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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.

Straight from the Gut

Pradeep Shankar
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Pradeep Shankar
The audacity of hope does seem to be a skimpy little virtue quite often. But, for those who have the audacity to hope have little choice but to make it come true. It was this virtue that made Kumar Srinivasan and Kalyan Raman(Kal) to emerge from the humble environs of the village in which they were born to the sophisticated corporate world. Successfully breaking the shackles of poverty that ruined the mirth of their boyhood, the two brothers today reign the corporate world—Kumar Srinivasan as the General Manager, Vice President of Technology and Head of Amazon Bangalore Center and Kalyan Raman as the CEO of Global Scholar.

They have come a long way, though the journey was not an easy one. "It's neither easy now", adds Kumar. But that never deterred them. Challenges fuelled their hope, and every trial and triumph turned out to be a new learning experience. The story is not a 'rags to riches' story, but it is more about the growth of two individuals who had the innate wisdom and an undying spirit. Truly validating the words, "We are all born with a divine spark in us. Our effort should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness."

The Cost of Being Poor

On Diwali morning in 1987 Kumar Srinivasan woke up just as he did every day. His biggest Diwali gift was waiting for him. "My brother gave me Rs. 10 and he was budgeting this for the last 3 months," recalls Kumar.

With no breakfast, he used to walk 10-12 kms everyday to go to school. Luckily for him, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.G. Ramachandran had introduced Midday Meal Scheme for school children in the state. "That's why my mom always voted for MGR’s party," quips Kumar. While he looked forward to the much-needed meal—sambar bath with a few pieces of carrot and tomato, Kumar would stay back after all students had left to wash the vessels. This would earn him an extra plate of meal, which he promptly packed and brought home. Sometime he would give it to his younger brother in whose school the scheme was yet to be introduced, and sometimes the morsel of food would be lunch for his sister next day. His childhood memories still bear the imprints of a household bonded by the pressures of poverty.


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