This is an interview with Mr.R K Patil of Vayavya Labs.
1. Vayavya Labs is an Electronic System Level tools provider? In lame words what does it really mean to a common man?
VLabs>> The increased complexity of chips (semiconductor chips) and associated software (commonly referred as embedded software) has resulted in stretching the time involved in bringing a product to market. Also the engineering effort and costs involved have gone up. System design companies are on the lookout for tools which can help them shrink development times, increase productivity of engineering teams and bring the products to market in shorter duration.
Electronic System Level (ESL) design methodology is an emerging field to address these industries need.
2. You started this startup in 2006, what made you start this? What was the motivation behind it?
VLabs>> We started the Company with the vision of doing something innovative and distinctive in technology space. The basic premise was that by adopting Vayavya’s methodology, customers could raise the level of productivity and drastically reduce product development cycles thereby making huge cost savings and allowing a manufacture to bring new technology to the consumers faster.
On a different note, we also envision an India where technology growth doesn’t get limited to just tier 1 cities, but gets spread all around the country.
3. You left your earlier job at Genesis Microchip Inc and started this, weren’t you afraid what will happen if I fail?
VLabs>> I was a fortunate guy to be in right time and in right company of people. Vayavya Labs is effort of a founding team that has common vision and goal. A job at MNC or for that matter any place can come by any time, however an opportunity to start something new arrives once in a while and one has to be prepared to seize it. I would say the “heart” decision ruled over “head” decision. I guess for all Vayavya team members, including me, we are set up for a great future. We believe in our vision and hence no need to be afraid of anything.
4. Also why Belgaum? You could have started it in Bangalore or Pune? Any specific reason behind it?
VLabs>> I ask why not Belgaum. Like any other place this place too has everything. It has a large skilled resource pool, good access to the nearest metros, climate conditions are just perfect. To top it I feel Belgaum is a mini-cosmopolitan without the nuances of traffic jams and concrete jungles!
I did my graduations here in Belgaum from GIT and some of the founding team members are from Belgaum. We always wanted to do something away from large metros and hence Belgaum was a natural choice.
5. How did you fund it? All with internal accruals or personal savings?
VLabs>> Yes most of the money has come from the founding team. We also have few angel investors.
6. How and what was the reaction of your parents and friends when you told them about this startup.
VLabs>> I would say it was a mixed reaction. Fortunately for my parents and family I had done a similar ‘unconventional’ move in the year 2000. Vayavya happens to be my second start up experience. The first one turned out to be a good experience both in terms of market exposure and money. So I would say this time they were not opposing an idea of start-up.
I would also like to take this opportunity to convey to the parents and elders at large, that they need to encourage their children to experiment and indulge in entrepreneurial ventures. The future community is going to be creative and competitive. To be successful and most important to cherish the work one indulges in , success and failures are to be treated as two faces of same coin. I know this might sound philosophical but this is going to be the mantra of coming age.
7. How did you land up with this unusual name, Vayavya Labs?
VLabs>> Frankly speaking the genesis of this is NWKRTC (the state transport in Belgaum). We have had several names to ponder upon. But nothing really made that “first impression “to tag on. One day couple of my colleagues and I were walking on college road and then one of the colleague (Parag, also a co-founder of Vayavya Labs) notices the name written on the passing by bus and makes a remark as to how about name “Vayavya”?. As it turns out we are in the noth-west part of state and also an important direction as per Vedas which signifies path/direction of success. So was “Vayavya Labs” born.
8. You began with 5 employees or so and now you have about 50, how s the labor attrition, if any?
VLabs>> We have been fortunate enough to assemble a team that believes in vision and long term objectives. We have had no attrition due to someone going in for another company/job ever since we started. We have had 3 team members leaving the company so far out of which one went to USA after her marriage and the other two went out to pursue higher education. I would say that our selection process has been pretty good in identifying the right team members. All team members share our vision and belief.
9. You started this with a few friends then or colleagues? What was your startup team?
VLabs>> We had an initial team of four founders who are also executive team members. Two of other co-founders are in advisory roles. In last two years we have added six other core team members who come with vast industry experience. We have a constant intake of junior engineers every year and then groom them to take additional responsibilities in the company as they gain experience.
10. You make money by Tools licensing, Embedded software services, which is the target market of this India or elsewhere?
VLabs> Our target markets are in India as well as outside India. Majority of the companies (target customers) are head quartered outside India but have substantial engineering presence in India.
11. This field seems to me as highly qualified, have you partnered with some other firms or organizations?
VLabs>> I agree with you. If you look at the top-30 list in TATA-NEN probably we are the only product technology firm. We have some industry associations and partnerships with Texas Instruments, Microsoft and SPIRIT consortium. As we go along we will increase our partnerships and associations. This approach is very common in the domain we operate.
12. How much turnover do you expect to achieve in this current year and what are your estimates for the next two years, any targets?
Vlabs>> We should be doing a business of half a million dollars this year. We have an aggressive target for the coming year however a lot depends on the industry outlook and also the progress we make on our tools.
13. Have you been hit by the deprecating Rupee or in fact gained from it?
VLabs>> Since our revenues are generally dollar denominated at this stage I would say we have gained. But as the capital expenditure is on the rise especially the spend done outside country we will soon see the other effect too.
14. In this time of global recession is there any slowdown in your business, or do you see it coming a bit later?
VLabs>> We are not hit by this yet. But we are also not 100% immune from it. Fortunately our tools make a lot of sense to the customer in the current scenario. Our tools improve the productivity of design engineers which means they can do more things in the existing budget.
Mr.R K Patil did his schooling from Sainik School Bijapur (SSBJ). He completed his Engineering in Computer Science from Gogte Institute of Technology (1988-1992).
a. What do you like the most to do when you are not working?
RK>> Oops…I wish I get that time. I do a bit of reading, try to play golf and make time to meet friends and family circle.
b. At the age of 38 do you think you are successful and you have achieved something what you had thought of?
RK>> I am enjoying my work and hence contended with what I have at this stage. There is lot to be accomplished.
c. Are you married, if yes any kids and how is their support to your company?
RK>> Yes, married for last eight years, have two lovely kids.
d. Lastly what do you think about this blog? I too am a first time entrant in this field of websites with no technical knowledge of computing, only started as a hobby and continuing to make this blog much more popular.
RK>> Personally I am a novice when it comes to blogs. I got to know about your blog thru one of my colleague, and you know what, someone in Singapore sent out a email that they read about Vayavya thru your RSS-feed. I am whelmed by the power of web and its reach. There is no second thought on how useful and effective your blog is. In my opinion technology is just an enabler, what one does with it is more important.