SMEs - the
breeding ground of revolutionary Products
Sanjeev Rai, CEO, ARE Technologies
ARE is a front-runner Research and Development organization
in the Wireless and Convergence space. It is into Technology and
Product Research targeted at developing unique Wireless and
Convergence Standards. Sanjeev Rai, CEO, ARE Technologies, talks
about his innovative products.
Can you start by giving us a brief overview of what inspired you
to get into the software product business?
ARE is a Wireless Research and Development company that
develops Wireless Products. We have 2 different product lines
and let me answer your questions by explaining our Products:
1) D5 - Its a Universal Frequency Universal Baseband Chip in the
Wireless Embedded Products space. This leverages Nanotechnology
based micro-electronics design to architect a Unified Radio and
a Unified baseband on a single chip. This embedded software is
meant to handle all Wireless Voice and Data calls into one
device. The need for this invention was more driven by the
unique characteristics of the Wireless Industry. If you take a
close look at the Wireless industry, you will come across
multiple standards and numerous gadgets. This model of multiple
devices confuses the Wireless consumer and is the biggest
hindrance to the growth of the Wireless Industry. Due to the
commoditization of the Wireless market-place by the TEMs and
OEMs, the consumers have been paying irrationally when there is
no need to.
This need drove ARE into the Wireless Products research.
Under a proprietary design algorithm & unique methodology
(patent pending), ARE invented a technique that makes it
feasible to incorporate all the standards together on one chip.
2) AceWP (ARE Certified Wireless Professional) - This product
is for the IT and ICT Training Industry.
There is no single Training and Certification program in the
world that bridges the demand-supply gap in the Wireless
Skill-sets. Corporates world-wide have been struggling to fill
up the Wireless positions. A typical induction costs upto
$50,000 for a Wireless position. In our interaction with
Industry players, we realized that this space has not been
addressed by any organization in the world because of the unique
characteristics of the Wireless Industry.
ARE took a decision to develop AceWP with 2 objectives in
mind - first to cater to this ever-growing demand and second to
provide a vehicle for the D5 launch worldwide by ensuring the
availability of D5 skill-sets before the D5 launch. AceWP is the
first vendor neutral Training and Certification Program in
Wireless Technologies that Training companies and Corporates can
leverage to upgrade their IT populace to Wireless. Offerings
cover the entire Wireless domain right from Wireless
Applications development to Wireless Carriers, Wireless
Networking and Security to Wireless DSP, RF, Antennae and
Embedded Systems. Its launching in 142 countries at over 4150
locations world-wide. For more information you can visit www.AceWP.com
In both the cases - the inspiration was Industry's demand and
What are your product advantages and in your opinion what makes
the product unique or superior from other products in your
1) D5 - Its the only announcement in the Wireless Convergence
space so far. The proprietary ARE technology makes it unique.
Moreover, with the expected price band of $ 5 to 50, it should
be a great proposition to the 2 Billion consumers worldwide who
have been exploited so far with the irrational commoditization.
The Patenting should help protect our IP in this space.
2) AceWP - is the first and the only Vendor neutral Training and
Certification Program in the Wireless space that covers the
entire domain right from Wireless Applications development to
Wireless Carriers, Networking, Security and Wireless DSP, RF,
Antennae and Embedded Systems. Over an 80 to 120 hr. program, it
provides an IT/ICT professional with 1 yr. equivalent of field
experience. 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the program is Projects based.
These are in-house ARE projects that are meant to impart
practical know-how to professionals and developers over
proprietary(patent pending) tools and Lab.
What does the product landscape look like - customer trends,
upcoming technologies and competitors?
1) According to Industry experts, D5 is a revolutionary
technology that is supposed to revolutionalize the way Wireless
is used in our day-to-day life. With a booming Industry trend of
about 2 Billion Wireless and PC Users, the Product is expected
to create over $15 Billion revenue-cap. Technically, its at the
high-end of the curve though Competition can't be ruled out.
Sooner or later - Competition is going to pop in to this
market-place. Our eco-system support will determine how
aggressive we can be in the Wireless Market-place given our
first mover advantage.
2) AceWP is again a first in the Industry and I see our Products
rolling out in the market place as ARE Certified Wireless
Professionals(AceWPs). We expect more and more AceWPs rolling
out in the market place through our operations world-wide and
create the brand vehicle for ARE. According to various
estimates, about 600,000 Wireless professionals are required in
the next 3-5 years in the US alone. A 10 to 15% capitalization
of this market alone translates to over $200 million worth of
revenues. For the past 5 years since we launched the initiative,
people have been trying to make a product similar to this - they
haven't been able to come out so far. This is a space which is
gradually attracting attention. So time will say what kind of
competition we are going to face. Again having the first mover
advantage gives us a lead over any unforeseen competition
What are the organizational challenges and how have you
addressed these challenges?
The major organizational challenges have been in the following
1) Creating awareness about ARE in the IT, ICT and the
Wireless Market-place has been one of the key challenges
2) R & D being a Capital intensive activity requires heavy
3) Maintaining Quality standards during Product Development and
quality support thereafter
We have been able to address these challenges using the
1) ARE has partnered with established players in the Industry
for launching and distributing our AceWP products in 142
countries. This launch shall further provide us with a low-cost
brand-vehicle for our D5 launch.
2) ARE got funded from VCs in the past and it is looking to
raise further funds to the tune of $40 Million (Pre-IPO).
3) ARE followed a mix of Six Sigma and IPD-CMM(Integrated
Product development -CMM) and has been successful in maintaining
the Quality standards at 3.5 Sigma.
Briefly explain the evolution of the product industry in India?
In my opinion, the Products Industry in India is still evolving.
The focus of the IT players like TCS and Infosys seem to have
shifted to this space after realizing the revenue potential and
IP strength. Success of product companies like i-Flex has a lot
to do with the growing perception about the Software Products
Industry. Personally, it will be interesting for me to watch the
evolution of the Embedded Products Industry which in my opinion
hasn't been India's focus till recently.
Indian Product Industry is at a Strategic Inflection Point at
present. It will be interesting to watch the momentum of many a
product companies from India in the coming decade.
In your opinion, how can India leverage the emerging opportunity
in this space? By leveraging the IT and ICT skills into more
diversified areas like Embedded Products, Automation Products
etc... rather than sticking solely to ERPs, CRMs and Knowledge
management kind of products. Every other company that I have
come across are somewhere amongst these. India needs to create
core IP(Intellectual Properties) that are not only difficult to
create but are difficult to copy too. A lot of companies seem to
have gathered in the me-too space.
Only when you have a core IP - can you leverage that to higher
profitability and therefore move up the value-chain. On top of
it, the focus on Quality is key to the success of this industry
- quite like the Indian Software Services Industry.
Organizations like NASSCOM can help provide the direction by
arranging focused groups within the Products Industry players
specially the SMEs. Throughout history, the SMEs have been the
breeding ground of revolutionary Products world-wide.
What can new entrants learn from your success?
Well! We do not consider ourselves to be successful so far as
that term means to us (!) - so I wouldn't like to preach people
what they should do. We ourselves are in the learning curve and
there are many things to learn from the evolution of the
Products Industry world-wide. Some of them are:
1) When you conceive your Product - make sure its Demand Driven.
2) When you develop your Product - make sure its Quality Driven.
3) When you sell your Product - make sure its Customer Driven
In your mind, how would you define leadership?
It seems to be a very generic question! Let me attempt to answer
1) Leadership in my opinion is to see the future before others (i.e:
The Idea behind your Product)
A leader understands that-
2) Its not what you look at - Its how differently you look at
things – that matters (Your Product Differentiation & Quality).
3) Its not if you have extra-ordinary people sign your musters
everyday - Its how you create that "extra" out of the "ordinary"
everyday - is what matters (Your Product Team & Enterprise)
4) It’s not who gives you money – It’s who you give value
(repeatedly) – that matters (Your Product's Customer and