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'First micro credit was from an IITian-led co'

November 23, 2006 19:52 IST
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In a scintillating chat with on Thursday, Pradeep Gupta, chairman of CyberMedia Group, South Asia's first and largest specialty media house, with 13 publications (including Dataquest and PCQuest), talked about the significance of the Pan IIT 2006 conference and how it is going to evolve plans to 'Inspire, Involve and Transform' India.

Gupta is the chairman of the Pan IIT India and a member of the IIT Delhi Advisory Council.

He is on the board of Kaleidoscope Entertainment; TiE, Delhi; and General Partner of Infinity Ventures. He was the past chairman of e-Gurucool. 

Here is the transcript:

Pradeep Gupta says, Hi everybody! Let's chat!

vikramchopra asked, IITs are no better than any other REC
Pradeep Gupta answers, No comments
gyani asked, most of the IITians are serving in foreign and those who could not go are serving them from India?? when did they start transforming India?
Pradeep Gupta answers, The statistics are to the contrary. Only about 25% of IITians go abroad. IAC, we are today in a global world
iitian asked, i see that u guys are doing some PANIIT meet.what is the purpose of this meet?? does it represent the Idea of all the IITians or u are some bunch of iitians fed up with money and want recognition in homeland so that u can later join politics as those Paritrana guys have not been successful yet
Pradeep Gupta answers, PanIIT is a global organisation. I am the Chair of PanIIT India. So its not global guys wanting to come to India to transform, but a lot of us here in India who want to give back
satya asked, Hi Pradeep... Most of the IITians after completing their course are interested and they are moving to foreign countries for big salaries and settle there till their end of life... this is not healthy for INdia ..whats ur thought on this?
Pradeep Gupta answers, The issue of brain drain is long gone. It is a brain bank. A lot of us have stayed in India, have formed succesful companies and have contributed towards the growth of India
Pradeep Gupta answers, This is not the forum for this q
Vipul asked, wat is your opinion on reservation in IIT?
Pradeep Gupta answers, PanIIT had expressed its views to the President, Prime Minister and the Moily commission. We think that expansion, excellence and inclusion need to be balanced. IITs have to be inclusive, yet excellence must be maintained. We also suggested various other initiatives that should be taken up at the primary edn level
jibak asked, Good Afternoon Mr. Pradip! Could you please give us success story of IIT ians for nation building statistically till its birth in India???
Pradeep Gupta answers, Lots of individuals have contributed. IITians played a major role in making the IT rev happen. You'll find IITians in all fields including rural development, media, infrastructure, entertainmemnt, spirituality and what not. Its not just restricted to corporate world.
abhijeet Chitale asked, Hi Pradeep ......i guess IITians dont want to learn more from things around them they think they are already there, where professionals are after 5 - 6 Years of Experience . Is this the way one can compare there Potential .
Pradeep Gupta answers, This is not for you and I to decide but by the industry
v9ikadh asked, why iit is lowering its level by changing its pattern.
Pradeep Gupta answers, It is not. Its a competitive test. The highest scores will be selected
rats asked, Hello Mr.Pradeep, I wanted to know that what steps PANIIT team/meet is taking to preserve the brand IIT from diluting by day by cause of imposed policies of Government. Please dont mention the opinion what the comittee thinks ...just the straigt forward approach it plans to do something construtive towrds it????
Pradeep Gupta answers, PanIIT works towards taking up issues that concern IITs. Governance is a critical issue and there is one full day devoted to it in the forthcoming PanIIT meet at Mumbai between Dec 23-25
tamal asked, I dont see IIT as transforming India
Pradeep Gupta answers, Tamal, so far the contribution has been at an individual level. For example, the village kiosks work has been the contrib of an IITian. The first micro credit was from an IITian led co. But we now want to take this up on a collective basis. We asked more than 1000 IITians what they wanted this meet to do. The number 1 answer was - how can we transform India
Vikas Gupta asked, Hi Pradeep what I feel it would be exaggeration to make a hype of IITs which creates a sense of insecurity for other colleges which also carry the same excellence
Pradeep Gupta answers, Every college needs to establish its strong brand. And there are a number of very fine institutions that are leaders in their own right.
TINTIN asked, dont you think that IIT graduates should me made to work in India, atleast for some specific amount of time.
Pradeep Gupta answers, We are now in a system that is talking of less controls. Waht is needed is that adequate challenges should be available in various areas and people will take them up. That's what is resulting in a number of people coming back to the country. There are challenges available.
Joy asked, Can India become a global knowledge economy leader?
Pradeep Gupta answers, We are heading in that direction. What is needed are not just the numbers but the quality in terms of manpower. Many more fine institutions like the IITs need to be there
Joy asked, The Indian Diaspora in the US have achieved leadership in knowledge intensive fields. HAs that been duplicated here?
Pradeep Gupta answers, Absolutely. The top leadership of Infosys, Mastek, Wipro, HCL, Sify, Rediff, and numerous others are from IITs. My own co CyberMedia has worked in propogating knowledge thru its publications Dataquest, PC Quest, Voice&Data, Living Digital, etc.
Sandeep asked, Is the government doing enough to encourage entrepreunership?
Pradeep Gupta answers, One full day of parallel sessions at the PanIIT meet is on entrepreneurship
farhan asked, Hello Mr. Pradeep, do you think the govt. should stop subsidising the IIT's as it is proving to be a big drain on the nation's economy! What is the rationale behind such a move by the govt as it is gaining precious little??
Pradeep Gupta answers, The benefit of higher education are for all to see. India is now dreaming of becoming a global knowledge superpower because of the stress that we have had on higher and technical education
Stuti asked, Good afternoon sir, I had the priviledge to hear you in the seminar hosted by our institute (Jagan Institute of Management Studies) and I was very impressed by your views.... IITans are most sought after brands.... what more we can do so that we create a brand equity in India and abroad....
Pradeep Gupta answers, PanIIT has 4 objectives. One of them is brand building. Events in the US, Europe, Singapore, Canada, etc have been done to build up the IIT brand in those countries. In fact it was a very proud moment for us when the US Congree passed a Resolution recognising the role of Indian Americans and especially the IITs towards the US economy.
Stuti asked, Good afternoon sir, I had the priviledge to hear you in the seminar hosted by our institute (Jagan Institute of Management Studies) and I was very impressed by your views.... IITans are most sought after brands.... what more we can do so that we create a brand equity in India and abroad....
Pradeep Gupta answers, And thanks Stuti for the compliments. Its always a pleasure to interact with young minds
dinesh asked, is it possible that all iitians should call in india to share their experience to make india developed country before 2015 & india should pay them equal amt which are they getting there as inds are booming.
Pradeep Gupta answers, These things can't be imposed. They have to come up by creating the right conditions. If you look at the growth of India and China, a lot of it has come from the links between those that went abroad and those that stayed on. At every PanIIT event, a lot of successful persons - from oversea and India - share their experiences.
NITI asked, Dear sir, I salute you and all the IITians that India produced. My parents keep giving me examples of the likes of Mr. Rajat Gupta , Mr. Ashok Malhotra and all those who grab the news columns for the contributions they made. Kudos , to you all . Sir. My family respects you all a lot.
Pradeep Gupta answers, Thank you very much Niti. From amongst the 300 Distinguished Alumni of IITs, about 200 are in India and 100 overseas. People like Narayana Murthy of Infosys, Yogi Deveshwar of ITC, RS Pawar of NIIT, Muthuraman of Tata Steel, Ambi Parameswaran of FCB Ulka, Gopal Gopalakrisnan of Tata Sons have all been the role models for people in India. BTW, you mean Arjun Malhotra, not Ashok Malhotra
dinesh asked, is india will promote all nIts to iits , till 2009
Pradeep Gupta answers, We should. There are many more brands that we need to create. Why only the IITs. And it is possible to do so. For example, amongst management schools, a number of colleges rank better than some of the IIMs. Why can't we do the same in the field of engineering. For the IITs, the challenge is to be counted amongst the world's best. For this, they need to become far more stronger in terms of research. PanIIT has been working closely with the IITs on this issue as well.
Pradeep Gupta answers, Divya, there are lots of other ways by which we can be successful in life. Azim Premji, Ambanis, Shiv Nadar, Sabir Bhatia, Sachin Tendulkar (not a good day to be talking cricket), Shahrukh Khan, etc. never went to the IITs. Set a goal for yourself, work out your road map and things will happen.
varaprasad asked, VaraPrasad; After 50 years of establishing IITs ,Now i am seeing news about improving India by IITans frequently ? In what way your are planning ?Do you thing , improving IT only or establishing Mncs in India will improve Indian standards? I don't thing so ? In recent years ,our India cross the barriers in population growth and AIDS growth ,For this i don't know how far Indians are ashamed in India but Indians who are staying outside country felt very bad . So first step ,you have to take care of poverty ,awareness of Aids ,Population growth ,sanctuary,corruption
Pradeep Gupta answers, One parallel session on Dec 24th is devoted to this.
Rak asked, IITians are successful entrpreneurs, owners etc., ... What would be the major difference between other self financing college students and you ?? i feel it is only Risk taking and workaholism ? What do you say ?
Pradeep Gupta answers, Frankly, I learnt more outside the classroom than in the classes
citizen asked, Sir, what exactly is going to happen during the networking sessions scheduled at PAN IIT?
Pradeep Gupta answers, Networking:) We'll meet and chat
nitesh asked, what are the current goals of PANIIT ?
Pradeep Gupta answers, 4 objectives 1. To network amongst alumni 2. To Strengthen the IITs 3. To work towards nation building 4. Enhance the IIT Brand
pinto asked, I am also an IITian. For a bad ranker in JEE, what is a better option 1) to join lesser rated dept (like Material sc)but in IIT or 2) higher rated subject(Com Sc) in lower rung institute?
Pradeep Gupta answers, To each his own. One of this year's Distinguished Alumni from IIT Delhi, moved from Engineering to Physics because she loved it. Today she is a world authority in astronomy.
srin asked, all this nation-building talk in panIIT - is it worth anything ? isn't it just a brand-building exercise ?
Pradeep Gupta answers, We will come up with an action plan and nake things happen. Let me repeat, some of us have contributed as individuals. We need to do it collectively.
ParamjeetG asked, Sir, What message would you like to give to those entrepreneur, who want to make country proud, but they have some are not very sure of their success? Should they go ahead... or wait for the right time to commence?
Pradeep Gupta answers, There is no 'right time' for entrepreneurship. Every decade has thrown its own entrepreneurs. Ambanis in the 70s, Narayan Murthy in the 80s, rediff in the 90s.
Sai asked, What are the initiatives/activities PANIIT is going to do for transformation of INDIA. What do you mean Transformation of India. Is it eliminating poverty, providing better education to people who are not rich or starting some more projects and few people making some money.
Pradeep Gupta answers, Pl see details at
subrat asked, i would like to discuss a business plan with you during PANIIT 2006, is is possible
Pradeep Gupta answers, there are 'guru' sessions
Rak asked, CAn anyone attend
Pradeep Gupta answers, We are also open to students
Pradeep Gupta says, Thank you folks. Some of you had personal questions, not connected with PanIIT. You can write to me at

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