Electronic product manufacturers are playing a vital role in accelerating and aiding the economic growth and development of India. VVDN Technologies, a global provider of engineering, manufacturing and digital services and solutions, is one such company that has been doing the design and manufacturing of electronic products to support next-generation technologies. Since its inception in 2007, the company had this bold vision of electronic product design and make in India. Today, the company is working in the areas of 5G, networking and Wi-Fi, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence/machine learning-based camera and vision solutions, and the cloud. It is advancing rapidly in other critical technology domains as well. In an interview with tele.net, Joseph George, vice-president, 5G and data center, VVDN Technologies, talks about the company’s key operational highlights, its initiatives during the past year, and its growth plans and strategies for the next two to three years…
What have been the key operational and financial highlights for VVDN during the past one year?
The past year has been great for VVDN in terms of both growth and business opportunities. With a strong focus on backward integration, we have revamped our research and development (R&D) centres, opened new state-of-the-art test labs and added to our manufacturing infrastructure with new surface mount technology (SMT) lines, a mechanical innovation park and a die casting facility. As a company with a global customer base, we expanded and moved to a new, bigger office in Fremont, USA, and also opened a new R&D centre in Vietnam. Today, we have 11 R&D centres across the world and seven manufacturing facilities in India, where more than 10,000 people work on innovative product design and manufacturing. In 2022, we decided to enter the European market, where we saw tremendous opportunities in assisting customers with next-generation product design, development and manufacturing. In the past year, we have not just ramped up our engineering and manufacturing infrastructure, but also expanded our service portfolio by adding two new business units – data centres and automotives – to go along with 5G, networking and Wi-Fi, IoT, vision solutions, and cloud and apps.
There is a lot of demand for private 5G solutions. It is still at a nascent stage. VVDN has invested heavily in this space and has come up with a full private 5G solution consisting of RU, CU, DU and core.”
How is the company leveraging opportunities in India’s evolving 5G ecosystem? What have been the key developments in this space?
VVDN offers design, development and manufacturing of 5G services to telecom infrastructure providers, system integrators, silicon companies, enterprise original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), etc. We design and develop radio units, distributed unit (DU) servers, centralised units (CUs) and accelerators cards, along with open radio access networks, inter-operability testing and radio conformance testing. We have our own 5G intellectual property (IPs) such fronthaul and baseband L1 low phy, full inline baseband L1 high phy and low density parity check and precision time protocol offload for DU. We support OEMs across the globe with next-gen macro radio designs. We see a lot of potential in upcoming trends in the 5G space, such as 5G customer premises equipment (CPE) and private enterprise 5G.
VVDN has invested heavily in the end-to-end private enterprise 5G space. As a domain, private enterprise 5G is highly hyped and is a market that is expected to grow rapidly in the future. But currently, it is at a nascent stage. At the moment, there are no players in the industry providing end-to-end private enterprise 5G solutions. However, VVDN has developed its own private enterprise 5G solution and is pitching it to customers. VVDN has a ready 5G FR1 CPE (sub-6 GHz) design solution that will help OEMs to accelerate their time-to-market. As part of our future roadmap, VVDN is working aggressively towards the design and development of E-band radios, as well as massive multiple input, multiple output and mmWave solutions.
What initiatives have you undertaken under the government’s PLI and Make in India programmes?
VVDN is committed to making India atmanirbhar with respect to electronic goods. We have invested in our manufacturing facilities to enable backward integration of all venues – SMT, tooling, injection moulding, die casting, sheet metal fabrication, product assembly, and testing and validation. We have developed world-class labs, with the best testing equipment for testing and certification of all products. All of this has enabled us to become leaders in electronics product manufacturing.
VVDN has been approved under four production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes by the Government of India – telecom and networking equipment, IT hardware, white goods, and automobile and auto component manufacturing. Under the PLI schemes for IT hardware, we are manufacturing the RUDRA HPC server for the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) under the National Supercomputing Mission. We are also the front runners in indigenous designing and manufacturing of “Make in India” tablets and laptops. In the telecom and networking space, VVDN is designing, developing and manufacturing 5G radio units, accelerator cards, custom CU/DU boxes, indoor/outdoor small cell solutions, Wi-Fi 6e and 7 access points, antennas, optical network terminals and switches. In the white goods space, we are making inverter AC controller printed circuit boards (PCBs), while in the automotive domain, we are designing and manufacturing advanced driver assistance systems, electric vehicle chargers and battery management systems.
What are the key partnerships that VVDN has recently entered into? Do you have any partnerships in the pipeline?
As a technology-focused company, we work very closely with all the top silicon and semiconductor companies. These partnerships give us access to their technology roadmap, which, in turn, enables us to serve our customers better. We are continuing to strengthen our partnership with all the major silicon companies, and are foraying into new areas. These strategic alignments stem from the fact that VVDN has core design and manufacturing capabilities under one roof. For our different business units and domains, we are tied up with different semiconductor and silicon companies. Other than product engineering and manufacturing, we are focusing on the expansion of our digital services portfolio in the domains of the cloud and apps. Moreover, we have entered into a multi-year global strategic partnership with Google Cloud that will help customers accelerate app modernisation and cloud transformation. VVDN will also develop the next generation of innovative solutions, namely, IoT and video cloud, 5G cloud platforms, and a next-gen enterprise private 5G cloud. Apart from these, we continue to maintain partnerships with government agencies such as the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), C-DAC.
“With a strong focus on backward integration, we have revamped our R&D centres, opened new state-of-the-art test labs, SMT lines and mechanical facilities.”
What are your growth plans and strategies for the next two to three years? What will be your key focus areas?
With regard to our growth plan and strategy, we intend to continue innovating and remain focused on the latest and future technology trends such as Wi-Fi 7 and 6G. Our focus will also be on continued backward integration and further expansion of our engineering and manufacturing services. We have already signed an MoU with the Tamil Nadu government for a 100 acre manufacturing facility, along with a new PCB fabrication facility, in Pollachi, and are progressing well in fulfilling this commitment. With our service portfolio being quite wide, we will focus on Wi-Fi 7, 6G, private 5G, 5G CPEs, servers, new-age cameras, digital cockpit solutions, e-mobility, edge analytics, etc. We have a large team that will continue to work and provide its expertise in these domains.