... in the distant horizon!
Traditional Indian businesses leapfrogged, while some hopped around as they made inroads into the market place. Few however, made any noticeable impact in a global sense. As Information Technology grew and with it the Internet, Indian IT talent came into focus.
Those who gazed deep into the crystal ball of the future saw a huge potential staring out at them. But conditions of entry were highly restricted. Global benchmarks had transformed and the fiercely competitive market place had no openings for the substandard. It was evident, 'Innovate or Perish'.
Fledglings became giants and in turn threw up more fledglings. Each came up with mission statements, vision statements and some with no statements. MindTree was just a diminutive speck in a far-off horizon. But the challenge to make it a global entity was closest to heart. Thirty-odd hearts actually, when they started operations from their makeshift premises in Raheja Chambers on Museum Road.
Space was at such premium and the conditions so cramped that perhaps, even laps and laptops overlapped. "But it was fun. We were like a small family preparing ourselves for an exciting journey," says Nagana Gouda one of the People Function team, the name by which the HR department is referred to at MindTree. Vijayalakshmi (Viji), Ashok Soota's loyal secretary of his Wipro days endorses the 'one family' view and adds, "It was such a small place and you won't believe, Mr. Soota had a tiny table to work on. He didn't mind one bit." Neither would he mind if she addressed him, as 'Ashok' rather than 'Mr. Soota', but then, given her fierce loyalty chances of that happening remain rather slim.
January of year 2000 saw MindTree move to a new 33,000 sq.ft facility in Basavangudi suburb. This gave the team elbowroom and 266 additional members to the family.
MindTree had kick-started months ago, this development center "MindTree House 1" peppered in the momentum.