How Indrajit Sabharwal made Simmtronics Semiconductors into a Rs 550 crore business

What does it take to build a Rs 550 crore company that ranks among the leading manufacturers of memory modules, motherboards, tablets and more? A hefty investment? Loads of luck? Prominent angel investors? In the case of Simmtronics Semiconductors, it was none of the above, just oldfashioned diligence.

After acquiring an engineering degree from Pune University, I bagged a Rs 1,500 a month job with ICL UK (now Fujitsu ICIM), a Pune-based company. During my stint here, I notched up three part-time management degrees. In 1991, I shifted to Delhi, job-hopped twice, working up the pecking order in Comptech and International Data Corporation, before finally deciding to turn an entrepreneur. Ads by Google

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In January 1992, I launched a small consultancy, SI Consultants, with barely Rs 10,000. I took a bank loan to buy a computer, hire three employees, and we were in business. Over the next eight months, I worked with the likes of Modi Lufthansa, Xerox, HP Digital and Sahara Airlines on business development and IT solutions, earning nearly Rs 30 lakh.

Towards the end of the year, while holidaying in California, I was introduced to one of the owners of Kingston Technology. The meeting led to an association with the world's largest independent manufacturer of memory products, and over the next two years, I was not only Kingston's distributor in India, but was also trained in manufacturing memory technology. I travelled to the US every two months to hone my skills while my staff continued to run SI Consultants.

By 1994, I had picked up the nuances of the business and found myself tiring of selling Kingston in India. The time was ripe to launch my own brand of memory modules, and this is how Simmtronics Semiconductors was born in April 1994.

In fact. and around this time. in 2000. We managed to stay afloat during the recession and our market reach was not affected at all because our volumes were not large enough to feel the impact. I am proud of the fact that seven of these employees are still with the company. We were Intel's preferred IT support for all their conferences on semiconductors. To keep up with the demand. opening a distribution subsidiary in Singapore. Of course. Our business association with the US was giving way to increasing link-ups with East Asian countries around this time.To get started. I hired a couple of hands and set up shop. Another milestone was setting up our first manufacturing plant for memory modules at Bhiwadi. we tied up with SK Hynix. We opened a second distribution subsidiary in Dubai in 2006. . Five years on. We started by selling memory modules and Dynamic Random Access Memory technology to companies like Tulip Telecomm. we also started exporting globally. To say we started with a bang would be an understatement: we managed a turnover of Rs 2. in September 2005. I hauled down SI Consultants to start distributing memory technology through Simmtronics Semiconductors. a Korean manufacturer of semiconductors. but the market was lucrative and we were the first movers. beefed it up with my savings and bought a small office at New Friends Colony in Delhi. working our way up to clients like HCL. Rajasthan. We were manufacturing the modules in California and importing them because the technology did not exist in India. LG and Sahara.5 crore in the first year itself and continued to hire two to three employees every year for the next six years. I took a loan of Rs 1 lakh from the Bank of India. we had to pay a hefty customs duty of 30-40%. The business was growing at 25-30% year-on-year and we always had more orders than we could take care of. we opened a second factory at Roorkee. in 2000. so we did not have to worry.

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