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Since 1st March, 1999
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How I Made It
Narasimha Suresh
CEO, TELiBrahma Convergent
Communications Pvt. Ltd

He has evidently dialled the right number. Narasimha Suresh became an entrepreneur only in 2004, when he set up TELiBrahma Convergent Communications in Bangalore. But it has already become one of the leading providers of mobile solutions. Even the Bangalore cops use a TELiBrahma product to instantly review the past history of traffic offenders.

Born into a middle-class family in Bangalore, Suresh didn’t have the advantages of a silver spoon in his mouth. “My father was a collector of small savings and my mother a housewife,” he says. “What I have today is because of the hard work and labour I put in. I am proud to say that I am a self-made man.”

Suresh did his schooling from the National Education Society of Karnataka. He went on to pursue engineering from the People’s Education Society Institute of Technology, Bangalore. Armed with a degree, he began working with Siemens. “It was a great experience in terms of robust engineering. It was here that I learnt what brilliant teamwork means and I also made some very good friends,” he says.

After that he was associated with start-up eCapital (which was later re-branded eVector) and Wipro. With over eight years of work experience spanning from an MNC to an Indian company, he gathered enough expertise and confidence to set up a company of his own. Thus was born TELiBrahma.

So what was the turning point in Suresh’s career? Prompt comes the reply: “My association with eCapital and the opportunity that I got at this start-up. The stint at eCapital allowed me to work on the creation of a product. It taught me about the formation of teams and product positioning in the marketplace. It gave me exposure to the world of patenting and customer relationship management.”

He could have gone abroad. But he didn’t. Many Indians have today realised that opportunities really lie at home. “I refused to go abroad and work with eCapital as I had a passion to do things differently,” he says. “This is what had made me leave an MNC and join a start-up. It worked and helped hone the skills needed to start my own firm.”

But why telecommunications? “The idea of reaching out to people on their mobiles with useful applications always excited us,” he says. “In 2004, we saw a good opportunity to bootstrap our operations. The growing Indian telecom sector was increasingly attractive and we thought it was time to cash in our experience and passion.”

The experience had come with time. The passion, he says, was developed much earlier — in school. “My student days were the most memorable days of my life,” he explains. “Born and brought up in Bangalore, the city influenced my interests and passions.” The diversity of his schooldays and the many activities he participated in helped form his perceptions and mindset.

Suresh thinks that the telecommunication market is as good as any other market in India. He feels that for making a mark in India one has to be a bit different and better. “We have different scale, cost factors and culture. Just replicating the models from Europe may not work here. We need to redefine pricing and user interface. There is lot of scope for improvement,” he adds.

When not working, he loves reading literary pieces, listening to classical music and brushing up on current affairs. On being asked about his future plans he says: “Apart from making TELiBrahma a world leader in short-range unlicensed spectrum, I want to build a consumer brand from India in hitech space.”

“Something that I really believe is that you must follow your dreams. Success cannot be far away if you really want it. Have realistic expectations and be persistent and flexible,” he says. “So decide what you want, stay focussed and let the world around you take over. The other advice I have for young people is to remember that individually we are all quite insignificant. So learn to play the game for your team because teams often achieve what an individual can’t.”

Based on a conversation with Shabina Akhtar in Calcutta

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