Sandeep Madan is an unusual IITian. Unlike most of his classmates, cushy jobs don't attract him, neither can fat pay packets compel him to stick to a particular job. What he seeks instead is a spirit of adventure. Which is why Madan left the ornate post of president, India operations, at a small BPO startup (it was a downright stupid decision to accept the job in the first place, he tells me) and has been gathering funds to set up a training-cum-resource unit for the BPOs in Hyderabad.
With this aim, he and his six-member team tied up with the Indian School of Business recently. Their intent is to launch the company "under the ISB incubation umbrella."
"Our plan is to go national to face the resource crunch," Madan says. He feels, "The BPO industry is growing at a rapid pace and there is always a shortage of manpower. Even though BPOs are employing young people, we are often noticing a mismatch. The company that we are carving out will address this particular problem."
Originally from Delhi, Madan did his BTech from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 1985 in mechanical engineering.
He joined HCL from campus and was posted in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi till 1994. In 1994, Madan left HCL for AT&T and headed the company's consumers' services for South Asia till 1999.
"But being as restless as ever, I soon felt the need for change," he says, "and so joined GE BPO business, Gurgaon as the vice president, relationship in 1999."
Madan was soon given the charge of setting up the first call centre process with GE, Hyderabad. "Thereafter, the tag of BPOs sort of stuck to me and I soon found myself in Satyam BPO as the chief operating officer," he smiles.
"I was intrigued by the way the BPOs function and toyed with the idea of trying out something new in this area. Though I soon left Satyam BPO for a small start up, I was not content. It was then that I decided to give up the security of a steady job and take the plunge."
Madan does not feel shy to confess that the last 10 months have been quite tortuous for him. "On one hand, I had to strive to keep my dream of starting a business alive and on the other, had to constantly explore areas to gather funds."
Doesn't it hurt to be unemployed for so many months? "It does," says Madan "but what hurts more is the fact that there is so much money floating around me yet I don't have enough resources to use it to realise my dream."However, with unfailing grit, he is attending the PanIIT Conference, renewing old friendships, building bridges of trust and creating bonds of commitment. "Apart from my wife and daughter back home in Hyderabad, old buddies alone can support me in this hour of uncertainty."