D-Matrix eyes India as a crucial market, aims for 30% workforce share

Prasanth Aby Thomas, , Bangalore  0

Sid Sheth, founder and CEO, D-Matrix. Credit: D-Matrix.

AI chip startup d-Matrix has revealed plans to expand its presence in India, highlighting India's significance as an R&D hub and a key market. The company aims to boost its Indian workforce to 25-30% of its global personnel, emphasizing India's growing importance in its strategic operations.

In a recent interview with Digitimes Asia, CEO and founder Sid Sheth noted that India's vast talent pool made it an optimal location for its expansion. The pandemic hastened the company's move towards establishing a presence in India, as it normalized the concept of remote and geographically varied teams.

"India's role has evolved significantly," Sheth said. "Beyond R&D, India is now becoming a crucial market for us. With the rise of data centers and companies exploring AI, such as building their own language models, we're seeing a surge in potential customers in India. This synergy is further boosted by the Indian government's push to position India prominently in the global AI landscape."

"Our Indian team's proximity to these customers will play a pivotal role in our growth strategy, leveraging local momentum and initiatives. While the US remains our largest market, India's importance as both an R&D hub and a market is unmistakably growing."

In the Indian market, the company is exploring verticals that include data centers, mobile services companies, and even autonomous driving solution providers.

Growing the Indian team

D-Matrix has a core R&D team that is expanding its workforce significantly, reflecting its underlying philosophy of team building.

Sheth pointed out that while many organizations might opt to acquire an already cohesive team to gain critical mass swiftly, this may not always align with the needs of core R&D functions. In contrast, the company has chosen a more deliberate and sustained approach, meticulously selecting its initial ten members.

"By being selective and bringing in the best talent capable of contributing to core R&D functions, we ensure that these initial members set a high standard for subsequent hires," Sheth said. "This approach creates a domino effect, where each new member maintains this level of excellence, fostering a team with strong roots and significant contributions across various domains, including architecture, design, test, verification, DFT, and critical elements of the software stack."

Challenges to overcome

However, many global companies have found out they need to resolve several issues when working in India.

"The initial challenge was setting up the whole operation," Sheth said. "I think it's crucial to have a person you really know and trust who has done this before. This includes setting up a subsidiary, handling all the documentation, and many other aspects.

Hiring and retention in India are always challenging. There are rules about when you make an offer, and the person accepts, they must be given a two-month notice. A lot can happen in those two months; employees change their minds or get poached by someone else during that period.

Exploring the markets

The US is expected to remain the largest market for the company in question, with a continued focus on this region. Due to the geopolitical sensitivities surrounding AI, the US has been selective about its export destinations, particularly for companies headquartered within its borders and thus subject to US trade laws.

The US and India share a friendly relationship. However, the US-China dynamic isn't conducive to business. The ongoing trade tensions between the US and China mean that, under current conditions, the company's products are unlikely to be exported to China, constrained by US export control regulations.

"Therefore, our primary focus will be in the US," Sheth said. "In Asia, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Singapore are significant markets for us, with India also being crucial. The Middle East, particularly the UAE, Kuwait, and Oman, is emerging as an important region for us as these countries explore their roles in the new global landscape, similar to India's efforts."

Sheth noted that Europe has exhibited a slower pace in embracing and adopting AI technologies. As a result, the company's focus is shifting towards the Middle Eastern countries and India. Nevertheless, the United States will remain the company's focus on revenue and business opportunities.