IT Majors Tap Top Tech Schools For Talent Pool

Bangalore: | Updated: Nov 11 2003, 05:30am hrs
Catch them young and gain mindshare seems to be the key strategy of the major IT tool/product majors. Not only is this a two-pronged approach to associate with academia and also familiarise high-end technical people on their tools/technology platform, but is also turning out to be an indirect method to proliferate their technology in the global technology market.

And interestingly, leading tech majors including Intel, Texas Instruments, Cadence, etc, have gone all out to tap the technical training pool in the country. Typically, IITs, IISc, RECs and IIITB (Indian Institute of Information Technology Bangalore) have been their main targets.

The approach works well for both parties. While for the institution, it means a tie-up with a leading player and access to better infrastructure, for the corporate, it is all about getting a fair share of the techies expertise.

According to IIScs CEDT (Centre for Electronic Design Technology) chairman HS Jamadagni, this was an important strategy for a large tech player.

Through such tie-ups, there are many things that can be achieved. Companies can collaborate with tech institutes to develop intellectual property in a short span of time, they can also tap the faculty pool in a mutual manner and also gain significant mindshare. So a techie - once familiar with a particular technology - indirectly proliferates the companys offerings into the market, Prof Jamadagni said.

IISCs CEDT each year has close to 30 M Techs passing out and currently Texas Instruments, Motorola and Intel run labs in the DSP, embedded controller and platform/network processing areas respectively. A number of other players are also associated under similar agreements.

DSP major Texas Instruments impacts a total of 7000 students each year across the country with its university programmes. The company currently operates a multi-layered programme with over 200 plus institutes.

At one level, we reach out to the mass market with our university programme and at another step, we have our sponsored labs initiative under which we have close to 30 labs primarily at the IITs, national institutes and some top level private institutes. We also have an elite programme which covers six to eight institutes (including IITs and BITS Pilani) where we provide tools, and also sponsor students and faculty, says TI India general manager for business development, university and third party programmes Vijay Davar.

According to Mr Davar, the company was looking at this as a way to gain mindshare for TI technology and tools not only in India but also on a global level - given the fact that Indias premier tech institutes send out engineers to cater to global requirements.

Similarly, another EDA (electronic design automation) major - Cadence - currently has university programmes with over 40 institutes across the country including the IITs, IISc and the regional engineering colleges. For the company, the initiative aims at familiarising techies on their tools mainly used in the layout and logic designing of chips.

We provide the tools and technology to the institutes almost free of charge and in that sense, we do not realise any commercial revenues on that front. But the idea is to gain market share in terms of training techies on our tools, says Cadence marketing communications specialist Rohit Bidappa.

IIITB, a high-end technical training institute in Bangalore has seen a number of companies interested to associate on the technical level. Besides names like Cisco, IBM, Intel and Microsoft which absorb professionals from the institute, IITB has also initiated alliances to foster specific tech learning. Interestingly, TI is working with the institute to run a special course on DSP while Intel works with it on collaborative research projects.

IIITB has labs set up by both Intel and Daimler Chrysler for Wi-Fi and telematics respectively. This is a win-win strategy for the institute and company and as India moves towards being the global R&D hub for large tech players, it is essential for them to explore such options to get people trained on technologies specific to their area, said IIITB professor Asoke K Talukder.