Samsung: the world’s largest mobile factory, mobile store and software R&D center; All three of Samsung are in India: Dipesh Shah

An electronics and communications engineer, IIM Bangalore alumnus and Samsung’s first Indian employee, Dipesh Shah driving force behind SAMSUNG R&D Institute India-Bangalore (SRI-B) — The company’s largest software R&D center outside Korea. He is also the first Indian to become the Managing Director in Samsung India.
Deepesh leads the ‘Design Thinking’ methodology and is instrumental in formulating product strategy, driving local differentiation and creating breakthrough innovations to enhance the consumer experience across the Samsung portfolio – which includes mobiles, TVs, home appliances and more . They have a key role in India’s growth story and are said to be taking forward the vision of ‘Powering Digital India’ with a fresh R&D strategy focusing on open innovation with startups, students and universities. Gujarati is his mother tongue, but Dipesh is a polyglot and speaks Korean, Kannada, Hindi and English fluently. He is an avid singer in his spare time. In a recent closed media roundtable, he shared some key details about the company’s R&D operations in the country, contribution to the Galaxy S23 series, and more. Excerpts:
Question. How many months have you been supporting Galaxy S23? What else can we do with the development of the R&D center in Bengaluru, and how do you want it to grow over the next year or two?
There are two types of software development. One is called platform software development. Basically, things evolve without really keeping any particular product in mind. Platform software means what kind of camera is related, what kind of on-device AI is related, what kind of 5G related features need to be developed. This goes on for a long time. Usually, two years, three years, four years, long term projects are done at platform level and then when a particular product is launched, we understand which consumer segment will be attracted to this product, these What experience do consumers need of that product? From the platform, those features are picked up and placed as part of the product and shift. Platform software support typically takes between two and four years, depending on how difficult the problems are to solve, and it typically takes 18 to 36 months for product-related software to arrive in a particular product.
Answering the second part of the question, it is about technology, innovation and consumers. Software engineers in India, proven over the years, in collaboration with global R&D centers, have created several groundbreaking products. This is the reason why India’s commitment to R&D is very high. The biggest software R&D is in Bangalore. In Noida and Delhi, we have R&D centers for mobile smartphones and TVs and home appliances. India as a country has a high commitment to R&D and will continue to grow.
Q. What kind of skills are you looking for and how should a fresher to innovate in smartphone features skill himself to get a job in SRI centres?
We truly aspire to be the employer of choice for the young talent of the country. If you look at this usually in the IIT hiring season, we will usually have one of the top IIT talent hiring in the country. This data was published almost two months back. In addition, we have programs such as student connect program we call PRISM. Every three students get together and work on a real-life project that Samsung India originally asked them to do with their professors. These students get a chance to work on a real-life project and get company experience. Through this they can really show their potential. Then we take fare from various other means by which they can come here. But the skills are in these four areas only. It is about wireless communication or vision, artificial intelligence, device AI and smart things or IoT. We continue to hire people in these four areas. Especially for young Indian people, AI is an area where India is very, very good because the entry barrier to learn AI is very low. A lot of AI is open source and there are a lot of open data models so people can learn without being at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts sitting in Silicon Valley, for example. With lower entry barriers, more people can get into AI and R&D centers like SRI-B can put this talent to good use to create great and great experiences.
Q. Are the 700 engineers exclusively for the Bangalore center or is it all Samsung R&D? What is total strength? Do engineers in India get a chance to file patents globally? When you say AI, can you just specify in which areas you plan to hire more engineers?
Regarding the number of 700, that number was the number of engineers who contributed to build this ‘EPIC product’, only for this particular product from Bangalore. India R&D number is huge. Talking about patents, in the last 3-4 years the government has awarded Samsung, the multinational R&D center, Bangalore with the best patent award, usually because the culture of creating IP is not only being created in Bangalore, but we are a Trying to create such an IP culture in the country, even the PRISM program I was talking about, even students and professors are now making patents with the help of Samsung. We are building IP capability in the country through this approach, and these are definitely global patents, and then definitely filed in India also because India is as important and market as any other global market and so on.
And about AI, today’s focus is on EPIC (the term Samsung uses for the Galaxy S23 experience). A product that has been developed in collaboration with multiple R&D centers. I gave you the example of Moon Shot and Nightography, I will give you two other examples in Epic. Usually, when you go to a tourist spot and you’re trying to take a picture, there are always some people you don’t want in the picture. With just one click, it identifies and helps you remove all those unwanted objects/people. Suppose you are taking pictures of a waterfall, the part of the waterfall that was being blocked will be reconstructed by AI. Another area is the shadow of the objects, it could be the shadow of your mobile or the shadow of an object near where you are taking the photo. With one click, you can remove all the shadows from the picture you are taking. So, there are many ways where AI can be used and all of it is implemented in EPIC products.
Q. The Galaxy S23 series is the most durable Galaxy series ever. Would you mind telling us how you enable the phones and how long does it take to manufacture the first business unit?
First of all, thank you for your attention to the stability in this product. This is a very strong initiative from Samsung globally, there are a lot of commitments in terms of how Samsung will become carbon zero, how we will create products that allow our consumers to reduce their carbon footprint, etc. There are hardware related sustainability initiatives like recyclable materials, reusable packaging etc.
Samsung is the only Android manufacturer that promises four software upgrades and five years of security updates. We allow our consumers to use the device for a long time. This is another way to take care of consistency. So that’s where the Bangalore team comes in to create software that is easily upgradeable, capable of delivering easy security updates over a period of four to five years.
Q. What was the contribution of the Bangalore R&D teams in making the custom Galaxy chipset? And how did they work with Qualcomm?
One of the key components of the Epic product is this custom designed Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for us and we are saying that this time it is 30% better CPU performance, 40% better GPU performance and 40% better NPU performance, so far it is a hardware. Tip. For consumer life, that’s how it’s about to change and that’s where the engineers at Samsung Bangalore collaborated on how to harness this extra NPU power. When you have the extra NPU power, you can actually grab a few more frames when you’re doing multi frame nightography for example.
Q. Can you tell us more about other innovations at SRI-B Bangalore? Beyond smartphones, your focus is on building an entire product ecosystem. Also, how are you involved in Skilling India Talent in R&D?
The first question is very reasonable, very important because Samsung has made many devices that are in people’s homes and personal lives. So, in your personal life, you have your smartphone, your Galaxy Buds, your Galaxy Watch, your Galaxy tablet and your Galaxy Book 3 that we just launched. There are many personal devices and smart home devices like your washing machine, refrigerator, family hub, robot vacuum cleaner, smart television, and finally we are an open ecosystem company for many third-party devices like door sensors, smart plugs, LED lights, and more. light bulb, etc. So, all these tools, when they are working independently, give you a certain amount of experience. But when they work connected, they take the experience to another level.
Q. The company announced local manufacturing of the new Galaxy S23 series. What are the expectations of the market regarding the new lineup this time? Also, how are companies looking at the global shortage of electronic components and chips and how can an R&D institute in Bangalore help a company meet the demand?
This speaks volumes about Samsung’s commitment to India. The world’s largest mobile factory, the world’s largest mobile store, the world’s largest software R&D center. All three of Samsung are in India. This is the commitment towards India. But in the case of the manufacturing supply chain, clearly I’m not the right person.
Speaking of demand, that’s another question I can answer with certainty. Creating demand is all about fulfilling consumer experiences. Absolute Epic is built for creators who want more from their phone. Current phones are not good enough for them, whether they want to do nitography, whether they want to play games for long hours, whether they want a fully waterproof, dustproof phone, whether they want to use that phone for four hours Five years due to OS upgrade. Whether they want the best processor in town, whether they want the memory and storage to take care of all their photos and videos. All of these consumer needs, when it’s met through R&D and hardware and products and software spec, demand will automatically be created and you’ve already heard from my colleagues that the first few days of EPIC How wonderful the response has been.


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