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


An Electronics and Communication Engineer, IIM Bangalore alumni and Samsung’s first Indian employee, Dipesh Shah is the driving force behind Samsung R&D Institute India-Bangalore (SRI-B) — the company’s largest software R&D centre outside Korea. He is also the first-ever Indian to become managing director at Samsung India.
Dipesh leads ‘Design Thinking’ methodologies and plays a key role in formulating product strategy, bringing in local differentiation and creating breakthrough innovation to enhance consumer experience across Samsung portfolio – including mobile, TVs, home appliances and more. He has a critical role in India’s growth story and is said to drive ‘Powering Digital India’ vision with a refreshed 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 free time. In a closed media roundtable recently, he shared some important insight into the company’s R&D operations in the country, contribution in Galaxy S23 series and more. Excerpts:
Q. For how many months have you been collaborating for Galaxy S23? What else we can do with the growth of the R&D Center in Bengaluru, and how do you look to grow it over the next one or two years?
There are two kinds of software development. One is called platform software development. Basically, things get developed without actually keeping a particular product in mind. Platform software means what kind of camera related, what kind of on-device AI related, what kind of 5G related features need to be developed. This goes on over a long period. Typically, two years, three years, four years, no longer duration projects are done on the platform level and then when the particular product is being launched, we understand what consumer segment would be attracted to this product, what experiences these consumers need as part of that product. From the platform, those features are picked up and put as a part of the product and shift. Platform software collaborations typically take between two to four years depending on how hard the problems are to be solved and product-related software typically takes between 18 to 36 months to get into a particular product.
Answering the second part of the question, it’s all about technology, innovation and consumers. Software engineers in India have proven over multiple years, creating many important products, by collaboration with global R&D centres. That’s why the commitment to India R&D is very high. The largest software R&D is in Bangalore. In Noida and Delhi, we have R&D Centers for mobile smartphones and televisions and home appliances.
Q. What kind of skills are you looking at and how should a fresher skill himself or herself, to land up with a job at SRI Centers to innovate smartphone features?
We really want to be the employer of choice for the young talent of the country. If you look at it typically in the IIT hiring season, we will usually have one of the top IIT talent hiring in the country. This data was already published about two months before. In addition to this, we have programs like the Student Connect program which we call PRISM. Every three students get together and they work on the real-life project that Samsung India basically asked them to do along with their professors. These students get a chance to work on the real-life project and get a feel of the company. Through that they can actually show their capabilities. Then we hire through many other channels by which they can come here. But the skills are in exactly these four areas. It’s about wireless communications or vision related, artificial intelligence, on device AI and smart things or the IoT.
Q. What is the total strength of Samsung R&D centre? Do engineers in India get to file patents globally?
About the number 700, that number was the number of engineers who contributed to create this ‘EPIC product’, only for this particular product from Bangalore. India R&D the numbers are much larger. Talking about patents, in the last 3-4 years, the government has awarded Samsung, the MNC R&D centres, Bangalore the best patent award usually because the culture of creating IP is being created not only in Bangalore, but we are trying to create an IP culture in the country. Even the PRISM program that I was talking about, even the students and professors are now creating patents with the help of Samsung. We are creating IP capacity in the country through this approach, and these are of course global patents, and then of course there are also filed in India because India is as important and market as any other global market and so on.
Q. Galaxy S23 series is the most sustainable Galaxy series yet. Would you tell us how you enable the phones and how long it take to build the first commercial unit?
First of all, thank you for noticing the focus on sustainability in this product. This is a very strong Samsung drive globally, there is a lot of commitment being made in terms of how Samsung will become Carbon zero, how we will create products that allow our consumers to reduce their carbon footprint and so on. There are hardware related sustainability initiatives like recyclable material, reusable packaging, etc.
Samsung is the only Android maker that promises four times software upgrade and five years of security update. We allow our consumers to use the device for a longer period of time. That’s another way to take care of sustainability. So that’s where the Bangalore team has a role to create software that is easily upgradable, easy security updates able to give over the period of four to five years.
Q. What was the Bangalore R&D teams’ contribution towards making the custom Galaxy chipset? And how did they work with Qualcomm?
One of the key components of Epic product is this custom design Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and it offers 30% better CPU performance, 40% better GPU performance and 40% better NPU performance. Here, where Samsung Bangalore engineers collaborated is how to utilise this additional NPU power.
Q. Can you please tell us more about other innovations at SRI -B Bangalore? Other than smartphones as in your focus on creating the whole product ecosystem.
The first question is very valid, very important because Samsung has created multiple devices. There are smartphones, Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Tablet and Galaxy Book3. Other than these, there are consumer electronic devices like washing machine, refrigerator, family hub, robot vacuum cleaner, smart television and more. Also, we are an open ecosystem for many third-party devices like door sensor, smart plug, LED light bulb, etc. All these devices, when work independently, they offer a certain experience; but when they work connectedly, they take experience to another level.
Q. The company announced local manufacturing of the new Galaxy S23 series. What are the market expectations about the new lineup this time?
It talks 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. That’s the commitment to India.
Talking about demand, creating demand is all about meeting consumer experiences. The whole epic is built for those creators who want more from their phones.


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