embedded Systems from the University of York, UK.Dr. Ameet also has various publications to his name in field of embedded systems and operating systems and system architecture. A very good cricketer with various awards to his credit during his college days and also a very good painter and has keen interest in traveling and photography add to his passion. He studied at Sandur Residential School as his father was Maintenance manager in the Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore (SMIORE) Company in Sandur. Later he studied at St. Mary’s High School and did his engineering from KLE engineering college.
In 2009, he moved back to India from UK to lead Spundhan. Spundhan today has found good foot hold in the Embedded Systems development and services domain and has open branch office in Bangalore as well.
What has changed since we last interviewed you in 2009?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Almost everything has changed; In this fast moving world, nothing remain constant. We started by provide niche consultation and development services for embedded software timing and coverage analysis in early 2009. Since then, we have forayed into Industrial Automation, Eclipse based development, Android and iPhone development, Defence, Robotics, and so on. Recently, we all launched our first product (http://www.bredboard.com) aimed at students and enthusiasts to make it easy for them to learn embedded systems.
As you call your self a Belgaum product, has Ameet been happy working here?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Absolutely! I love it here in Belgaum! Although I am now-a-days seldom there in the city, but wherever I am, I long to get back to Belgaum.
What are the current technologies and products you are working on ?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Currently, we are focusing on the education sector trying to rear talent pool in Embedded Systems. Here, we focus to use the latest software and hardware technologies to create products for students and enthusiasts which will help them learn or train on embedded systems right from their homes. No more going to an expensive training school, pay hefty fees only to find out that there is no good teaching staff. Our BredBoard (http://www.bredboard.com) platform is trying to precise achieve this goal.
What is the human resource approach been in the past 3 years and what are your experiences?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Lets just say we have had our set of problems in recruiting ready and fresh talent in this area. I think there are very few students who are from Belgaum, who would want to work in a startup like ours in Belgaum. Everyone looks to jump to Bangalore, or some place else.
Also, Embedded Systems, the word itself, has created blocks in students mind. They feel its difficult when in fact it is the easiest thing in the world. We also faced problem recruit people who were not from this region. Precisely why we opened a branch office in Bangalore now. But we hope to improve this situation by educating students by our product, conduct workshops, etc.
Being an entrepreneur and being called for lectures makes one feel good, but what does an entrepreneur feel working in Belgaum?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Belgaum is a tier II city and poised for massive growth in the coming years. I love my city but that is it. Belgaum has still got a long way to go to actually become an attractive destination for today’s technological entrepreneurs.
Does Belgaum really have an atmosphere for entrepreneurs and their grooming?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Sadly No. Although, I must admit, in Hubli which is quite close to Belgaum, there is TiE and a much better culture for Entrepreneurs around the Deshpande foundation.
What are the adversities you have faced working from here?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Ours is an IT company and works purely on two things: technology and brains. There are no technological suppliers in Belgaum. For anything and everything in the embedded industry, we need to go to Bangalore or Mumbai. This factor many a times adds to the overheads.
You started Spundhan in 2008, where do you see it now? Are you happy with your growth?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Absolutely not! We have only just begun. We faced recession when we started and even now we are into another round of recession. If you consider that, then we have made enough progress but for me, its no where near where we want to take Spundhan to.
Your thoughts on collective development of IT & ITEs in Belgaum and what happened to IT Belgaum?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Indian entrepreneurs still are not looking to co-develop something big. Like everyone else, they are looking to make it big by themselves. In the fast moving technological world, if India has to make a mark, and that too, in Belgaum, then cooperation and collaboration will go a long way. IT Belgaum started with the same vigour and I am proud to be part of this moment. Nothing is lost yet, we have made some grounds. All this takes time and more importantly individual energy.
You had also started BredBoard training how was the response and what are you plans with that?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Yes. We had started both in-house and outdoors training in Embedded C, Java, Android, etc. last year. More than 100 students have come out of the bredboard training initiative. However, we had to close it down in Dec last year. The reason being, today, in the rush of their curriculum, students hardly find time to go to dedicated training institutes and learn something that is not taught in their courses. We found that daily training at a stretch would not work.
Instead we conduct single 1 day workshops in colleges for a much smaller price which makes sense for the student to take home something in just a single day. And this is working quite well for us as well for the students.
BredBoard embedded kit was launched this year how has been the response to the same and what are the future plans?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> BredBoard Embedded Kit is uniquely designed from bottoms up with quick learning in mind. Student will simply drag and drop electronic components in our special software to create their projects. The software automatically generates C source code and downloads it onto real embedded hardware that we supply. In no time, you see your project working! We got some great response for this product including a few orders from UK and the US as well.
BredBoard Kits are now cheaper than before. You can buy it online from our store securely using your credit/debit card or even net banking. In fact we have a complete online electronics components and kits store online now at http://www.bredboard.com/shop I think this the first of its kind online store in the city. People don’t need to go to Bangalore or other places to buy this stuff anymore!
The road map for this product is quite huge! We are going to make it generic enough so that it works with any embedded board people have. This will reduce the cost of the product and increase it acceptance with the customers who already have one or two boards lying around. An integration with Arduino platform also sounds interesting. There could be a BredBoard Robotics Kit, BredBoard Automation kit, etc. who knows?
Do you at any time regret your coming back to Belgaum?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> I am so pro Belgaum that even in my last breath, I won’t regret coming back. Yes. I ve had my fair share of misfortunes for reasons of being in Belgaum, but things are improving and for the better than well! But I would certainly like to list out some of the problems I faced here:
1. Lack of access to latest technology (like internet speed, 3G coverage, good electronic shop)
2. Lethargic attitude of legal people and the never ending processes.
3. Delays with Govt. procedures
4. No guarantee of electricity
5. Little or no expert and hungry talent pool
6. Kirana shop mind set of people.
Your thoughts on this blog and what has changed or needs to be changed?
Dr. Ameet Patil ——–> Lost of words here. You contribution to our city is simply fabulous! If I had the powers, I’d give you the highest merits for you work.