Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wipro and the elephant

I'm reading Bangalore Tiger, the story of Wipro - one of the most successful technical services companies in India and indeed the world.

I have started to look outside of Silicon Valley for inspiration. The problem is that Silicon Valley is a fairly unique community and businesses coming from the Valley have soooo many resources available to them. I read about them and start realizing that most of what they take for granted just isn't available to most of us.

Now, i still love the stories of the big Valley companies, but when i started reading about Wirpo i started to see (and no disrespect intended) a company who hacked around until they got it right. They started off in oil and soaps and now run a 68,000 employee technology company. They are an amazing story of bootstrapping.

I also love the story by Vivek Paul, former vice chairman at Wipro.
He was at a circus on the outskirts of Bangladore and an elephant was tied to a
peg and wasn't trying to break free, despite the fact it easily could. When he
asked the trainer why, he simply said that it has been tied to that peg since it
was a baby and couldn't break free and stopped trying. So in adult life it
continued to believe this and so never tried.

I love this story, as coming from a relatively small country in Scotland there are too many who believe you can't be successful simply because we are small - negativety is a disease! The result against France last night is a good example of this not being the case.

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