Difficult to find 200 ‘quality’ engineers: Synopsys chief

Software major to add 10% staff on an average every year

July 14, 2018 08:56 pm | Updated 09:16 pm IST - Bengaluru

 Aart de Geus

Aart de Geus

Synopsys India will hire about 200 more software professionals over the next couple of years in a process which will prove to be “difficult,” Aart de Geus, chairman and co-CEO of Mountain View, California-based Synopsys said.

“We have now more than 2,500 people here,” Mr. De Geus said in an interview. “The hiring plan is to add 200 more people over the next couple of years. On an average, we will add about 10% a year. It is difficult not because it is an absolute number but an absolute number multiplied by quality.

‘Quality is everything’

“Because we are so much at the heart of high-technology, quality is everything. Because if we help you as a customer with a chip which is ten times faster you win and if it is 10% slower you lose. Our customers are constantly in a race because that is the nature of high tech and with us, as the main supporter we are co-responsible for them winning the race.”

The hiring of software professionals in India slowed by 50% from its 2011 peak, according to Quess, which employs one person every five minutes. The company attributed the slowdown to new disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

Synopsys India started operations in Bengaluru as an offshore research and development centre in 1995. It has offices in Hyderabad, Noida, Mumbai and New Delhi.

“There are a number of top chips in the world that have been designed here,” Mr. De Gus said.

Acquisitions tend to open up locations which “we may have not thought about. If you look at the overall Asia Pacific space India has been one of the highest growers because of the capabilities of the workforce and the growth of customers.”

Electronic automation design contributes 70% to Synopsys’s revenue while about 20% comes in from its intellectual property business. The remaining 10% is accounted for by software integrity.

About five years ago Synopsys realised most of their customers were doing as much software as hardware in electronics. “Then we realised the problem is going to be at the intersection of hardware and software and the quality of the software. And under the word quality, the word security popped up as a danger zone for anything electronic.

“So, around this software integrity space, we have done investments and a number of acquisitions in the last four to five years. The quality and security of software is an area that will continue to grow for us and we may or may not do more acquisitions.

‘Broadening market’

“In the history of the company we have done 92 acquisitions. But we also think it (software integrity) has broadened the available market quite significantly. As we interact with customers, who would never have talked to us in the past, energy companies, health companies and financial companies, commercial entities like Starbucks all of these have lot of software that is all endangered if you don’t watch out.”

Synopsys may cross the $3 billion-mark [in revenue] this year, Mr. De Geus said. “We have guided Wall Street that this year we will be at between $3.07 billion and $3.10 billion.”

Firms would continue to invest in new technology that would drive the demand for electronic automation software, said Mr. De Gus. “Whenever you have very big change factors, people tend to invest in order to be at least in tune with the change.”

“Computation is good for some AI (artificial intelligence). “What does the AI want? Give me more computation. That will feed more investment in companies. Once a loop like that gets running, it will reconfigure the business models that have existed for many, many years,” he said.

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