Manish Kumar is based out of Washington DC and is a key figure in the world of Wi-Fi, a field to which he has devoted ten years of his life. Working closely with the Wi-Fi Alliance, now as a member of the Wi-Fi Alliance Board of Directors, he was recently honored with its prestigious Quality of Service Award, bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to advancing the Alliance’s mission to “connect everyone and everything, everywhere.” We spoke with Manish to find out more.
From the start of his career in C-DOT India, through his work with Hughes Network Systems and Enterasys Networks (now Extreme) U.S. and Marvell Semiconductor, Manish Kumar brings a relentless focus to teamwork and technology, innovation and connectivity. Gaining an MBA from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and a BS in Electrical Engineering from CSU Long Beach, he settled in Washington DC in 1995 with his wife, Sweta, who now works at the National Institutes of Health. Together they have a son, Sreejan Kumar, a Princeton University grad student. Today, Manish leads all NXP Wi-Fi Alliance standards and product development activities.
What is the Wi-Fi Alliance?
This is a worldwide network of companies working together to make Wi-Fi possible. They are responsible for driving Wi-Fi adoption and evolution, developing innovative technologies and requirements, to ensure Wi-Fi delivers in the way that consumers expect.
You won the Quality of Service Award recently. According to the Alliance, “individuals receiving this award have contributed their expertise to a multitude of Wi-Fi Alliance programs." Tell us about that.
This means a great deal to me. The award is given to individuals who have shown impactful leadership and exemplary service in the industry for over five years, so I am honored to have been selected. I currently chair the Wi-Fi Alliance Marketing Task Group for Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi EasyMesh, Wi-Fi Easy Connect and Display programs, as well as serving as Vice Chair for the Wi-Fi Easy Mesh and Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity Technical Task Groups. I was the technical editor for Wi-Fi Certified 6 Release 1.
Clearly Wi-Fi plays a central role in your work. How does this fit in with NXP’s strategy for growth?
It enables NXP to take a leading role in shaping Wi-Fi in general, and lately Wi-Fi 6 in particular, for seamless interoperability between devices and rapid market adoption of standards. The Wi-Fi Alliance forecasts a strong growth in devices supporting Wi-Fi 6 that will be shipped worldwide by the end of 2020. NXP is at the forefront of this wave, enabling our Wi-Fi certified 6 products to be designed into exciting new products spanning multiple markets, from IoT to industrial and network access to automotive.
Why is NXP ideally placed for work on Wi-Fi?
NXP has a vision of a connected world that anticipates and automates, with smart connected devices that make lives easier, safer and more convenient. We are perfectly placed to deliver on this since this company provides an ideal environment for creating innovative solutions.
When you’re not focusing on making the world a better place through ubiquitous Wi-Fi, how do you unwind?
I enjoy dining out with my wife and son when I have time, but with so much work to be done, I have little time off. And I do enjoy watching movies and crime shows, in particular Law and Order.
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