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Making of the MindTree

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

Rostow Ravanan loves his name. People invariably ask him to explain it. Rostow's grandfather was a freedom fighter and an atheist. He named his children after "anti-Gods" if you will. Thus, Rostow's dad was named "Ravanan". Somehow, Rostow's father did not become an atheist but the name stayed. When he had two sons, he picked up an international theme instead. Rostow, the first-born was named after the famous US Economist W.W.Rostow. His only medico brother is Romel. Rostow's parents had a name reserved for a girl child though they never had one: Helsinki. We did a name reservation on that for Rostow's daughter, even though at the time of forming the company, he was single. Rostow studied commerce and then did his chartered accountancy and his company secretary examination with flying colors. He worked for KPMG as a Consultant and KPMG had decided to post him to New York. At that time, Lucent offered him a job in Bangalore to help set up the Bell Lab Development Center. Rostow is a finance person with the pretensions of a technologist. When I talked to him about the Mission, the Vision and the other founders, it was not difficult for him to say yes. In India where parents are more cautious than children, Rostow's parents were completely supportive. Strangely, so were Partha's. All the wives were very supportive too. Saba Kamran's wife, Jennifer Scott's wife and Purba, Anjan's wife all thought it was a great idea.

Kalyan Banerjee's father was born in a poor brahmin family near Purulia in rural Bihar. Along with his brother, he used to walk ten miles to school every day through the paddy fields. As the two trudged on, every day, a wealthy man (actually the local king) would watch them and became curious. One day, he called the two boys in and asked them who they were and where they came from. On learning about their poverty and impressed with their sincerity, he called for their father. When the two met, he had an offer. He suggested that the two boys stay in his house and go to school rather than walk ten miles every day, each way. Life changed irrevocably from that point. Kalyan's father grew up to become a geologist and in turn, sent Kalyan to the famed Indian Institute of Technology. Kalyan joined Wipro and grew up to be an acknowledged expert in Operating Systems and an authority on fault-tolerant UNIX. A few years back, Kalyan decided to switch his career from being a Head Nerd to Human Resource Management. He headed Wipro's Technology Solutions Division and was responsible for the Human Resource function of a 1400 people organization. As a mentor to Kalyan, I knew his future lay in Knowledge Management. When I proposed that he come and set up for us the best Knowledge Management repository in our chosen domain in this part of the world, he readily agreed. So did his wife, Debjani. While all this was progressing and we were putting in place what the world and the media later called the "Dream Team", destiny played her second card. We were quite unprepared for this one!

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