Bylane base for global presence - Youngster support for US clients

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By ? ZEESHAN JAWED
  • Published 23.05.06
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A dingy bylane in Shibpur is in sharp contrast with the sparkling Sector V. But a group of young techies has proved that a work station in a serpentine Howrah lane is no less than a snazzy office in Salt Lake?s IT zone.

Compumaniac, a private limited company, is a venture started by five 20-somethings, four men and a woman. These IT whizkids work out of one room in a small two-room flat on Sarat Chatterjee Road. Their infrastructure: six computers and Internet; and they have three technicians ? one of them quit a call centre to join them ? as support. But their hands are constantly on the keyboards, with work from the US pouring in.

Krishnendu Pal, founder and partner, Compumaniac, proudly explains the services on offer to his US clients. ?We provide Linux server administration support to various data centres like www.managed.com, www.sagonet.com and www.layeredtech.com,? says Pal.

?The web hosting companies might develop server snags or have queries. They contact the data centres to solve their problems, who in turn pass them on to us,? he adds.

Compumaniac has entered into contracts with the data centres. Each member of the group handles a particular department. ?If I handle server problems, there are boys who take care of sales and billing problems,? says Pal.

Their dream took shape after he and his friends scored their first ?big hits? in the virtual world. The websites designed by them ? www.glug-howrah.org and www.linuxjunkies.in provide solutions to Linux users; www.uptimestat.com monitors websites and informs via email if they develop any problem and www.linkexexcahngeit.com does search engine optimisation ? turned into major revenue generators.

That made the data centres sit up and take note of them ? and set Pal and company thinking.

So why did they decide to base themselves in Howrah? ?Setting up office in Sector V was completely out of our reach. We are a self-funded company. Second, it does not matter where you are based as long as you have a computer and Internet connection at your disposal,? says partner Avijit Patra.

Compumaniac is a departure from the smart IT companies in another way ? the place is not strewn with fancy or high degrees. Pal got his diploma in computer application from SS Ramya in Bangalore. ?But some people working with us have only completed their Higher Secondary. What one really needs is to come up with innovative ideas and have the confidence to implement them,? says Pal.

It is a feeling shared by others. ?When I joined, I was a little apprehensive about the future of Compumaniac. But now I am sure that it is going to grow because of the sort of work that we are doing,? says support technician Sougata Dey, who quit the call centre at Wipro to join Compumaniac for ?job satisfaction? and ?better pay?. ?The salary is also good,? he adds.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee?s pro-IT government is applauding, too. Says G.D. Gautama, principal secretary, IT: ?We encourage ventures where people take initiatives on their own. It is something unheard of at this scale and doing it in a Howrah bylane is really appreciable. I would definitely like to meet them.?