MediaTek, the world’s fourth-largest fabless semiconductor company, was bullish on its operations in India. Based in Taiwan, the chipset maker powers more than 1.5 billion devices a year across some of the world’s biggest brands such as Oppo, Vivo, Samsung and Xiaomi. An industry report released last year by techARC said that 42.2% of smartphone models launched in India were powered by MediaTek chipsets. “Our performance has been strong and steady,” says Anku Jain, the company’s managing director, adding that while India has yet to see the full impact of the coronavirus, it will have to be watched. Edited excerpts from an interview with Forbes India:
Q. Over the past few years you have been aggressive in your operations in India…
India is an important market for MediaTek. The country allows us to innovate and constantly offer improved products and services. The Indian market is growing exponentially, across all sectors, and we are gearing up to meet the demand. India is very competitive and manufacturers strive to create feature-rich products at affordable prices. Our performance has been strong and stable, and we look forward to new partnerships as we grow in the country.
Q. What are the main reasons for your success in India?
The main reason for our success in India and globally is the fact that all MediaTek products are designed with humans in mind. We firmly believe that cutting-edge technology should be available and accessible to everyone. We constantly listen to consumer feedback and work to improve the chipset in terms of speed, quality, security and safety. As a company working on cutting edge technologies, MediaTek in India has been able to attract the best of the best minds as we provide them with a platform to innovate and imagine.
Q. Tell us about your research and development units…
We have two major R&D facilities in India, Noida and Bengaluru. In India, our main research focuses on communication technologies, semiconductor back-end and customer support for embedded and mobile devices. In an effort to meet our global customer profile, we are diversifying our engineering talents beyond mobile communications into the connectivity and home entertainment sectors.
Several device manufacturers in India have sought our help in developing high-tech products. Our Indian design centers are armed with a solid understanding of the booming Integrated Circuit (IC) design industry and we constantly strive to empower India by taking advantage of growth opportunities in emerging technologies. .
Q. How do you see 5G playing out in the country?
We look forward to the industrial disruption made possible by 5G. We have already launched the fast and smart 5G SoC family “Dimensity SoC” from MediaTek and are working in coordination with mobile operators, device manufacturers and suppliers. Developed countries like the United States, Japan, China and South Korea have already moved in this direction.
We plan to bring 5G connectivity to consumers in India sooner, focusing on the sub-6GHz frequency band, which is highly effective in urban and rural areas, and make it accessible in sectors ranging from mobile at home and in the car.
Q. So how does a chip company target millennials?
We have a dynamic set of offerings powered by MediaTek, from smart speakers to set-top boxes. Many new products with MediaTek chipsets will be launched in 2020. When you look at the market, millennials are the segment that regularly updates their smartphones. They are looking for feature-rich devices that meet their specific needs, while being easy to carry. Our chipsets, whether the recently launched MediaTek Helio G70 and G80 chipsets or the MediaTek Helio P series chipsets, are created with this trend in mind. The MediaTek Helio series is focused on improving gaming capabilities and AI-enabled cameras, for example.
Q. What do you think went wrong with the Indian phone readers? Can they make a comeback?
We cannot comment on individual companies, but the fact is that in India there is huge opportunity in mobile phones, white goods, automobiles, financial services and security related sectors.
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