Raghula Bhaskar's work ethics acknowleged

Wednesday, 22 December 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: Indian American Ragula Bhaskar, who runs his highly successful business venture FatPipe Inc with none of the frills a big company usually has, has been acknowledged for his frugality and efficiency by the Utah state government.

Bhaskar has been included as co-chair of the Utah state review committee of Utah States' Boards and Commissions. His work entails pouring through records of 400 boards and commissions and evaluating their value, relevance and contribution.

Bhaskar's ability to trim his company's budget has been mentioned in an article on the online journal "Connect" that noted that FatPipe's "unique" trait was the frugality with which he operated.

The company's offices are not lavish, and five-star hotels are not allowed while travelling. The company operates on what Bhaskar terms a "zero" budget.

"For me personally," says Bhaskar, "if I take money from you, I have more than just a legal obligation, but also a personal obligation to spend that money even more wisely than I would spend my own money. It's a personal philosophy."

"The bad thing about giving people a budget," he says, "is that they feel the allocated money must be spent. At FatPipe, everything must be justified. When you ask me for money, you have to tell me what you will get out of it.

"We try to be very careful about spending money. If you look at our staff, we don't have too many vice presidents or bloated departments. When we travel, we stay at Holiday Inn Express."

This is probably what attracted Utah governor-elect Jon Huntsman to recruit Bhaskar along with others.

For the last one and a half months, Bhaskar has been spending a considerable amount of time focusing on his review work rather than on his company.

Bhaskar and his wife Sachaita invented the router clustering devices that enable reliable, redundant and fast Internet/Wide Area Network (WANs) connections. That was back in 1997, and since then they have built their Utah- based company into one that has posted its third quarter of positive revenues.

As he wraps up his work as co-chair, Bhaskar told IANS: "It has been quite an experience looking at state wide issues."

In his review work, Bhaskar has focused on each group's talent base, budgets and history, documenting his findings in a final report that he will submit Jan 3.

"We've been looking at these boards to see how they can be made more effective, where there could be cost savings, and at their different functions," he said. The team will put together its action plan for the governor.

"It's not like anything I have done before," Bhaskar admitted. "This was more encompassing than doing a technical report. There were multiple agendas, a lot of department heads to meet. It's much more wide-ranging and more social and economic."

Despite his appointment and the experience, Bhaskar says he will not consider taking up any administrative position in the government.

"It is an honour to be asked by Governor Huntsman to participate in government processes in this manner, allowing me to give back to my community in a meaningful way while still maintaining and growing FatPipe Networks," he notes.

Bhaskar is also on the Industrial Advisory Board of the University of Utah's College of Engineering.

Since 1994, when he started his own consulting company, which he later named FatPipe, Bhaskar's company has received some $13 million in venture capital funding in addition to his own monies and that from friends and believers.

Source: IANS
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