I Think, Therefore I Am’ – Ex-TI experts join to float product start-up – (Hindu Business Line)

‘I Think, Therefore I Am’ – Ex-TI experts join to float product start-up – (Hindu Business Line)

April 19, 2001
Hindu Business Line, Bangalore

‘I Think, Therefore I Am’
Ex-TI experts join to float product start-up

ITTIAM Systems, the brainchild of Mr Srini Rajam, former Managing Director, Texas Instruments India, launched operations on Wednesday. Headquartered in Bangalore, the company expects to grow to 200 people from 40 in a year.

“We are focused on digital signal processor-based systems with multiple applications,” said Mr Srini Rajam, CEO and Chairman.

The company expects to break even its second year of operations and is looking to its second round of raising about $5 million of venture capital in 6-12 months, according to Mr Rajam.

This is to accelerate product development and to enable a launch in 2002, he added. It has already received seed funding of $5 million from Global Technology Ventures.

DSP software and systems was a $9-billion market, growing at a CAGR of 50 per cent, Mr Rajam said.

“We will leverage the market potential to its maximum and provide world-class DSP software and systems from India.”

The company has offices in the US, UK and representatives in Japan.

Ittiam is focused on wireless, wireline, audio/speech and image/video domains and the competency teams in the domains can create new applications that need multiple domain expertise, Mr Rajam said.

Ittiam has adopted a two-pronged approach to product development. It is engaged in both custom product development as well as in-house product development. Its in-house product, in the video and MPEG space, will be launched next year.

“We will serve the product buy/licence decision by companies as well as offer custom development,” Mr Rajam said, speaking on Ittiam’s model for collaborative research and development.

In product development for customer, Ittiam will be responsible for performance, quality, time and cost while the customer makes the payment on product delivery.

“Where Ittiam develops the DSP systems, customers can integrate them onto their systems through licence/buy agreements.”

Ittiam’s competence is beyond software and is “the whole thing” — algorithm, software to the actual reference board in end-equipment.

“DSP is fulfilling fundamental needs of mobility, bandwidth and convergence and our target customers include electronic end equipment manufacturers”

Ittiam is looking for collaborations/partnerships with other DSP companies with “specific or focused offerings”.

No employees here
Rene Descartes knew his sound bytes when he said Cogito ergo sum. Though quoted widely, rarely has it been part of anybody’s vision.

By calling themselves after it — Ittiam: I think, therefore I am — Mr Srini Rajam’s team is hoping to think its way through the $9-billion digital signal processing software and systems market.

Led by seven ex-TI domain experts, the team of 40, soon to touch 50, call themselves Ittians and the company “has put in place benchmark people practices that result in co-ownership of the company and equal status”.

That means all team members (no employees at Ittiam) get the same facilities the CEO does.

Ittians do not get any compensation either. Mr Sattam Dasgupta, Vice-President, Engineering, who also guides the HR efforts, said: “Ittians do not get compensation because they are not harmed in any way. What they do get are rewards and recognition and share options.”