By S. Ramadorai, Vice Chairman, Tata Consultancy Services
Country road...take me home...
I had been the first in the family to get an American education. On completion of my degree in the early 1970's at UCLA, I had a lucrative job offer with National Cash Register (NCR) of $12,000 a year and a bright future ahead of me in the burgeoning computer industry in the US. In a corner of my heart my strong nationalistic upbringing kept tugging at the option of c ..
option of coming back to India.
In those days this meant a job with Tata's or Birla's. My parents threw in the final deal maker by arranging a meeting with a pretty young girl - a prospective bride for me. So I was faced with a difficult choice between a career in the US and going back to India. I went by my instinct and unlike many of my contemporaries who stayed on in the US, I decided to come back to India.
Life is full of challenges that include critical choices to be made. Choices that sometimes compel you to take the unknown path, changing your destiny forever. I made mine and chose to return to India. On one hand there awaited me my future bride and on another was an opportunity to join TCS, a division of Tata Sons, perhaps the most prestigious industrial group in India at that time.
It's times like this when a tussle between the head and heart come into play. Most times I have been lucky when I listened to my heart.
Nothing is impossible!
In the early 1970's, the Indian IT market was not yet ready to adopt computing technologies, so TCSBSE 0.51 % became the first Indian IT software and services company to obtain permission to set up an overseas unit in New York. I was asked to go to New York in 1979 as the first TCS Resident Manager to to build a new revenue stream.
In those days, India was known more as a land of snake charmers, this posed great challenges to me in trying to sell anything Indian, least of all software services. To top it all, I had absolutely no sales...