Monday, November 7, 2016

Jottings : Slice of life - 57 ( Rajan, a personal portrait)

The story of NIIT is the story of legends. For over three decades, if there is one defining principle which runs through like a golden thread weaving together different strands of business and practices into one coherent whole - it the quality of its leaders at the very top of the pyramid. There are handful of them, not more - but in them lies encapsulated NIIT’s philosophy, vision and dreams.
It my privilege to write few words commemorating Rajan - recipient of this year’s Global leadership award . I remember my first visit to our Atlanta office, on a cold January morning nearly ten years ago. I was carrying a parcel for him from India. It was impossible not to have heard of Rajan , before coming here. Legends has a curious way of percolating across an organization colored and painted in different hues. Obviously, expectations were high, and a sense of trepidation followed me as well. How would he relate to me? Would he fit in the picture I had in mind? After all, I had met my manager ( Dj, a legend again ) only few months earlier in India, and instantly fell in love with his integrity, work ethic and discipline. And here I was meeting one more such stalwart in our austere Atlanta office.
At around 9.30 that morning, he walked in and I was introduced. In a moment, all walls, imaginations and expectations dissolved, and he addressed me in my native tongue (Tamil) with profuse warmth and affection. I remember his first words to me in English in his inimitable, sweet South Indian drawl “ Welcome to the land of Milk and Honey…”. That was the beginning of my wonderful official and personal relationship with Rajan. Over the years, that respect has only grown deeper and more respectful. His straight forward advices without mincing words, his wonderful culinary skills (apart from my mom, Rajan has been my guru in introducing me to the world of cooking), His practice of judiciously choosing between alternatives , his vibrant mind, and above all, his understanding of IT as a conduit to business efficiency and not an end in itself - is something I have personally learnt in my association with him.
A Global leadership award normally gravitates towards those who contribute to business growth. But the fact that Management chose to honor Rajan with the award this year is a great decision. As head of technology, Rajan and his team have provided unremitting support, advice to diverse teams during odd hours of work without batting an eyelid or momentarily slacking in intensity. Rajan’s understanding of technological infrastructure is not merely detailed, but comprehensive in its grasp. He could in an instant look at the big picture, and in the very next delve in minutiae of how things work. This is his strength. And this ability has not come without hard work. It has been honed, nurtured, and nourished over twenty years of working through ranks, and dirtying his hands with the nitty gritty of setting up infrastructure for constantly evolving businesses. The fruit of that effort has now found consummation in Global recognition as a global leader. Though he has very capable, young and efficient team, who bring their specialized skills to work, Rajan can still be found cuddled in his office researching, studying, searching for new answers to old questions. Perhaps, this is the hallmark of our leaders. They never shy away from learning, and are humble enough to learn from every quarter.
I wish to join all of you in Congratulating Rajan on this honor. Nothing more need be said!!.
God bless..
yours in mortality,
Bala



1 comment:

Ganesh Krishnamurthy said...

Well said, Bala ... and extremely well deserved for Rajan!