19 June, 2021

Diary Of A Mobile Entrepreneur

I had my epiphany one evening in 1991 in Guruvayur from where I was trying to call the US embassy for a fix on my green card renewal appointment...

Illustration by Saahil
Diary Of A Mobile Entrepreneur
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Grand Trunk Call

I had my epiphany one evening in 1991 in Guruvayur from where I was trying to call the US embassy for a fix on my green card renewal appointment. It was monsoon time in Kerala and I was standing in the reception of one of the lodges that litter temple towns, with one phone at the reception counter. I had placed a TRUNK call and, hearing my anxious tone, the operator suggested that I upgrade my request to an URGENT TRUNK call which would be more expensive but would take about a half-hour to connect. That definition of urgency—that is, of a half-hour wait—wasn’t working for me, so it turned out I needed to upgrade my request to a LIGHTNING TRUNK call. And so it was that at a cost of 10 times the normal trunk call, I could finally make my call hollering loudly on a poor connection.

That was how it was in 1991. I knew then that we would be successful in telecom and returned my green card and deci­ded India is where the action would be for me next. This was a new technology, new area, even if most people had...

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