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“Inquisitiveness To Discover Makes A Massive Distinction…”

There are a lot of who aspire to carry prestigious positions at massive company homes, however only a few are keen to work exhausting sufficient for it. Such positions will be achieved by solely those that love what they do. Dr Aloknath De is certainly one of them. He calls himself a ‘missionpreneur.’ He refuses to field himself and likes to assume out of the field. He doesn’t turn into comfy in a setting as he likes to do issues exterior his consolation zone. He has been Samsung India’s first CTO apart from many extra achievements to his credit score. That is Dr Aloknath De’s story, as instructed to EFY’s Siddha Dhar.

Born within the non secular city of Nabadwip Dham in West Bengal, Aloknath had the affect of holy males on him from a really younger age. Regardless that his household migrated to Kolkata quickly after he turned a 12 months previous, Aloknath credit his birthplace for educating him the teachings of renunciation, discovering success in life, and cherishing it.

Aloknath’s father picked up his LLB diploma out of ardour whereas working as a gazetted officer on the Meals Company of India. Underneath his tutelage, Aloknath was home-schooled until the age of six. A rigorous man, it was he who constructed the sturdy basis of science and arithmetic for Aloknath.

Aloknath remembers, “He was a really disciplined particular person, and he influenced my love for science. So, taking over science after tenth customary was a really pure selection.” Aloknath went to a correct college solely when he was within the 2nd customary. Whereas home-schooling offered him with the fundamental abilities, he gained ‘interactive intelligence’ solely after he went to high school.

Aloknath says, “I realised that pure intelligence, or the flexibility to react in a scenario, comes solely if you work together and discuss with an increasing number of folks. The extra you converse, the extra you develop.”

Aloknath’s mom, a homemaker, has at all times been soft-natured. She is an epitome of affection and affection. This fusion of exhausting and tender behaviour of oldsters is what Aloknath tries to keep up in his personal life as nicely, even at the moment. In actual fact, his management mantra is: “Be Laborious on Aim, Be Smooth on Soul.”

Diligent from childhood, it was fairly pure for Aloknath to be a topper in his college. However by the point he was in sixth customary, a way of restlessness loomed over him. “It gave me a sense of accomplishment to start with, however then it made me really feel as if I used to be not being challenged sufficient.” This notion of not ever getting too comfy in one thing was a lesson that has pushed Aloknath all by his life.

Thought Management presentation by Dr Aloknath De

Looking out for extra competitors to lift his accomplishment bar, Aloknath determined to seem for a Central authorities advantage scholarship programme, which allowed him to check in a residential college of his selection. And he obtained admission in Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) Residential College in Purulia—a district 250km away from Kolkata.

Although he had the choice to decide on a college in Kolkata and keep close to his household, Aloknath determined to not base his selection on feelings, and moderately seize the chance to stay and function independently. The pangs of separation from his mother and father and siblings struck him within the preliminary part. However Aloknath knew that he was accountable for the choice that he had taken and that he needed to follow it—a lesson that he would recall once more, years later.

A Few Classes from Dr Aloknath De’s Story

  • ABC of Achievement—Align (your ideas), Beam (your vitality), Collaborate (your ecosystem)
  • Infuse lateral pondering, when wanted, earlier than making selections rationally
  • Maintain your thoughts open to studying new issues; steady studying is of essence
  • Get out of your consolation zone; perturb a bit when too comfy. Convey stability from consolation zone and development from exterior the consolation zone
  • Constructing zero-to-one has totally different problem than scaling one-to-infinity
  • What’s attention-grabbing about life is that typically taking an obvious step again can assist you leap ahead by ten steps
  • Your distinctive approach of doing and supporting will at all times be valued by the group

Though his father was a robust affect in his life, it was his monk headmaster at RKM whom Aloknath regards as his function mannequin. “He was a person of such purity. He had mastery over a number of languages. As soon as I used to be writing an essay concerning the river Ganges. I confirmed him the primary draft and he helped me make it higher—his data was profound. I might say it was the perfect piece in Bengali that I’ve ever written.”

It’s not shocking that science and math have been his favorite topics. However Aloknath was not glorious in teachers alone, he additionally took lively half at school debates, elocutions, recitation competitions, and so forth. He even appeared on quite a few TV debate reveals broadcast by Doordarshan.

A rational thinker since childhood, Aloknath rapidly found out that his coronary heart lay in engineering. When he was within the eleventh customary, he determined to share this together with his father, who was then disillusioned together with his determination. “My father needed to be a physician, nevertheless it was not doable attributable to monetary constraints. He hoped that I might turn into a doctor, however I selected engineering. I keep in mind it was a long-drawn night dialogue with my father and uncle. They tried very exhausting to vary my thoughts.”

Aloknath didn’t budge from his objective and readied himself to organize for the subsequent chapter in his life.

IIT and discovering his calling

A big chunk of Aloknath’s future plans started taking form in his undergraduate years that he spent at IIT Kharagpur. Whereas finding out Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE), he remained a high-achiever right here too. Having finished his secondary schooling in a Bengali-medium college, the fluency with which some college students at IIT spoke English alarmed him. However he didn’t let it intimidate him. He remained headstrong and mastered the language fairly quickly.

At an institute of IIT’s stature—the place the brightest minds of the nation got here to make their goals come true—Aloknath discovered there have been many who have been simply as meritorious as him. However he took it as a blessing in disguise, as he was at all times on the lookout for a extra aggressive house the place his limits may very well be examined, and his thoughts might increase.

Aloknath says, “It’s essential to just accept that some persons are higher than you at one thing and it’s completely okay to be not so good as them. However what’s essential is to deliver your self to a minimal threshold stage on attributes that matter in life and excel in a couple of dimensions.”

As his world-view expanded and he met extra folks, Aloknath discovered his calling—telecommunications—at IIT Kharagpur an interesting area certainly! “I noticed the facility of communications and the way it helped folks keep related remotely. I noticed the way it might compete with transportation and thought it was revolutionary.”

The realisation didn’t happen in a single day, although. He spent months and months studying books and magazines, listening to radio, and speaking to folks to soak in as a lot data as doable after which come to this conclusion. “Inquisitiveness to discover makes an enormous distinction. Once you maintain your queries alive, one high quality morning you’ll come throughout some data that makes you pause. And you are taking a second to consider it and ask additional questions. It’s on this strategy of asking and answering these questions that you simply realise what you might be drawn to.”

A 3-step course of Aloknath likes to comply with for his objective is ABC of Achievement: Align (your ideas), Beam (your vitality), and Collaborate (your ecosystem). As he started the seeding for his future roles, he realised how telecommunication programs may very well be constructed with {hardware} and then-new software program parts. He additionally began appreciating how engineering deployment might complement technological improvements.

Dream job and reminiscences at IISc

The unpredictability of life is enthralling. It makes you do belongings you by no means supposed to, and offers you outcomes you by no means anticipated. Though Aloknath had deliberate to pursue his grasp’s diploma after IIT and even obtained admission to a US college, a monetary disaster pressured him to start out working proper after his commencement in 1985. But, he didn’t let this setback derail him from his plans.

Fortunately for Aloknath, he discovered his method to Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL). In an period when MNCs didn’t rule the subcontinent, PSUs have been the dream job of many, and Aloknath was no totally different.

However, whereas becoming a member of BEL, he knew what his final objective was—to be taught telecommunication programs as a lot as he might.

At BEL, he was a part of a workforce that constructed a low-flying goal detection radar, which was the primary indigenously constructed radar system: INDRA 1. Until date, INDRA collection of radars are deployed on the borders of India.

His function in BEL, Sahibabad wanted him to journey loads to the headquarters in Bangalore (now Bengaluru). He made it a rule to take a unique route throughout every of his journeys. This was his approach of getting enjoyable and exploring the nation whereas working. As he travelled the size and breadth of India, Aloknath’s mantra to at all times exit of his consolation zone discovered extra energy. “Even at the moment, each time I see that I’m getting too comfy, I attempt to discover new issues to do this make me uncomfortable for some time.”

However going out of your consolation zone will be scary apart from being uncomfortable. How did he sort out that? He says, “The trick is to maintain your self anchored 50% in consolation and unsettle the remainder. Going utterly out of your consolation zone makes it in all probability very dangerous. Convey stability from the consolation zone, and development from exterior the consolation zone.”

Dr Aloknath De with former IT Minister of Karnataka at Innovate Karnataka Launch
Dr Aloknath De with former IT Minister of Karnataka at Innovate Karnataka Launch

After a two-year stint at BEL, Aloknath went on to pursue his grasp’s diploma from one other premier institute of India—IISc Bangalore. A fond reminiscence of IISc that he holds near his coronary heart, past research, is how he would avoid wasting cash from his scholarship grant to purchase cassettes of classical music. An avid lover of classical music since a younger age, Aloknath had even tried studying the stringed musical instrument sitar. Though he couldn’t sing nicely, his affinity for classical music drove him to search out solace in it, no matter his prevailing temper.

At IISc, Aloknath additional broadened his data about telecommunications and realised how each facet uniquely complemented one another. It was this fascination that took him from India to Canada, the place he pursued his PhD and likewise began one other part of his life.

Flight to Canada and worldwide publicity

Like many middle-class Indians at the moment, Aloknath’s flight to Canada was the primary one he had ever taken in his life. Whereas he was working exhausting to revolutionise telecommunications, calling from a international nation was a luxurious that he couldn’t afford then. And that might additionally make his mother and father anxious at occasions.

“After I first landed there, I despatched them a telegram nevertheless it took ten days to achieve. Within the meantime, my father would go to the Air India workplace every so often to investigate if my flight had landed. The folks there assured him that many flights had gone and are available again since my flight, so I used to be in all probability already well-settled in Canada,” he laughs.

Aloknath did his PhD in ‘communication with sign processing’ from McGill College on a full scholarship. After ‘communication with management’ in IIT and ‘communication with computing’ in IISc, he needed to fathom this mix as nicely. Aloknath knew that it could finally deliver him to a extra holistic view of telecommunications.

Surviving in Canada was no straightforward feat. Aloknath needed to modify to the restricted meals decisions and the chilly local weather. Nevertheless, he preferred the cosmopolitan tradition of Montreal and noticed himself dwelling there for a very long time, and therefore took up studying French language.

Aloknath’s PhD thesis was supported by Canadian Institute for Telecommunication Analysis; he additionally bagged the Alexander Graham Bell prize in Canada for his doctoral analysis. His PhD mentor was an exquisite man who made the entire studying course of at McGill very pleasurable for Aloknath. “He was an immigrant himself; so he knew what challenges I used to be dealing with and he helped me navigate by them.”

It was by this mentor that Aloknath obtained his first break in Canada. He bagged a chance to work in Nortel Networks, which was then referred to as Bell Northern Analysis. His first task had ample scope for innovation. He simply wanted to search out the significant enterprise hole. This, he credit to being curious and on the lookout for means to go above and past to discover a ache level he ought to repair.

However as he stored getting higher at making these discoveries, he missed the joy of implementing them and seeing them of their realised kind. He knew it was time to get out of his consolation zone and soak deeply into sensible implementations and area points to develop in trade. “I instructed my supervisor that I needed to do the dirtiest work. Probably the most mundane issues that no one needed to do.”

In the summertime of 1999, Aloknath decided that might change the trajectory of his life—leaving Canada after a decade and coming again to India. “It was one of many hardest selections I needed to make in my life,” Aloknath remarks. He was eligible for a Canadian PR. His son was three years previous and had entry to higher schooling there; and he himself had a thriving profession.

In his true spirit to assume by and make a name, Aloknath mulled over the scenario for a complete 12 months. He thought rationally but infused parts of lateral pondering earlier than taking determination. In any case, he couldn’t look again and remorse his determination. “I made a decision to come back again to India. Though it appears unbelievable now, I did envision one thing alongside the traces of how India would appear like in 2020, and needed to see if I may very well be a part of that imaginative and prescient coming true.”

His reasoning to come back again was based mostly on two issues. First, he had constructed a broad worldwide perspective that expanded his thoughts and made him perceive what makes a rustic developed. Second, he understood deeply what was wanted to be a topic professional on communication with controls, computing, and sign processing parts, and construct world revolutionary merchandise.

He remembers, “With all that data in my bag, I felt full and thought it was the correct time to come back again. Many round me felt that I used to be taking a step backwards. However what’s attention-grabbing about life is that typically taking an obvious step again can assist you leap ahead by ten steps.”

Return to India and re-building from zero

Again in India, Aloknath had uprooted his life in Canada by taking the chance of making use of to solely two corporations. Luckily, he obtained presents from each the businesses. “The identical postman introduced the 2 supply letters on the identical day. I discovered the phrase so true: God helps those that assist themselves. The facility of hope and ambition beats all the things,” he remembers.

He went with certainly one of these corporations—Hughes Software program Methods in Gurgaon. His interview with the Director of Hughes India had occurred whereas he was nonetheless in Canada. By the way, the Director had made it some extent to spotlight how totally different his life could be as soon as Aloknath was again in India.

In such a case, one would possibly take a second to rethink the choice. However Aloknath knew precisely what he needed. “I instructed the manager that I’m cognizant of all of that, and I used to be making the choice whereas being absolutely conscious. I’m able to face challenges as they arrive.”

This director who additionally grew to become his supervisor and is now a superb buddy, was a supply of inspiration for Aloknath as he made his swap so seamless; he by no means felt like he had left residence. At Hughes too, Aloknath’s imaginative and prescient for becoming a member of an organization didn’t alter—he needed to do one thing that no one else was doing or was keen to do.

He remembers, “Throughout that point, digital sign processing within the base layer was successfully not there in Hughes communication stack. Many potential purchasers stated that they might have a service settlement with Hughes if that resolution may very well be included in service supply. That was really a defining assertion for me.”

He was entrusted with constructing a workforce for a similar. Right here got here a second to take one thing from zero to 1, a chance of intrapreneurship. “Taking one thing from stage one and scaling it to infinity is comparatively straightforward as a result of you may have finished it as soon as. Constructing one thing from zero to 1 is the true problem.”

Aloknath needed to construct a workforce of twenty folks with sturdy DSP experience and likewise begin securing the DSP enterprise past Hughes. It gave him pleasure that, attributable to this twenty-member workforce, Hughes might garner not directly about eighty different folks in higher-level stack areas. And this continued scaling up.

After a four-year stint at Hughes, he had a brand new itch. Regardless that the chip was by no means his core, he realised that semiconductors and VLSI design have been part of telecommunications and had an amazing potential. So, he determined to affix STMicroelectronics, which was seeking to begin telecom enterprise ab initio in 2003. He joined them as the pinnacle of this division.

In 2008, when a three way partnership between STMicroelectronics and Ericsson was signed, Aloknath was appointed because the MD of the group in India. He was dealing with the groups of each Noida and Bengaluru. He constructed an enviable workforce by inside switch, exterior hiring in addition to firm acquisitions. By the point he left, he had 1000 workforce members.

Dr Aloknath De practising for fitness
Dr Aloknath De practising for health

To grasp the total stack higher, he grew to become a ‘scholar’ of chip design. Regardless that he was the MD, he would typically be part of the freshers throughout their coaching classes to be taught extra about frontend and backend chip design, the processes and nuances. “To be able to make selections as an MD and work together as a worldwide chief, I wanted to know the topic to an important extent. I believed it was an integral a part of determination making and I needed to be taught it to do my job nicely.”

After eight good years at ST-Ericsson, a world big was ready for Aloknath to knock on their door.

Samsung and a missed alternative

Aloknath had the nice style of administrative life for a very long time at
ST-Ericsson the place he was additionally a Board Director of the corporate, and he now craved for a extra technical function. He needed to steer with know-how. However earlier than that, he needed to pause and take time to ponder—very like he used to do in his childhood days.

He took a sabbatical of about six months and determined to experiment with a couple of issues in the course of the interval. He taught at IIT Delhi as an Adjunct Professor, served as a advisor to Accenture, and mentored a location-technology based mostly startup throughout this part. Whereas mentoring the startup, he obtained all the way down to interacting with the ground-level clients to know issues from their perspective. “If you happen to can take a month or perhaps a few days to work together with the folks on the bottom, there is no such thing as a higher studying than this. I might not commerce this for the rest.”

However as they are saying, you can not conceal distinctive expertise wherever. This time, Aloknath’s expertise was discovered by South Korean electronics big Samsung. Though the parents at Samsung needed Aloknath to come back over to Korea and work with them from their headquarters, Aloknath’s precedence was now sorted out; he couldn’t go away his household in India and the household was not ready to relocate at that juncture.

So, Aloknath was virtually prepared to say no the supply however his future, nonetheless, had different plans. The very subsequent day after this interview, he obtained a name from Samsung HQ. “They have been keen to interview me once more to create a place particularly for me if I solely needed to work in India.”

That is how Aloknath grew to become the primary CTO of the Indian unit of the conglomerate together with his base in Bangalore. His mantra, once more, was easy—he didn’t need to work on one thing that was going nicely. He needed one thing that was aspirational, however they couldn’t appear to make it work.

At Samsung, he needed to create an innovation layer onto the flagship merchandise by constructing new mental properties (IPs) with out jeopardising base engineering deliveries. Within the first fifteen years of Samsung’s journey in India, it had about 2000 patents, which elevated to 7500+ patents underneath his management by their silver jubilee celebrations time.

He grew to become the Company VP for Samsung Electronics, Korea and contributed to the web of issues (IoT) on SmartThings platform. Regardless of these accomplishments, he felt like one thing was lacking. The sooner-missed alternative to affix the workforce in Korea stored gnawing at him. He requested them if he might be part of them in HQ and the workforce in Korea fortunately agreed. He obtained an IoT lab to work in Korea the place he spent 7-8 days each month for thirty months or so. This made him a really efficient world chief.

The information platform that Aloknath inbuilt Korea is now connecting 200 million residence home equipment and mobility gadgets globally. Along with his world function and experience in AI and Blockchain, he has constructed an impactful AIoT Centre-of-Excellence in India. Now, with this background and expertise behind him, he has set a private mission of researching and nurturing actions round Cyber-Bodily Methods.

Some Unknown Info about Dr Aloknath De

  • Favorite delicacies: Hyderabadi Biryani
  • Favorite e-book(s):Isaac Asimov (Robotic Desires, Improbable Voyage)
  • Favorite chief: Swami Vivekananda
  • Favorite movie:Three Idiots
  • Favorite actor: Nasiruddin Shah
  • Favorite actress: Smita Patil
  • Favorite sports activities: Volleyball
  • Favorite music style: Classical
  • Automobile and bike: Black Automobile

Discovering love, health targets, and his mission

Whereas the accomplishments of Aloknath are innumerable, his story of discovering his love is sort of a romantic movie. Aloknath and his spouse knew one another since lengthy, however by no means knew that they might be cojoined by future in an eternal bond.

They obtained married in direction of the top of Aloknath’s PhD, that’s, six months earlier than he would graduate. His spouse needed to keep again in Kolkata for a while. “She needed to go to a neighbour’s place to name me and needed to request them to exit,” he laughs. She quickly joined him in Canada, the place she additionally pursued a postgraduate diploma at Concordia College.

Upon returning to India, she has been working as a Math trainer. She is an enormous health junkie.

“She can also be my private coach. I used to be by no means into health that a lot, however for the reason that pandemic, I began taking good care of my physique. And wouldn’t it not be a waste if I didn’t utilise my alternative regardless of having a coach at residence!” he says with a smile.

The couple has a son who was born in Canada, studied in India, and went on to pursue Economics and Physics on the College of Chicago. After his stint at an funding financial institution, he presently works with a worldwide new-gen ride-sharing firm.

Aloknath’s love for music remains to be intact, due to his mom who continues to apply music until date. She is the inspiration behind his love for classical music.

In December 2021, Aloknath took superannuation from Samsung formally. Nevertheless, he’s nonetheless related to them as an Govt Consulting Director and desires to proceed so long as it is smart for each. He calls it his Company Dwelling.

Aloknath has elevated his efforts to mentor deep-tech startups and has additionally turn into an angel investor. He’s now an Adjunct Professor with IISc (ECE) and IIT Jodhpur (CS). Aloknath additionally has a enterprise of his personal within the works.

Speaking of his future plans, Aloknath says, “Throughout India’s seventy fifth Independence Day celebration, it’s solemn for me to rededicate to the service of the nation. R&D serves as an impetus for enterprise development. If we will hone India’s expertise for R&D and may excite enterprise to spend better on R&D and innovation, we will do wonders as a rustic.”

In actual fact, he revealed that the disclosing of his singular mission might occur quickly; however he’s in no hurry. As a result of if there’s something he has learnt, it’s to make ‘the remainder of his life, the perfect of his life!’



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