Securing IP concerns, Micron Technology lets 99.5% of its staff wfh

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on April 08, 2020 Published on April 08, 2020

Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director of Micron (India)

Strong security systems, infra investments do the trick

Amid the lockdown, 99.5 per cent of the 1,150 Indian employees of chip design company Micron are working from home (wfh). Unlike IT services firms, shifting to wfh is no cakewalk for a semiconductor company.

The IP-intensive industry can’t afford to expose its work to a possible leakage. “Protection of IP (intellectual property) is top on our agenda,” Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director of Micron (India), told BusinessLine. “Our systems don’t allow staff to plug in data storage devices. Nor can they send info to their email ids.”

Extended lockdown

However, Micron was among the few companies that were well prepared for the wfh regime even before the lockdown began. “We are actually ready for it (lockdown) well beyond April 15. We are ready till the end of April,” said Ramamoorthy.

Of the about 38,000 employees that the US-based firm has globally, India houses 1,150 at its Hyderabad and Bengaluru facilities.

To allow its staff to wfh, Micron let its HR department acquire additional infrastructure to improve internet bandwidth and ensure power back-up.

Has the new work paradigm impacted productivity?

It has, in fact, gone up, said Ramamoorthy. “The mean age of our staff is 30-32 years. As they save time on commute, we see an increase in productivity,” he said.

Impact on business

With a good second quarter performance, Micron recently gave a strong guidance for the third quarter as well.

Asked whether the disruption of the manufacturing and supply chain network globally would impact the business, Ramamoorthy said Micron, with a well diversified product line, will continue to do well. “Our production bases are well diversified. The China foundries are up and running. We have production facilities in Singapore and Malaysia, too, among other global destinations,” he added.

In a recent investor presentation, Micron said it was engaging with its suppliers to ensure continuity and identify supply gaps.

“We have increased our on-hand inventory of raw materials and increased multi-sourcing of parts to reduce supplier dependence risk. We have added assembly and test capacity in order to provide redundant manufacturing capability,” it said.

It sees stronger demand from the data centre segment due to remote-work economy, increased gaming and e-commerce activity.

It, however, sees a decrease in demand from the smartphone, consumer electronics and auto sectors.

Support to fight Covid-19

Micron has announced global support of $35 million to help local governments fight the pandemic.

“In India, we have committed $1 million. This would included help to the Telangana and Karnataka governments. We will equip the frontline workers like ASHA workers with safety gear,” Ramamoorthy said.

Besides, the company plans to match the grant of whatever its employees contribute to fight the virus.

Published on April 08, 2020

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