Archive for April, 2009

by Subroto Bagchi, Co-founder of  MindTree

Subroto Bagchi

Subroto Bagchi

Connecting the dots looking forward is like looking into a starry sky, and from all the innumerable dots, seeing a coherent picture in a small group of them, and naming a constellation.

A few weeks back, I was speaking at the Indian Institute of Management at Bangalore to a group of alumni. We were speaking about something called “connecting the dots”.

Steve Jobs spoke about it eloquently when addressing students at Stanford University and showed how one thing in your life always leads to the other – how his biological Mother’s obsession led him to attend college, drop out, attend only the classes he chose, which led that to his interest in calligraphy, which in turn became a differentiating factor about Apple. When the events unfurled, he had little idea of how it would all come together. Each valuable step was a piece of the jigsaw puzzle of his life.

So, there is a larger meaning to everyone’s past and current situation – sometimes happy and sometimes difficult. Yet, it is all a run-up to something larger, something yet to happen. Most of the times, Steve says, we can only connect the dots looking backward. But sometimes, we come across people who can connect the dots looking forward as well. These are the ones who have a vision for the future. It may be a personal vision or an organizational one. Once they build that vision, it develops a life of its own; it attracts other people who commit to a shared vision and go on to build a vision community.

Here is a man I know who can connect the dots looking forward. I have written about him in my book, The High Performance Entrepreneur.

Captain Gorur Gopinath came out of the Army and wanted to become an organic farmer – he actually did that. During his farming days, he happened to meet an old buddy, an ex-helicopter pilot, who had quit the army and unable to find any job on the civilian street, had become a manager in a courier company. Dot. Then one day, Gopi was leading a delegation of farmers to China. On the way, he read about a young Vietnamese lady – she had fled the US occupation, migrated to overseas, grown up to become a helicopter pilot and one day, she came back to see her motherland, she cried upon seeing the devastation. She wanted to help rebuild. But what could she do? The only thing she knew how to do was fly a helicopter. But then a country like Vietnam needed infrastructure and access and there were hardly any airfields. So, she decided she would start a helicopter company there. Dot.

Gopi was very deeply stirred by the story and then it occurred to him that in many ways, India was no different than Vietnam – we had not been bombed but we had the same poor infrastructure and lack of access-ability; if Vietnam needed a helicopter company, so did India and you know what? His Army buddies, who had flown the choppers all their lives, were becoming managers in courier companies! Dot. Gopi connected them all and that is how Deccan Aviation was born.

One day, he was flying a chopper to Goa from Bangalore and asked the pilot to fly low so he could see the ground below. As the bird whirred over the vast land, Gopi saw something you and I easily miss. In every hamlet over which he flew, he saw television antennas.

Again, he was seeing the dots.

It occurred to him that a billion Indians were not waiting to be fed and subsidized. A billion Indians could fly! The dots were connecting one more time, of economic liberalization, surging middle-class and the capacity of the ordinary Indian, even those from rural India, to fly a plane at least once in a life time.

Gopi saw the connection between volumes and pricing, people’s latent aspiration and the power of business to transform. India’s low-cost airline was born. He took Deccan to where no one had gone before – Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum, and beyond across the length and breadth of India.

Then came the acquisition by Kingfisher; the inevitability dawned on Gopi and he knew that he was a seer more than a doer. The baby had become adult; it had outgrown him. The best interest of the entrepreneur and the organization lay, not in a fatal embrace but in separation. Again, he was connecting the dots.

And now finally, to politics! There are several dots out there: a revival of middle-class angst against lumpen politics, visionless, partisan nation building and a wary nexus between bygone forces.

He chose to fight the elections as an independent. Now let us imagine a hung Parliament. Imagine parties seeking favor from elected independents to form a government. And imagine Gopi running the aviation ministry. Connect the dots, looking ahead.

When we look at the future, we do not always correctly connect the dots. That is how Columbus, who was trying to come to India, landed up in the richest land of the last century. Not a bad failure, if you asked me.

So, going wrong can not be the reason for not attempting to connect the dots.

When we do connect the dots looking forward, we build “memories of the future”. When we succeed, we actually live in them!


By Dale Carnegie

Tips on Building up Personal Relationships and Making People like you

Ø Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

· What you don’t like others also don’t like. Your criticism won’t be welcome.

· Criticism makes others defensive and resentful.

· Positive Reinforcement works better.

Ø Become genuinely interested in other people.

· People are most interested in themselves.

· Remember people’s birthdays and their other important details.

Ø Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

· Find the interests of others and talk about those things.

· If you know nothing of their interests, ask intelligent questions.

Ø Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk.

· Give your exclusive attention to others.

· Urge others to talk about themselves. Ask pointed questions.

Ø Make the other person feel important.

· People yearn to feel important and appreciated.

· Praise others’ strengths and they’ll strive to reinforce your opinion.

Ø Smile.

· Greet others with smiles and enthusiasm.

· Smiling comes through even over the phone.

Ø Remember People by their name.

· A person’s name to him is the most sweetest sound in any Language.

· Call people by their name and Acknowledge them

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish. If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh. To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish. And they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price. So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste. The fishing industry faced an impending crisis!

But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan .

How did they manage? To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark. The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!

Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired and dull? Basically in our lives, sharks are new challenges to keep us active. If you are steadily conquering challenges, you are happy. Your challenges keep you energized. Don’t create success and revel in it in a state of inertia. You have the resources, skills and abilities to make a difference.

Take a Risk, take a chance. Put a shark in your tank and see how far you can really go!

Courtesy: Shabbar suterwala


Posted: April 19, 2009 in General, Passion

I have come across a wonderful story on opportunity

Once upon a time there was a young man who was longing to marry a beautiful daughter of the village’s most intellectual farmer. He approached him with his wish and showed the readiness to accept any challenge to win his heart. The farmer smiled and asked him come to his farm next day.
Next day the Farmer put a simple condition in front of him that he would leave three bullocks open in the farm and he needs to catch the tail of any one of them. If he succeeds in that he would be eligible to ask for his daughter’s hand. The young man laughed in his sleeves and started dreaming about his marriage with Farmer’s daughter. The Farmer released the first Bullock which was very healthy and full of wildness. The young man had never seen such a big bullock in his life hence he decided to skip this one and wait for another one to catch the tail of. Bee lying his expectations the second one was much bigger and stout like a hunk. He decided not to play with danger and skipped the second one also. Now, as the last chance the third bullock was freed by the Farmer which brought the huge smile on the young man’s face. The third bullock was apparently very weak and thin. The young man ran towards it and jumped to catch it’s tail but he was shocked to see that it didn’t have any TAIL.

Life is full of opportunity. No doubt some of them are difficult to take on but if we let it go due to fear or lack of self confidence we may never be able to marry a beautiful women of farmer called SUCCESS.

Please let me know how do you like it…