13 Jul 2016 17:39 IST

‘Intel will continue to hire in India’

Nivruti Rai, GM, Intel India & VP, Platform Engineering Group, Intel India, in Bengaluru   -  GRN SOMASHEKAR

Global chip major looks to engage with start-ups

Even as global chip major Intel is in the process of laying off 11 per cent of its global workforce of over 100,000 employees by mid-2017, it doesn’t seem to be effecting its India operations, where the headcount has grown from 4,500 in September 2014 to 7,500 at present.

Nivruti Rai, General Manager – Intel India and Vice-President, Platform Engineering Group at Intel Corporation, told BusinessLine that Intel is very bullish on India and will continue to hire this year. Like other global multinationals, Intel does not, as a practice, reveal its annual hiring numbers.

Asked if hiring will continue at the same pace as in the last 18 months, Rai quipped, “Why do you want to say same pace, we could be hiring more. Intel is bullish on India and is giving us more work every year.” Rai took over as General Manager- Intel India this March from Kumud Srinivasan, who relocated to the US.

The largest non-manufacturing site outside of the US, Intel India, which began its R&D activities in 1999, has invested $3 billion in the country to date including $150 million to ramp up its R&D infrastructure in Bengaluru, which is scheduled to be inaugurated next month.

Focus areas

Stating that one of her major focus areas is to take Intel India to the next level of creative productivity, Rai said: “Till now the focus was on execution and operations. Now, it is about getting 7,500 of our people to create higher value work that equates to the work of 10,500 people, which is a straight 30 per cent more productivity from the existing workforce. I want to achieve this, not by increasing the number of work hours but by coming up with a strategy that will drive higher value work out of the existing workforce.”

Rai is focused on organically growing the number of Principal Engineers (29) and Senior Principal Engineers (6) by 3X times that will bring Intel India on par with other most mature sites such as the US and Israel. This is a key area of focus, given that Intel India is a critical engineering design and development centre for Intel.

Start-up strategy

Intel has incubated 17 start-ups over the last 18 months. The start-ups work out of the Intel India Maker Lab facility inaugurated in August last year at its Bengaluru campus.

Start-ups are provided with infrastructure, development kits, reference boards, hardware and software tools, in addition to mentoring and business connections to help develop and test their ideas, leading up to products and solutions.

Rai said: “I am looking to engage with start-ups for joint development and co-creation opportunities, am open to acqui-hire or acquire start-ups, and may also just invest in start-ups for an equity stake.”

Rai is also evaluating the top three changes that she would like the government to make that will enable Intel to do better business in India. “My hope index is very high because the new government is looking at change and asks us what they can do to make our business easier; so that’s what I am working on right now,” she said.