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July 24, 1997


Philips Software to set up another development centre

Philips Software plans to open another development centre as part of its plans to expand its software operations in the country. The new centre is most likely to come up in Bangalore, though Hyderabad and Pune are also being considered as options.

Rajeev Varshneya, chief executive officer, said the company also plans to raise its equity base from the current Rs 60 million. ``Since this is a capital- intensive industry, we plan to pump in another Rs 20-30 million,'' he said.

He said the product development centre in Bangalore is the only one of its kind for Philips in the world. ``Though most of the R&D is done in Holland, the US and UK, the product development is done here,'' he said.

The company plans to outsource some of its software requirements from local information technology companies.

``We are in an advanced stage of negotiations with some of them,'' he said. According to Varshneya, the problem in outsourcing software would be the measure of confidentiality involved. ``This is not like a Year 2000 project which can be contracted to any company. Here we are dealing with state-of-the-art technologies like digital DVD, MPEG and multimedia projections where confidentiality becomes vital."

Talking about some of the major projects to be undertaken by the company, Varshneya said the Bangalore centre planned to work jointly with its counterpart in Singapore for the Sydney Olympics. ``Various factors like lighting, audio, security monitoring systems, entertainment and LCD projections will be driven by software. We expect to work with Philips, Singapore, on this project,'' he said.

``Another focus area for Philips Software would be satellite communications technology," Varshneya said. ``We have a lot of competence in satellite communication for consumer applications. Though satellite communication is in its infancy in the country, once it is opened up, more uplinking will happen from location to location. At that point of time, we would like to be ready with the technology.

Philips Software, Bangalore and Paris, are working together on satellite uplinking technology, satellite receiver etc," he added.

On whether Philips plans to enter the services sector in entertainment, Varshneya said ``No consumer electronics company can avoid the services industry in the long run. In the US market, Philips has tied up with Bell Atlantic and Oracle Corporation to provide value-added services like video-on-demand. Once the Indian market becomes more viable, we will definitely bring these services into the country," he said, adding ``Technology must translate into business sense.''

- Compiled from the Indian medai

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