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Syntax Soft-TechCenturies ago the discovery of the zero by a group of Indian mathematicians revolutionized the world of mathematics. That there was now a system of place value numeration (Could one tell the time as ‘12.30’ without the zero?), the abstract concept of nothingness actually meant nothing to the ordinary man. Until computers came along and changed the way the world lives.

As Information Technology brought about radical changes, India began to churn out programmers in droves. Start-ups and success stories were the order of the day. Along came three youngsters, all from middle-class upbringings, hell bent on adding their bit. Their 'Sangam' took place at Delhi-based Iris Software. Prashant headed the Bangalore office, Subbu was shaping up from a strong project management perspective, growing up a very niche area on workflow and Srivatsa took care of Technical Support functions. Two and half years into their friendship, and the 'Entrepreneurial Bug' bit. Rather than say, “Ouch!” they said "Hey! We have the ability to run and manage an organization, so why not we create one?" Question was, when?

And then one day, it happened. The leading proponent was Prashant. "I took the first step," he says and Syntax commenced operations from shared office-space in Mittal Towers in downtown Bangalore. Six months later, Subbu joined and with Srivatsa's arrival a little later, the Syntax foundation was all set.

Initially, Syntax sailed along merrily picking up business and adding customers. Then they found themselves in the wrong place, on the wrong side, at the wrong time - bang in the middle of the global recession. Did this spell doom for the fledgling?

Not if you go by what Dale Carnegie once said, "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."

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