#InTech50 – The Secret Sauce

InTech50 is a big success.  The visiting CIOs went back happy. The InTech50 startups are pleased with their POCs and leads. Press has celebrated the new platform and has heralded its importance to the Indian IT industry.

Bk2T11PIIAAvVkGThey say that the biggest enemy of success is fear of failure. No, that’s not true. The greatest enemy of success is hubris. This happens when one forgets the core driver behind the success. In our case, this core reason for success is our volunteer model. And, at this moment of success, I want to take a few minutes to talk about the volunteer heroism that went into InTech50.

Nobody illustrates this volunteer heroism better than Manju Gowda (i7 Networks). In spite of his startup being a critical phase in its buildout he made magic happen. He looked up 350, yes 350 product startups, and wrote to them about InTech50 explaining why they should file an application. He also anonymously wrote all the InTech50 blogposts! He reached out to the Indian CIOs as well. And he is the one who came up with the idea of using tables instead of booths (which worked well and saved Rs 5L). He ran the 50 pitches like clockwork using his grace and humor. This ate into his own presentation preparation but he never complained. If you ever need an example of a selfless, passionate and heroic volunteer, please think of him.

Besides Manju, Praveen Hari (ThinkFlow), Sumeet Anand (Kreeo), Aditya Bhelande (Yukta) and Nakul Saxena (iSPIRT) were other active volunteers. There are two other people who were instrumental to InTech50.

Arvind Kochar is one of them. This was his first time at this and he stayed on top of everything on his plate. He displayed stamina and speed over the six months of planning.

Avinash Raghava – well, what does one way about him other than that he was his usual self: a superman saint. He let nothing fall through the cracks. He kept innumerable balls in the air. In his inimitable way he brought out the best in everybody that he touched. It’s an open secret that everything that iSPIRT does has “Avinash-inside”.

The most important person behind InTech50 is Piyush Singh (Co-Chair). He is the one who turned a hazy dream about creating a new platform into reality. He had the gumption to go to his fellow CIOs and tell them that India will be a Product Nation and they must come and leverage this opportunity today. It was a tough sell. They viewed India as a land of services, not products. And needed to carve out a whole week on their calendar to be at InTech50 for two days. Piyush pulled it off and we had 25 Global CIOs here. This is a testament to his missionary zeal and deep-seated confidence in the Indian software product companies. Like other Founder Circle members of iSPIRT, he truly believes in the larger “Product Nation” cause. But what’s most striking about him is that he has no airs and is a doer par excellence. He worked alongside everybody else as another volunteer. How many Fortune 500 CIOs you know who will do that?

We have learnt over the years that no path breaking effort is a straight line. What makes magic happen is the heroism of iSPIRT volunteers. These thoughtful practitioners are at the core of what we do.  They are ones who make the ecosystem better and lift all boats.  We salute them as we celebrate the success of the first InTech50.