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Success tip: No idea is too small

December 13, 2006 19:23 IST
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Rajendra Gadgil is the senior vice president of marketing at NOCIL. He is a chemical engineer and has graduated from IIT Bombay.

In an interview with, Gadgil holds forth on the Pan-IIT global meet, what young entrepreneurs need to go for success and the challenges that face India today. Excerpts:

'Inspire, Involve and Transform India.' Can you dwell upon the significance of the theme for this year's Pan-IIT global conference?

Very often a theme is just a theme. More essentially, it's the spirit that plays an important role; the spirit of a spool of talented, intelligent and well educated people bringing forth their energies to one place.

It is the ability to inspire these energies to involve and thereby transform India. It is now payback time for IIT-ians to transform India to its development.

IIT-ians are the pride of India. What do you think is the biggest contribution of IIT-ians to India?

IIT-ians have made a lot of difference to India by putting in on the technological map of the world. People recognise India as a strong technical country. Look at Sabeer Bhatia, Rajat Gupta and the likes. Today more then 50-60 big companies of the world have Indians at the very top. Also, besides the bigwigs, a lot of IIT-ians have chosen not to go abroad and have made their mark here in India.

When you made it to IIT; what was that experience like?

Oh, it was a great feeling! Even at those earlier times, the IIT exams were the most competitive exams one could sit for. IIT prepared you for anything and everything in life. Those 5 years were the most defining years of life and with a will and mindset of an IIT-ian can achieve anything in life.

Did you have any role model who inspired you in your career?

No, not any one person in particular. You learn as you go along in life. Though, have learnt and experienced a lot of different abilities from different people. One can only progress with such people around.

How did the IIT help build your career and personality? How does the IIT-ian network help?

To answer the second question first, the network can help if sought, although any IIT-ian is good enough in his / her own steam. In my case, the network has helped me retain good old bonds and threads of friendships for the past so many years. And, as I mentioned earlier, being at the IIT prepares you for everything in life. The personality creates itself.

Could you tell us 5 things that young IIT-ians, entrepreneurs must do to succeed?

Feel the urge, start at the very beginning and work your way up to the top.

Be focussed on your career and bring yourself to the top.

Share the fruits of your success for the benefits of your education in such a way that it could be brought back to the country.

Dare to be different.

No idea is too small.

What are the challenges that India faces in the new millennium? How can IIT-ians help address these challenges?

India faces big challenges today. The wave of Globalization has hit one and all making the world one big very competitive economy. There is no cocoon for the Indian industry, be it in any field. There are different global powers for different industries, China being the biggest.

We need to be strong and build our way through. We need to be cost competitive and create our own edge.

Which are the technologies and companies in the rich India that can have a beneficial impact on the rural India?

Technology does not recognise urban and rural divide or any geographical boundaries. Technology relates to every field of progress, be it power, road building, water, etc. The key is getting though and progressing without creating your own boundaries.

Should India have more IITs? Why?

Yes, but it should be limited. It should not proliferate in such a way that it hampers good quality and excellence. One should never say no to something good.

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