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Making of the MindTree

PART IV - Page 4 of 4 | Go to Part I | Go to Part II | Go to Part III | Previous Page

On July 9 , Wipro communicated to the world that Ashok Soota was leaving as Vice Chairman and Head of Wipro's software business. Ashok was away to Kerala, attending a niece's wedding. As the news sent waves across, KK and I were flooded with phone calls and e-mails. We called Ashok and requested him to cancel his trip and come back to at least give a limited clarification to the Press. None of us were willing to speak because we were all transitioning out of our current assignments. Ashok returned the next morning.

Upon Ashok's return, two critical things got out of the way. One was the choice of investor. Two, the name. By now, we were actively dialoguing with the US Private Equity fund and Walden. Sivan Securities founded by a young Venture Capitalist named VG Siddhartha, entered at this stage. Sivan Securities came to be famous for its golden touch when it picked up a large unsubscribed portion of the Infosys IPO. People today have forgotten that such an incredible thing could have happened. Later, Siddhartha had financed companies like Kshema Technologies and Sabeer Bhatia's Arzoo. Siddhartha and his colleague Poornima knew Ashok socially for many years and had been egging him to start something. Suddenly, everything was in place. We dropped the US based Private Equity because we sensed that they would not be able to match our ambition. A combination of Walden and Sivan looked like a good choice. The former would give us international credibility and the latter would give us a good platform in India from future investor perspective. On 15 July 1999, away from media, in a non-descript conference room in the basement of Gateway Hotel in Bangalore, at 9.30 in the night, founders of the unnamed company, Walden and Sivan Securities signed the agreement. It was a fantastic occasion it underscored the power of friends coming together. Business success, money, and attendant trappings were less important. We were happy that we had done a deal with friends, with people who shared the same value system. We called Som Das in the US and shortly there after, our other co-founders, and congratulated everyone.

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