I remember the day when my father called me, and said, “I have spent my life serving the country as a soldier, and I have not made a lot of money. You are young, you have the energy. Your life lies ahead of you. You’ll have my blessings in every endeavor, but do not expect any monetary help from me. You are pretty much on your own from now. You’ll have to look for scholarships to fund your education.” I was still in school, and this dialogue shook me up pretty hard. It was then that I realized that my destiny is my responsibility. I was determined to do something to make my country proud.
My education was funded by scholarships, which provided me with an excellent opportunity to work hard and get good grades. I had to earn my pocket money, and I did every odd job imaginable – from selling kites, Holi colors, and firecrackers, to working as an office boy, a data entry operator, a freelance website designer, and even helping an actor respond to his fan mail. No job was too low, no work demeaning. I was ready to do anything that would help me keep the cash flowing. All the hard work ensured that I grew up to be a self sufficient man.
Once I graduated, I had no aspirations of studying for further degrees. I had already discovered that life had taught me more than anything I could be taught in those classrooms. So, I started looking for a job in times when it was difficult for fresh graduates to get jobs in reputable companies. I finally got a job at Satyam Computer Services Ltd. as a help desk executive (that’s a decent name for a receptionist). It was sometime around then that I got interested in the realm of the internet and websites, and started researching and learning on my own. After 16 months, they made me a web designer.
The next few years flew by as I was working harder than ever, and Satyam started flying me off to anywhere it started something new. My assignments took me to Singapore, UK, and USA, and while in the USA, I worked with the World Bank, one of Satyam’s clients. I was happy – my work was being recognized, I was going places. And not once did I feel exhausted. I thrived under the tremendous pressure I was subjected to. But, my love for my work helped me pull through.
Despite my success, I felt a void within. There was a constant ache to do something of my own in my country. My father’s contributions as an army man inspired me, and I wanted to do something for my country that went beyond paying taxes. Around this time, Satyam sent me to the UK. And this trip steeled my resolve to start a company of my own that would innovate to make people’s lives easier and more comfortable. Equipped with a couple of ideas, I approached some investors, who liked my ideas and provided the funding for my first company – TrulyIntelligent Technologies in 2003. This company worked on voice conversion, text analysis, and linguistic processing among other things.
One of our ideas got us all excited and we started another company, NowPos, to work on the prototype in 2005. We had the prototype ready when we got the funds in November that year, and we started working with renewed vigor!
We launched NowPos in February 2006, and were welcomed warmly by the users and the press alike. We created a number of verticals and came up with solutions and products that were well – received in the market. After a few years, I sold my shares in NowPos and exited.
Along with Mahalakshmi (my wife), I started Possibillion Technologies, a services based company. Later, started one more company Broadcast Wearables. At Broadcast, we develop cutting edge technologies and integrate
them with everyday objects like the world has never seen before.
Nothing could stop me from dreaming big and achieving it. Taking my work seriously led me to success, but had I taken myself seriously, I doubt if I would have managed to come close to where I am today. I believed in my dreams to not be dwarfed by challenges – be it lack of funds, technological glitches, deadlines, or lack of encouragement.
No challenge was big enough, no roadblock too daunting. I had confidence – in my team, in myself, and in our ideas.