Reaching from 1G to 5G took around 40 years and by 2030 the world will be embracing the 6G technology. This remarkable technological advancement outlines a huge surge in the overall number of connected technology deployments. This as a result will directly impact the need for skilled IoT technologists.
When this being the new trend in IoT, we reached out to Wireless Technology Business Leader, Mr. Rohin Parker for answering questions related to becoming a leader in IoT. He has extensively worked on the development of 2G, 3G, 4G(LTE),5 G, Wi-Fi, and IoT Technologies. He is a seasoned Wireless Technology leader with extensive hardware, product development, and Leadership experience. Rohin was involved in developing some breakthrough IoT platforms at Broadcom in the USA.
Further in 2018, he founded Spintly which is a smart access control platform developed to allow contact-less access experience for users and eliminate wired infrastructure for access control deployments. In the past, he has also served as one of the scientists in Bhabha Atomic Research Center. Let’s find out what a day in the life of an IoT and wireless technology business leader looks like.
A Day In Life of an IoT and Wireless Technology Business Leader
Let’s start a conversation with Rohin Parkar:
Share a brief introduction about your roles and responsibilities as a leader, product development expert, and CEO at ‘Spintly.’
Mr. Parker – At Spintly I currently wear multiple hats. As a CEO leading the company, my key role is to lay down the vision of the company to all the employees and ensure they have clear goals defined which they can achieve. Driving sales and marketing is my 2nd biggest responsibility. Since the start of the company Product development has been something which I have been driving. But now we have well-trained product development teams and my role is to drive product operations and manufacturing.
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What does a day in your work life look like?
Mr. Parker – After Covid, the lines between work and normal life have got blurred. We all have been working from Home since March -2020. My workday always starts with our daily Sales Scrum which starts at 9 AM. This always puts me in the Sales mindset from the get-go.
Usually, I have customer meetings or calls every few days. I regularly talk to the Operations team to ensure our product operations and deliveries are on track. Later, most of the day is spent on operational stuff and customer-related calls. 7 PM to 12 midnight is what I spend on connecting with investors, working on finance, and business-related stuff.
From Scientific Officer at Bhabha Atomic Research Center (India) and RF Project Leader at Nokia to Founding Spintly, please share more about your career path.
Mr. Parker – Right out of college I always wanted to work on cutting edge technologies. I joined BARC with a goal to work in the scientific field and got to learn a lot about the field of RF Engineering by working on RF LINACs. After that, I saw RF Engineering was a very niche skill to have with a lot happening in the cellular space in 2002.
I wanted to learn how wireless products and new wireless technologies were developed and that is what led me to make the right job switches at the right times. I worked with Motorola in Chicago and learned a lot about developing wireless products and moved on to join Nokia in 2007.
5 years at Nokia shaped up my career as a product developer and technology specialist. Then another 5 years I worked at Broadcom in Silicon Valley where I got an opportunity to work on IoT technologies and develop the latest Wi-Fi standards. Once I moved back to India, I realized that I had learned a lot during the 12 years of my work life and I felt the need to give back and spread the knowledge. Along with my Friend Malcolm, we started Spintly with a Vision to develop technology-based products in India for the global market.
Tell us about some hard lessons that you have learned to thrive as an entrepreneur.
Mr. Parker – There are a lot of lessons learned as an entrepreneur.
The 1st lesson learned is that when you start a company it is very important to identify a clear problem you want to solve. “No Pain No Business”.
The 2nd key lesson we learned was that it is very important to narrow down the focus of the product or service you are building. It is about focusing all your resources in one direction or a small market segment until you fail. Then you need to change the direction based on the learnings. And faster you iterate through the build, measure, and learn loop the higher the chances of your success.
And the 3rd lesson we learned is that it is very important to be confident about what you want to achieve and yet flexible enough to change course.
By that I mean the goal should be clearly defined but the way to get there could be flexible. There are so many other things we have learned we can share with other Entrepreneurs.
As per you, what are the essential skills you need to become a successful entrepreneur?
Mr. Parker – I don’t believe there are any specific skill sets to be a successful Entrepreneur. There are skill sets to build a successful product, which could be a certain product or technology skills we had when we started the company. To be a successful Entrepreneur I think there are a few key personal Attributes that are needed like:
- Being passionate about something
- Have the ability to take risks and think outside the box
- Show the ultimate persistence, patience, and belief
There will be near-death situations and it is very important not to give up under any circumstances.
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What is the scope of IoT as a career in India, and which are the essential skills you look for before hiring an IoT expert?
Mr. Parker – IoT is the big space ranging from Hardware, Firmware, Software to Cloud. The scope is immense. Given that the cost of adding connectivity into things will be as cheap as adding a screw into the product it is almost certain that everything we have around us will have a connectivity device embedded within. So I think IoT has a great future.
When we Hire engineers we don’t look for specific IoT skills, what we look for is the attitude of the Engineer, how smart he or she is, and how much hunger he or she has to learn. Specific IoT skills can be developed but the key attributes we look for are hard to develop.
What are the key trends you see in IoT now? Where do you think IoT will be in 10 years?
Mr. Parker – Some of the key trends in IoT are things that were difficult to be part of the connected world can now get connected. Some of the latest developments in the field of batteryless electronics is opening up new possibilities.
Now there are Bluetooth chips available that do not need any power. These chips either get power from residual RF energy in the air or energy from light or Kinetic energy from motion. These circuits are so tiny that they can be attached to any object giving the object a digital identity forever. Imagine you attach this chip to a wheelchair. Now you can locate this wheelchair in a hospital building and you don’t need to worry about changing any batteries. The world is moving towards spaces that are more aware than before.
Read our blog to know more about – what is Internet of Things.
Among all the industries that are adopting IoT, according to you which industry is making the fastest and best use of IoT?
Mr. Parker – The manufacturing and industrial segment is making the fastest use of IoT. This is because this segment sees the highest return on investment through the implementation of IoT enabled solutions. For example, tracking a product on a production line becomes very easy with a small batteryless chip attached to the product. Or getting data out of a manufacturing environment using a mesh network drastically reduces the infrastructure cost which would otherwise be needed to layout a wired network of sensors. Manufacturing process improvements are based on data and IoT enables easy and cost-effective collection of this crucial data.
What types of career opportunities are available in the field of IoT? What is the hiring process in Spintly like?
Mr. Parker – There are numerous career opportunities in the IoT space. I would categorize these into
- Embedded software
- Cloud software for IoT devices
- Mobile App development for IoT applications
- Data Science and analytics using ML and AI and finally
- Data Visualization
At Spintly, we have a rigorous hiring process where we test potential candidates over a few days working on a live project and test their ability to think out of the box. We believe that college degrees and marks don’t matter, what matters is smartness and attitude.
What expert advice will you give mid-level managers to move on to leadership roles and conceptualize growth strategies?
Mr. Parker – My advice to Mid-level managers who want to move into leadership roles would be to make yourself indispensable by really getting deep into understanding the product, business, or service your company is building.
It’s all about building that trust with your top management and giving them the confidence that they can rely on you to make key decisions. Always be vocal about what you think and express yourself openly.
Which certification do you hold, and which skill development paths, books, or channels do you recommend for upskilling to aspiring professionals?
I don’t have any specific certifications other than the degrees I hold. Well, the development paths for aspiring professionals really depend on what they want to achieve. For Entrepreneurs, I can suggest a few books like:
- Lean start-up
- Nail it then Scale it
- The Start-up J-curve
Rapid Fire Questions:
1. What brings you to entrepreneurship?
Hunger to Learn new things
2. What is your leadership style?
3. What do you do to grow your skill-set over time?
Read and Watch Videos
Last words – Do you have any expert advice for our readers?
I would say, “Dream Big”. One can achieve anything if you dream big and work persistently towards that dream.
In case you have recently completed a professional course/certification, then