December 16th, 2007
About 1 and a half years ago, before I had begun my day job, there was plenty of time to explore various things. With my joining date at approx. 2 months away, myself and a set of friends thought of spending the available time usefully. That was when we thought we would do software for some of the T.Nagar bigwigs such as Saravana Stores, Jayachandran textiles etc. Ofcourse, we did not get to do software as we were pure amateurs; but then, talking to them was an awesome experience in itself. One such experience was the talk we had with the owner of Jayachandran textiles.
For those who don’t know Jayachandran textiles, it’s a huge textiles showroom located on the famous, ever-crowded Ranganathan Street of T.Nagar.
Four of us – 3 passouts (me, 2 friends) & one of my friend’s dad – went to the textile shop at about 8.30 PM. Through some people that my friend’s dad knew, we got to meet the owner in about 15 minutes. The owner was around 81 years old. Very tall, majestically built & he was in perfect shape at 81 years. The moment the 3 of us stepped in to his cabin, he stood and bowed before us, his palms stuck together as if in a prayer. I was humbled by this act of his. He offered chairs for us and then asked what we wanted.
We explained to him that we were graduates in computer science and engineering and that we wanted to spend the time usefully by doing software. He thought over for sometime. Then, when he spoke, it was crystal clear advice. He told that his son was taking care of software-enabling the huge store. Hence, we had to discuss with him. Secondly, he added that, since we were just graduates, we would not be having much experience and that we also didn’t know the business, which is crucial for developing good software. Thirdly, he also told us that, one of their software contractors were in the next street having about 10 people under them to manage the whole software problems and updates for the store; adding that he would refer us if we were interested in working for them.
All the three points mentioned above were told in crystal clear manner, in a non-hurting way & in a sense that would get us to start learning the business first. With an age difference of 60 years between us and approximately 50 years into the textile business, he could have thrown us out and could have done anything possible to embarass us. But that did not happen. He showed us the culture, the respect that he had for fellow humans. It also means that he had not forgotten his past and did support the persons who were his stepping stones for success.
We have a lot to learn and improve from such people :D. That was one such visit that I can never forget in my lifetime.