When you are about to set sail for a long and arduous journey, it is not the promise of the wealthy or, the push of the powerful that helps you to cast the boat. It is the first word of kindness, a simple message, an almost frail word of detached wisdom that
signals you to lift the oar.
Enter Anjan Lahiri
KK and I both had very hectic schedules. We were clear that we would not use company time and resources to create our dream. That meant working over weekends; it soon started to mean meeting at 8 or 9 every night and working till midnight. My wife Susmita and KK's wife Akila agreed that they would continue to live with us. However, both KK and I had jobs that required us to travel overseas for extended periods of time. That invariably disrupted our planning; the Business Plan was far from making any progress. But, our first loyalties were still to our current employers and we could not complain. Time was flying for both of us. We had to make more progress! We needed more friends to sign up; we needed more believers who could help in the process of making the business plan.
In August 1999, I had to travel to the US and I landed up in the East Coast and as fate would have it, stayed with a relative of mine who knew Anjan Lahiri. Anjan and I first met in 1988, when I joined Wipro as Customer Relations Manager and he was a rookie salesman in Calcutta. I used to admire the young Anjan for his capabilities and his huge modesty. Son of an illustrious Army General, Anjan was one of those people who customers loved at first sight. Whenever I saw him, I felt we had to have a shared destiny from some point. Anjan left India in 1989 and went to Florida to do his MBA, where he topped his class. Then he joined a consulting company that eventually merged with Cambridge Technology Partners and Anjan went on to be very successful there. Anjan and his young bride Purba came to see me at my relative's house. They had moved in to their new house a week back and insisted that I must spend a night with them. Anjan threw in an irresistible line to get me to agree "there is a wooden deck in the house, overlooking a meadow that blends in to the woods. Early in the morning, as you sip tea on the deck, you can see deer that flock out of the woods and come to the meadow". The deal was made.