MoMo Mumbai: Be there!
Amit’s Building world class web products – A Survivorâ€™s Checklist is an excellent read. In this vein, the Getting Real Book by 37Signals is also a must read for the new entrepreneur.
Since I spent two of the days I was on break at IT Kerala, blogging about it wouldn’t hurt. From the outset though, I’ll say that there’s not much to talk about. Like I said earlier, the tone set is more in the vein of a village fair than anything business-oriented or techy.
That being said, all the big names in India had a presence there: Intel had two stalls, though none were manned by the company themselves, and I had an interesting time confusing people by asking about the Core Duo processor. The guys were helpful as much as they were able to, but the information was contradictory. I asked about the Apple switch to Intel, and when the new Apple notebooks would be available and received scant information. In the Microsoft stall too, I could not find a single company representative. There were people manning the stall, but none of them had their hands up when I asked for somebody from Microsoft. They were promoting localization in a big way, showcasing Malayalam inside Office: nothing revolutionary. I was also interested in Project Shiksha, a scheme similar to the one that I earlier hinted at, but as was the rule, there was nobody to dole out more information. I dutifuly left my card in a big glass bowl and went gawking at other sights.
Toonz Animation, a company I’ve admired from afar had a nice stall there and I spent quite a good while watching their in-house productions. Not Pixar, but they’ve certainly come a long way since I first saw their videos. Toonz offers courses in 3D Animation and whatnot, but like many computer coaching classes out to make big bucks, they don’t train module by module. The complete package costs something like 70K. I was interested for my bro, but then thought better of the whole thing.
NeST also had a stall, but they were marketing something exceedingly interesting: spices. Yeah, that’s right, you heard me. Spices. NeST condiments had the best smelling stall out there, with an assortment of their wares on display. I thought my days of sleep deprivation had gotten to me when I saw that stall first, but nope. Spices alright. For a company with 20-ish tech subsidiaries, they certainly picked an amazing one to showcase at an IT fest.
The job fair was a huge affair. 99 in 100 people at IT Kerala seemed to be there just for the job, and there are rumours more than 60K candidates attended. I pity those people at Bigleap who organized the event; I’ve worked with them before when they had a small event at Pankaj around a half-year back, but the scale of this recruitment drive was unbelievable. Debated whether to talk to somebody out there and see familiar faces, but the sheer scale of the event was daunting. Waving my delegate card, I was able to cooly walk into all the restricted zones, and I saw a lot of behind-the-scenes talk. The HR people there became a bit crazy after a while methinks, because some interviews were fun to watch :-). Another small observation: if you don’t get placed in-campus, it’s almost 100x as difficult to walk into an interview like this and get a job.
Again, calling this a business event is a joke. I walked through US Soft, Infy, TCS, IBS, and Wipro with some ideas that we had and couldn’t find a single person who I could talk to directly. Maybe those companies are too big, but if good ideas don’t come from the ground up, how will they grow?
Anyways, enough of that, I’ve updated my photo set at Flickr with way more photos. Enjoy.
Allo to my friends from Kakkanad, Kochi. It’s a bright, sunny morning, and the love is strong, really strong in the air. Yesterday, after a closeted, stifling but fun trip down from Trivandrum, we went over to the IT Kerala ’06. It’s a pretty small place – and very much less developed than at Technopark, but still decently nice. The stalls are sturdy, clean and squeakingly polished, and we had a corner at the IIITM-K stall.
I’ve also uploaded a photo set to Flickr which I’ll update as the days go by.
One of the things that’s pretty obvious about a fest like this is that regardless of the hype, I don’t think there’s a lot of business being transacted a the event. It’s more in the nature of a ‘fair’ where the public comes to gawk in wonder (or pretend wonder) at the stuff exhibited. The only tech marvel I saw for example, was a pretty decently made path-finding obstruction-overcoming robot with a cam built in. It was fun playing around with it so much so that the people who made it finally asked me to get out of the way ;-). Microsoft also had a stall, but sadly no Longhorn previews – just a Windows Media Center demo. I’ll probably investigate all the stalls more thoroughly at a later date.
The recent surge of patriotic movies and national fervour aside, whenever I go out today, I’m met more by a sense of optimism and hard-work-being-done than the traditional Indian way of treating work as a holiday. My view is of course, extremely myopic, but there is indeed something happening in this country that will make it soon explode into the world scene. Selling India Inc. at Davos is an interesting article on how the attitudes towards India have changed.