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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

July - 2006 - issue > How I Saved the Day

Stay Ahead of Change

S.Janakiraman
Tuesday, July 4, 2006
S.Janakiraman
It was November 2001 and just two months after 9/11. The leadership team of R&D Services, a business unit of MindTree Consulting had gathered for the Annual Strategy Meet. The schedule for this meet was decided much ahead of 9/11 to take stock of the progress and plan the strategies. At the time of scheduling the meeting we had no clue that the world as well as our businesses would change for ever.

MindTree was launched in August 1999 as a high profile start up with Ashok Soota at the helm and a solid team of industry veterans coming together. The first full fiscal year April 2000 to March 2001 had been a record year for the toddler delivering $14 million as revenue.
MindTree entered the software services market with two businesses: R&D services business focused on communication technologies and providing design services for our customers to address the communication product needs of enterprises as well as telcos. IT services business focused on Internet technologies targeting the booming B2B and B2C dot.com markets. The spaces we chose to focus on, the industry expertise we brought in and the timing of the launch of MindTree were so perfect, it looked nothing can stop us from building a successful and fast growing global enterprise.

But, by the time we met in Nov 01, everything had changed. Most of the customers of R&D Services were high profile networking product startups that were rearing to take over the world away from giants like Cisco, Nortel and Lucent. Future of many of those startups came to a grinding halt with 9/11.

The analysts who predicted unlimited headroom for growth for the communication bandwidth and Internet applications just few months before 9/11 realized that world is running with excess capacity of bandwidth and Internet applications cannot fully replace the legacy systems.

Most of our customers who were startups in the communication space ran out of gas in just two months post 9/11 with investors pulling the plug and the bubble was burst. Our business which was growing at rapid pace till Sep 2001 came down crashing to half of what it was with many of our customers winding down their business and some cutting down their investment in technologies, people and outsourcing. The situation for us was like pulling the rug when the toddler is trying to walk.

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