"One Point Contact Man"...
Have you ever stopped for a moment to wonder at the spectrum of opportunities thrown open by information technology today? In the good old days, Mom wanted you to be a doctor, Dad wanted you to be an engineer and some nosey relative preferred you take the secure option of a bank or government job. Confusion prevailed. Traditionally, engineers worked as engineers in manufacturing plants or power stations, doctors invariably went abroad to 'specialize' and those behind desks in banks and government positions did what they were meant to do - toe the line and push files.
Boy! Haven't times changed? And so it came to be with Vishal Arora from Bombay (we liked this guy. He never once referred to 'Bombay' as 'Mumbai'). He graduated from REC, Durgapur in Electrical Engineering, worked for two years, went on to get himself a management degree and joined a dotcom in the B2B space. He set up the entire marketing, directed the show and eventually, when it ran into rough weather like most dotcoms did (except of course, Koramangala.com), he quit and moved to Microland in Bangalore, as Product Manager. Three months ago, he was at Digital GlobalSoft where, as he puts it, "I'm the 'one point contact man' for everything to do with marketing."
An electrical engineer in marketing? Involved in web support, knowledge management, collateral creation, running marketing campaigns? Isn't he supposed to be in a power plant, redesigning hi-tension wires, calculating transmission loss, playing sleuth detecting power thefts or some such thing? No. Not Vishal Arora. On the contrary, he's carved out an essential role for himself at Digital. "Actually, I never thought I'd land up in IT," he says, admitting that he was never interested in coding. The closest he got to computers was when he had this short stint at Zenith Computers in sales. "I could have done my B.Sc and do this job", realizing that he'd spent four precious years to become an engineer, not to sell computers. At one point he thought of joining ABB or L&T but then, as he himself says, "I love a job with more creative content. It was my dream to join a company with infrastructure. I don't like working in a congested place. I believe that when there's too much congestion, creative ideas don't come to you." And so, Vishal spared himself from wearing those funny-looking 'on-site' helmets.
What's it like at Digital? Firstly, it's the openness in culture. There's always someone out there who's willing to listen. Which gives him 'elbow room in the mind' to work on that constant flow of creative ideas. Most important is that they get implemented which otherwise all too often, make or break a project. At Microland it was a 'no-win' situation. In stark contrast "Digital is cash-rich," he says and that helps. Then of course, there's the career path. "Professionally, I know what my road map is for the next 6-8 months. After that I'm not so sure," he says. "Definitely there are chances to grow, but in the IT industry nobody can be sure what can happen in the next 12 months. Things can go up or come down. One never knows."
Spoken from the heart. But then, there are more positives than minuses in an industry that has off late traveled the bumpy highway and beginning to look much more realistic. Technology is here to stay and there's no denying that fact.
A time will come when this soon father-to-be electrical engineer turned computer salesman turned IT Pro will have his heart leap as he beholds a rainbow in the sky. At the end of which will be that proverbial pot of gold.
Note: This story was written when the company was known as 'DIGITAL'.