Cadence, Tower-Jazz, Nokia-Siemens, Microsemi (formerly Powerdesign), Visair and Zoran – all of these are clients of the Israeli “chip development” and verification company Rachip, which was established four years ago.
However, the company did not follow the usual path of companies in the service sector, which includes offices designed in Rosh Ha’Ain, recruiting investors, and a management avenue that includes 8,200 expatriates. Raychip, a self-sustaining profitable company, located in Bnei Brak, did not raise a single shekel from funds and was founded by an Orthodox entrepreneur – Racheli Ganot.
The company employs 25 employees, 23 of whom are ultra-Orthodox women and only two men, one of whom is secular. Ganot, a mother of three in her 30s, is the CEO of the company, and she defines it as an “orthodox hi-tech company”.
“Raychip provides advanced chip development services in the fields of chip development for the semiconductor industry and hardware systems,” she says in an exclusive interview with “Globes”. “I saw the boom in software companies that employ ultra-Orthodox engineers, and it winked at me. It seemed that there was room for a venture in the field of hardware services as well. I recognized a lack of manpower, so we started small. It was clear that it would be difficult to find external financing, but a service company usually does not have cash flow problems, and no It was necessary to get external investors.”
According to her, the company started with minimal equity and initial training of engineers. “Our great luck is that the market was thirsty for workers in the field. I was involved in all the first projects independently, with two or three other engineers. Later, a project led to a project and today there are many companies with great openness to ultra-Orthodox women and their special needs.”
“Reducing the cost of the project”
Other hi-tech companies in Israel in the field of computing employ mainly ultra-Orthodox women – such as Matrix’s projects mainly for offshore services, by Melam-Timm, Aman Computers, and other companies. But the uniqueness of Raychip is that the integration of ultra-Orthodox women is at the heart of the activity, not as a satellite project.
Ganot studied computer science and mathematics at Bar-Ilan University and immediately entered the market. “In the beginning, I worked in the field of real-time, computer systems that update or extract data in real-time. Then in chip verification and chip development at the companies Cadence and Flexlight, both of which were involved in communication developments, and then at Infineon. I saw that there was a great lack of workers in my field because every time I left – it was difficult to find a replacement for me. This was the point at which I decided to start my own company, also with the aim of expanding the fields of ultra-Orthodox software engineers from software testing to computer embedded systems and electronics.”
Thus, today the company provides services in all stages of the development process of the chips and develops software that provides a simulation of the hardware system and the chip. Each project takes several months.
– What are the advantages of Raychip compared to other companies?
Gounat: “The salary of the professional workers in the field is high, which causes the overall budget cost to increase. We provide our clients with a budget balance for the projects. We have the option of reducing the development cost of the projects by 30% or more, and many companies emphasize the number on the bottom line. The crisis It was good for us – the companies saved costs and now we remember that we need to develop. We are in the process of expanding.”
– Has the attitude towards the company you founded changed since its opening until today?
“In 2007 I felt that we were a threat to Israeli engineers. Today they see us as a lifeline. American corporations do not transfer projects to centers in Israel because of the high cost, and we can help them without harming the level of execution. Today they understand that we are not a threat but a potential for the corporations’ branches in Israel. We are closer to the costs of engineers in India, only that we are here, in Bnei Brak.”
– How do you recruit women?
“They come to me before graduation and undergo intensive training. There are 300 female graduates in the market every year in the central region, 50 of the outstanding ones come for an interview, and 20 of them for the first exams. Five of them started our training. The girls often consult with the rabbis about their job offers, as some come from important and well-known rabbinical families.”
“Israeli high-tech can also be built by us”
“My goal is to give ultra-Orthodox, academic, and gifted women an opportunity to realize themselves and realize their potential. I believe that Israeli high-tech can also be built from this power.”
– Why do they choose to work in high-tech?
“They don’t have many other opportunities