27 September, 2020

Never Finish School

A fear of failure heads start-up blues. But it's really fun.

R. Prasad
Never Finish School
I was among the early batches of MBAs that passed out of IIMs. It was hence natural that I expected to be in a nice air-conditioned office, with an efficient assistant, et al! Instead, I was posted in Ranchi and was in charge of a liquor depot. Those days, there was an aggressive student movement in Bihar led by the late Jayaprakash Narain. So here I was, sitting in a dusty warehouse, in the midst of rampaging students, hoping they would not notice my stocked liquor trucks. I got in touch with my boss in Calcutta, who cheerfully told me, "You are the man on the spot, get the job done." Having been thrown off the deep end, I learned early to work with the attitude that the buck stopped with me and that I needed to get the blooming job done—an essential ingredient for any wannabe entrepreneur.

I was fortunate to have been involved in four start-up ventures, but here I would like to talk about Sify, a company I co-founded with Satyam Computers. I had just exited a cellular start-up and was seriously thinking of improving my golf handicap...


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