Friday, June 13, 2008

Globalization of Indian Economy - through the eyes of a small town boy

The ambition of becoming an engineer was born in me when I was in class eleventh standard studying at a very backward district of eastern India in the year 1987. It was the ceremony of one of my elder sister's marriage and I was awed by one of the guests of my would-be brother-in-law. He was in complete formal and I came to know that he worked for IBM, USA. I had no idea about IBM, and had a very vague idea about USA. Yes I am talking about those days when there was a single TV channel in India, when roads used to become deserted at around 9 o'clock in the morning because of the TV serial Ramayana, and when radio has just given ways to TV in Indian cities and when telephone used to be the symbol of status. I was barely aware of what was happening outside my hometown. After seeing that gentleman, however, one ray of ambition entered my calm soul - I started looking myself as a future engineer.

I was fortunate enough to crack the entrance exam and took admission in the civil engineering department of Bengal Engineering College, one of the premier institutions of India.

At that time another technological revolution was taking shape in India. That was the telecommunication revolution, and I used to read news about the brain behind that. Yes I am talking about Sam Pitroda. At that time all my fellow hostel room-mates were from the Telecomm department. I could not resist my ambition and took admission in the TeleComm department of my college in the year 1989.

Days passed by. When I was in the third year, I was introduced to PC and DOS and BASIC. I was, however, not satisfied by the syllabus of this subject. So I started looking outside for some help. I started learning Lotus 123 and WordPerfect from outside. At that time it was really difficult to gather information. There was no Google.

However, it gave me the interest to learn computer. This way I was exposed to the globalization of India. I took admission in the Masters of Engineering program in the Computer Science Department of our college in 1994. But it became difficult for me to pick up subjects like data structure, Operating system without any background. It was not that I was unable to understand the theoritical side of data structure, but with my existing concepts of programming knowledge I just could not implement those in C. My frustration was building up. The willingness to learn could not be satisfied by the means of learning. Finally I gave up and went for a job.

Thus I started my career. But it was only in 1996-1997 that I got a chance to come into the real software industry. I started picking up skills like C++, VC++ and Windows Programming.

Many days have passed by. But still I can't forget about those days when to remove a compilation error I used to sweat. Life was really difficult those days without the support of Google.

However, it gave me the right direction. I moved into the right path.

Many days have passed by. At present when I am trying to establish myself in the mobile technology domain, I wonder how I didn't have the knowledge of the difference between a chordless phone and a mobile phone, how I used to struggle to know about a telecom switch and its structure. These days when I read about fixed mobile convergence, I wonder how I had to struggle to gather the knowledge about CDMA and DECT. And I can't forget my struggle to make one senior executive understand the difference between DataCommunication and TeleCommunication.

My career is as old as the age of the economically liberalized India. As I didn't have the key to control my year of birth, I am definitely thankful to God for bringing me to this earth at the right time. I am at least the part of the technological revolution that has made the world "flat".....