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Prasad Nair
Prasad Nair

Prasad Nair

Engineer

Microsoft

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Brief Description
To give a brief introduction , I grew up in a suburban area of Kochi city in Kerala. Completed my schooling there and then Graduated in Math's and completed Post Graduation in Computer Applications thereafter. I started my career just before finishing my Post Graduation in a startup Mobile technology company operating in Kerala . Its been almost 12 years now and I had worked for several startups and several MNCs in India and abroad. To name a few, I worked for companies like STMicroelectronics , Qualcomm, Sony Ericsson , Johnson Controls and Microsoft. Some of them where in India and some in US. I had worked in different roles . Sometimes as an individual contributor and sometimes in a Team environment and at times as a mentor to new recruits and freshmen. Currently I am working for Microsoft at Redmond, Washington for Windows Phone Division.Our division is responsible for the quality of Windows Phone devices that you see in the market.
Challenges in job
As everyone know, Mobile technology is a rapidly evolving industry. Working in such an industry is challenging and at times fun too. As the industry is evolving rapidly so do my career. The most challenging aspects I see in this career are 1) Staying Relevant : As technologies evolve rapidly you need to be a fast learner and should know what's happening around on a day-to-day basis 2) Time management and Multitasking skills : At a time several tasks can happen concurrently at work. This may be complex and subtle stuff. Keeping presence of mind and context under discussion is crucial. 3) Risk management : As its a rapidly evolving industry, things can go in a different direction than we plan. I myself had lost my job 3 times in this 12 year span for reasons beyond my control, Luckily , I survived. When you keep on swimming in a river with troubled waters, your muscles will get more toned and that helps in maintaining mental and physical health. And if you enjoy swimming you feel no other place better. I think the most important thing is doing what you enjoy.
Job made easy
I like my job, I like what I do. That's makes my job easier. One thing I see at Microsoft, is one or the other way you get lot of opportunity to learn. You are surrounded by some people who are special and unique in their talents. Such an environment you could find in very few places and is special. This raises the bar and that helps you keep motivated.
Upcoming Trends
Mobile industry is competitive and is experiencing cut-throat competition. In the long run Market share will be with the one who has the Mindshare. And Mindshare will be with the one who provides differentiation from others which is a value add for the consumer. Bringing up such standout products
needs lot of groundwork. Four years back touch interface ruled. Now lot many other features had gained importance like cloud services, document management, imaging, gaming etc. to name a few. Mobile domain is still evolving and I think last several years we spent time improving the device capabilities. With cloud services and connectivity the focus will change more towards services and quality of life. In coming five years, being able to use same services thru different screens and interfaces will gain traction.Still there will be improvements happening in design and hardware, but software and online services will determine the winner. Margin's in hardware is getting already wafer thin and to stay float device vendors will depend on value added services thru which they can rake in margins.

My point of view
I don't think our country is doing anything wrong. Its not about wrong or right. We focused on Services and it grew well. Managing services also require talent. But it will be good if we have good products. When you focus on services you are depending on other companies success to grow your business. The sad part about our services industry is a self imposed restriction on thinking Global. Putting cost and career restrictions will keep the talented flock away from our intellectual capital. Without such talent its difficult to bring-in innovation which is bread and butter for product development. Without such high margin products our companies cannot improve the bottom line beyond a point. Our companies needs bold changes to get to the next level. Product development should be managed differently than you manage services business. A realignment is required from a policy perspective too. Long term policy favoring product development needs to be in place. Labor laws should be enhanced to support this. We need huge hardware parks with suppliers surrounding it . Infrastructure and capacity planning should happen in parallel. Currently from land acquisition to product realization everything is surrounded by red tape and nepotism. I personally had an experience of establishing a online payment facility for an entrepreneurial effort. You will not believe how easy it is in western countries to do that compared to India.

My goal
Most important goal is to do everything possible to see that I get opportunity to do what I love. Do very few things, but do it like a pro when I do. Ambition is always to be an entrepreneur who can provide jobs and put world-class products in the market. I think lot of our talented countrymen will benefit from such a turnaround of my career.
Family background
My home was a single income family with father working for state electricity board. Mother was a housewife. My home was an average household you could see in that part of the world even now. I am the third child of my parents. My elder brother is an engineer now and sister was a teacher. I am married and having two kids . My wife used to work for Ernst and Young but currently a house-wife. Elder one is my daughter and she is 5 years old. Younger one is 3 months old son. With a job like this even marriage can turn terrible if you are not lucky. I guess I am lucky. My wife can suffer a nut like me and still show patience. She manages my home well so I get lot of freedom to focus on my work.

Advice to professionals
What to do: 1) Write down on a paper and in your mind what you want from this world ? Where you want to be ? What you want to give to this world ? What makes you happy ? Take enough time to think before you write , believe that its something you cant change later. 2) Once you reach your goal mentioned in step 1 go to step 1 again for setting your next goal. If you had not reached your goal realign and plan for that often. Do introspect if you are going in right direction often because life can be so cruel you will forget where you want to be. What not to do: 1) Don't do what you don't love to do. We end up doing stuff to impress others. Don't live for performance appraisals. Your life deserves bigger goal than that. Don't aim too low. 2) Don't do things to people around you, which you yourself don't want to see others doing to you.

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