Anuj Sidharth, deputy director, marketing and communications at MediaTek has spent the key years of his career at the centre of the telecom revolution. He believes that MediaTek, which is now one of the leading semiconductor manufacturers in the globe, has helped him grow and become the leader he is today. He shares his professional journey with Nijhum Rudra.
|A few of my favourite things
Favourite music: Instrumental and rock
Favourite food: Italian
Favourite books: ‘Discussions On Youth’ by Dr Daisaku Ikeda
Favourite actor: Tom Cruise
Favourite actress: Deepika Padukone
Favourite singer: Bryan Adams
When I was growing up, I developed an intense fascination for cars and technology, on account of which I owned a huge collection of dinky toys (miniature models of vehicles). Surprisingly, I never really wanted to be an engineer. Subsequently, the circumstances were such that I had to study engineering, so I completed my B. Tech in electronics and communication. However, the opportunity to pursue a marketing and finance programme from Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management was a game changer for me. This was what actually paved the way for me to join MediaTek. A unique combination of communication, engineering and marketing management skills helped me gain a valuable insight into the telecom sector, and gave me a profound understanding of mobile technology.
How MediaTek happened
Before joining MediaTek, I was handling the Middle East market while working for Bharti Telesoft (now Comviva). It was one of those significant phases of my career that contributed to bringing me closer to the telecom sector. Being an electronics engineer, I was always inclined towards this sector and MediaTek gave me the opportunity to become a part of it. It’s been an extremely enlightening journey of 11.5 years with the company, but when I look back now, I still remember that I was a bit reluctant in accepting the offer because MediaTek wasn’t quite popular in India at that time. However, I was able to gauge the amount of exposure I would be getting on being associated with the brand. The massive boom in the mobile industry contributed immensely in broadening my perspective. The company has consistently given me a platform to interact with key industry leaders, build connections with Chinese ODMs and explore various Asian markets. Being at MediaTek has given me a ringside view of the ever-evolving telecom ecosystem.
The role played within the organisation and the challenges faced
As the deputy director of the marketing and communications unit at MediaTek, I find the role both challenging and thrilling. This position drives me to lead the business towards growth and constantly invigorates me to apply my understanding of the marketplace and build customer experience strategies. The stepping stones in my career have played a vital role in making me who I am today. This exhilarating journey has helped me push my limits, constantly, and I can say that the process has turned out to be profoundly rewarding.
I am an extremely strategy-driven individual and this quality has turned out to be beneficial in accomplishing our brand’s targets. This mindset and my hands-on experience are complemented by a strong project and product management sensibility. All these have given me the opportunity to deliver outstanding and creative ideas for brand management, to implement profitable solutions that drive sales, as well as build solid brand recall.
My success mantra
My core success mantra is ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’ and that keeps me motivated in my work. I believe that your work should reflect your dedication and honesty. Building trustworthy relationships with teams and having the willingness to contribute are the key ingredients required to achieve common goals as an organisation. Being a devoted follower of Buddhism for years now, I am a firm believer in karma. The Buddhist teachings have helped me maintain my poise and make evaluated decisions. One thing that I’d like to say to budding entrepreneurs is that you never need to worry about the results if you keep putting in your best efforts. Always remember, no task is inferior—all tasks are equally important. You just need to plan and prioritise based on the requirements.
My management style at MediaTek
I usually tend to adopt a motivational management style because it contributes to building and retaining performance-driven teams. It is due to the contribution of our high performance teams that we have been able to successfully roll out our co-branded initiatives, which have helped us in demonstrating our core brand identity in the market. We have implemented an ‘always on’ strategy for MediaTek to keep up with the ever-changing trends and generate maximum visibility for the brand. Due to these achievements, MediaTek has become the world’s fourth largest global fabless semiconductor company. We now lead the market in chipset technology for smart TVs, voice assistant devices (VADs), Android tablets, feature phones, optical and Blu-Ray DVD players, and globally, we rank second in mobile phones.
The link between my beliefs and professional qualities
Daisaku Ikeda, a Japanese Buddhist philosopher, has been my guru since I started practicing the core principles of Buddhism. His contribution to the dramatic growth of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) organisation has been noteworthy. Following his ideologies has played a pivotal role in my career as a marketing leader because the Buddhist teachings have inculcated a sense of harmony in my demeanour. This has helped me in building cordial relationships with the people I interact with and augment my commitment towards my organisation with the feeling of being content with my work.
The future of the semiconductor industry
As per statistics, the semiconductor design market in India is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of about 30 per cent by 2020. This significant boom evidently offers high growth potential in certain areas of the industry, promising a bright future for MediaTek in India. It is definitely going to be a challenging journey because of the rising competition, which is why we are coming up with some best-in-class technologies to remain at the top of the game.
To be honest, I do not have a personal roadmap. What I am today is what MediaTek has made me and my roadmap is aligned with the company. I have religiously imbibed every aspect of the company’s vision and core values, and in the coming five years my only mission is to ensure, to the best of my abilities, that MediaTek becomes one of the most valuable brands in the industry on a global scale. To work towards facilitating MediaTek achieve greater heights is my sole priority at the moment.