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Meet our VP Product, Sanjay

After completing a degree in Electronics from Pune University (India), Sanjay has worked for many large, medium and smaller scale companies on the SoC (silicon on chip) software within the telecom and wireless world. And we’re delighted that he’s joined our executive team, helping to steer our product development towards commercial success.

His career path has been initially technical from hardware engineer to software engineer to software architect and, later, from team lead to program management to product management. He’s certainly got the experience and we know he’s keen to work on GNSS and mobile communication because of the exciting technology innovations in our field.

We put some questions to Sanjay, and here are his responses:

What’s a typical day at FocalPoint like?

Most days start with a daily scrum meeting with the execs to discuss progress made during the previous week, the plan for today and any obstacles to achieving it.

Day-to-day activities are pretty varied! Some days I spend more time focusing on our product roadmap and other days might be spent on breaking down customer project requirements and providing more clarity and definition of ‘what good looks like’.

Some days will be dedicated to new customer meetings to understand their unique requirements and present our offerings. Frequent sales and marketing meetings to discuss commercial engagements and terms are added to my diary.

I engage in almost every aspect of the business, from business strategy to releasing software products to our customers - every day is unique and that’s the beauty of this job!

What makes our product so special?

Since the invention of the GNSS receiver, in my opinion, our Supercorrelation technology, (GNSS chipset level software), is the most exciting and interesting innovation. It operates on I & Q baseband signals to solve the problem of strong reflected GNSS signals, which makes most receivers lock on strong reflected signals rather than weak direct signals causing incorrect pseudo ranges - hence it improves position and line on the map.

Supercorrelation supercharges ordinary GNSS receivers to become hyper-accurate, super sensitive and 10x more reliable by locking on the weak but most importantly, direct signal. Since it focuses on the signals coming directly from the satellite, supercorrelation provides protection against the growing problem of GNSS spoofing. Using further methods developed at FocalPoint and based on supercorrelation we can warn the user that a spoofer is present and even pinpoint the location of spoofing sources.

Urban canyons (where reflected signals mess up ordinary receivers) and low indoor coverage (where sensitivity boost can help) are typical environments where Supercorrelation works at its best.

What trials are you working on at the moment?

To demonstrate how well Supercorrelation works, we compare two lines on the map:

  • one line with standard GNSS receiver positioning fixes

  • another line based on the same raw GNSS data but passed through the Supercorrelation algorithm which produces updated positioning fixes.

The big challenge at present for us is to prove which one is correct and this is where ground truth is needed. Obtaining ground truth is not only time consuming, it’s an expensive process as it needs costly high-performance equipment.

SMLL, Smart Mobility Living Lab is here to help us and provide that vital ground truth. Their test vehicle is equipped with high quality inertial measurement units and GNSS receivers which capture location data along with video recording of any pre-planned route around London. We’ll be documenting an upcoming test route which will be published on our website in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Sanjay SMLL

Sanjay and the team on a SMLL vehicle recce

Where in the UK are you based?
I’m based in Cambridge, near the city on the River Cam with its many bridges, educational and business hubs. The city centre office offers lots of options for lunch!

The main activities of my job: to ensure we make products based on customer needs, on time, that solve their problems. I’m the bridge between the customer world and the engineering world.

Day-to-day life revolves around taking care of - roadmaps to requirements, requirements to execution, execution to test and test to release with aim to achieve clarity for team members, efficiency for cross functions and visibility for the executives.

What product are you most excited about benefiting from precise accuracy and why?
I’m excited about fitness applications on wearables, tracking shoppers in the mall, mobile marketing, safety-critical employee tracking and improved navigation in a city with skyscrapers and autonomous cars. There are so many applications which can benefit from precise accuracy to perform better, reliably.

Android or IOS? What do you use?
A classic question. I’ve used both. My first iPhone was iPhone 4s, then I got iPhone 6s Plus and the last one was iPhone XR. For the past two years though, I’ve been using Samsung Note 9 which has an awesome camera and S pen.

Any cool apps you’re using at the moment?
I’m not a big fan of apps or games on mobile. I like book reader text to speech app @voice & naturalReader, WhatsApp keeps me connected with friends and family, and googlePay for the easy and simple payment.

What book, podcast or tv series do you have on the go?
I read sometimes, the best books I like so far are, 7 habits of successful people & The alchemist - follow your dreams by listening to your heart and soul.

Sometimes I read a chapter or few pages from The Srimad Bhagavad Gita - teaches us important principles that relate to life, work, philosophy and spirituality.

What was it like joining a team amidst a national health pandemic?
posted in July 2021
Before the start of the pandemic I worked from home occasionally so it was good to experience something new - to join a company virtually for the first time. The arrangement was good. I received what I needed on time but for obvious reasons, I missed that welcome and on-boarding excitement in person. Still missing face-to-face meetings, busy office environment and impromptu water-cooler talks in the office or around the coffee machine.

On a personal note - missing friends and family, get togethers and community events to celebrate festivals.

Huawei (global company) to FocalPoint (scaleup), what’s been the most striking difference?
Both companies are great to work for and have their own uniqueness, though a striking difference, is the work culture.

I find all members are very talented, approachable, co-operative and welcoming. It's my first time working closely with scientists; some of them from universities of Cambridge and Oxford - a great privilege.

A big advantage of working in a small group is efficient communications and decision making. I liked the work style and culture where a day starts with daily scrum meetings...even at exec level.

In a work capacity, what would you really like to be doing, supported by FocalPoint, in the next 3-5years?
Onboard as many top GNSS chipset producers as possible. Understand, plan and build products and features needed by these customers, improve their products and achieve growth for them and in turn growth for us.

Cambridge partial team webres

Sanjay with a few of the FocalPoint team during a Cambridge team get-together

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