Then and now

Twenty five years ago, when I graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, a top ranked business school in India, had someone told me that I would be writing a memoir about my mother sometime in my life, I would have laughed.

I would have laughed not at the thought of writing – I had been a small time writer since childhood – but at the topic, which I would have found incongruous.

What’s there to write about mothers, especially for someone like me?

I had my eyes set on doing something exciting in the world of business. That was all that mattered to me at that time.

Post my MBA, I worked mostly in small companies, as I was comfortable working in such environments. After stints in industry research, software product management and as an Internet product manager 1 , I started a dot com venture – grew fast, blew money fast, and melted down even faster. After shutting down the dot com firm in 2002, I worked for a couple of years in London, heading business development for a mid-tier Indian IT firm, before heading back to India towards the end of 2004, where I have lived ever since.

All along this journey, from 1994 when I received my MBA up to about 2005, all that mattered to me was work, business and ideas. Even though my performances in my corporate career and as an entrepreneur were hardly noteworthy, a large part of my time every day was spent in trying something out in business.

When I compare what I am today with what I was in 2005, I cannot see a line leading from then to now. Perhaps it is because of the ravages of time. Perhaps because of specific decisions I made at key points in my life and career.

Or perhaps it is because of amma.



  1. I was probably India’s first Internet product manager as the company I worked with, Sify, was the first private sector Internet Services Provider (ISP) in India.

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