Tuesday, March 25, 2003

It's been five years today. Five years since we started Agni. Gosh. Can't believe we came this far, and we still don't know where we're going, but hey the deal is to have fun, right?

Let me run through what happened. March 25, 1998. Boom time for software, and four engineers have just got their act together, decided to start a company and named it, for lack of web domain names, Agni Software. There's only one real problem. They don't know what the heck they're doing. Two of 'em have decided to take up full time jobs and work part time at the company. Chirag and I decide, what the heck, it's worth a full-time shot right now...so we make our way to our office, a 15x12 foot room in B.P.Rao's office. We have four computers, and some really cool carpeting, considering the rest of the "office" is red-oxide flooring. And we have an A/C, thanks to my mother's generosity. I still remember thinking - "What is this software business all about?" And an impertinent stubborn brain saying, you'll figure it out.

What did we do? Training. Consulting. Visiting Hyderabad and meeting the bureaucrats at BHEL. More training. Norway. And Norway Again. And Again. Till I was the midnight sun. Consulting at a company here in the day, heading back to office in the night. Arun and what's-his-name had joined full time in a month - we'd started generating enough revenue for salaries. Boy that felt good. Meanwhile Chirag had become a Dad, and of course, has never had any free time since, but that's a different story. Took us through ups, downs, marriages, heartbreaks, losses, gains, getaways to a water park, staying in office till 3 AM. Our personal life squashed under the towering influence of the company. A seemingly eternal liason with the computer that's still taking time to wear off.

Five years now. We started as four directors. Now, we're three directors and 22 employees. A 2000 sq. ft. office. No venture capital. Tons of projects done, and more to come. FinAcc is profitable. Exports have lived through the downturn and made the most of it. And yes, the bank won't complain about the balance for a while. Life has begun to look up. We're finally somewhere we wanted to be - and we're looking for someplace to go. It's been a long journey, but there's still more to do.

In retrospect, I don't know if it was worth it. I'll never know, perhaps. But there's one thing for sure. If this is my baby, there will be no more sacrifices. No more blood. No more tears. But ask for sweat and I'll give all I have. Give me my bread and I'm happy. Can't stay this way forever, and I won't ask for a fast car. I need to live beyond the call of an office, and I'm learning to in the last three months. Thanks to two of the most wonderful people I've ever known. Calvin. Mugs. Woof Woof.

It's time to go. One day I'll write about the hilarious things that've happened. Right now, I'm only thinking..."Five Years. Gosh".


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