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Making of the MindTree

PART V - Page 2 of 2 | Go to Part I | Go to Part II | Go to Part III | Go to Part IV | Previous Page

Making of the MindTree
On 26th. July, 13 months after the idea was born, I was walking on Bangalore's Ring Road in a rather pensive mood with Cyber. Cyber is the family's Golden Retriever. As he went about sniffing around in his space, it suddenly dawned on me that we should ask the children at the Spastic Society of Karnataka to design our visual identity. The thought sent down 440 volts down my spine. Children with cerebral palsy are often blessed with fine minds that are trapped in a disobedient body. Some of them have limb coordination problems, speech and hearing impairment. There is no cure for cerebral palsy and society is yet to fully learn how to integrate them into the mainstream. Confined to wheelchairs, most such individuals have to go through a life of unending rehabilitation. Yet, they have brave, creative minds some of them are extremely gifted artists. The only difference between them and "normal" artists is the physical obstacle they have to overcome to dip a brush in paint or to apply it on a canvas. As soon as the idea germinated in my mind, I asked all the co-founders on their opinion. Even if any one of them would have suggested a more conventional approach, I would have understood. To my delight, they all thought it was a fantastic idea. We must be able to create our enterprise with people who deeply believe in the ability of the human spirit that must overcome every odd.

The next afternoon, Kalyan and I stood in front of ten young students of the Spastic Society of Karnataka and made them our Brand Brief. Some of them were in wheel chairs, some had to be carried to the therapeutic playground where we stood and some barely managed to stand on their unwilling legs. But they listened with magical spark in their eyes. We knew these children, boys and girls between ages of 13 to 20, understood our Mission, our Vision and our Core Values. They all agreed that they would paint us our visual identity. In their innocent eyes and golden hearts, I saw the sapling take root.

Two weeks after the first meeting with our young friends, we were flooded with several possible options. The one that clearly stood out was the work of 17-year-old K. S. Chetan. Chetan has a form of cerebral palsy that denies him coordinated limb movement and affects his speech. But his brilliant mind overcame all odds. In one skyward blue brush stroke, Chetan depicted boundless imagination. He surrounded the skyward blue brush stroke with yellow dots, pretty much like a tree in bloom. To him, the yellow dots symbolized "bubbles of joy". On August 18, 1999, we presented our visual identity to the world. MindTree was born.

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