Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Times of India - Feature (R K Misra) - Road Less Travelled

Here's the article (ToI.BLR.2007.0904.Pg02) for folks who missed it

Road less travelled

IN THE running As the deadline for nominations for Lead India nears, we profile some entrants
Swati Anand TNN

Rajendra Kumar Misra (42) is not one for conventional choices. After graduating from IIT-Kanpur in 1989, he refused a P-G scholarship in USA. Instead, he was one of the 25 students from 18 countries chosen to pursue Master of Engineering in Infrastructure and Transport Planning and Management from Tokyo University.

"Pre-internet USA wasn't exciting,'' he shrugs. "I was intrigued and impressed by Japan's culture and successful economic development model.'' After P-G, he joined Kajima Corporation, Japan's largest infrastructure development organisation. "Despite World War II, Japan became the world's second largest economy in 60 years and perfected inclusive growth and equitable wealth model of capitalism.'' Misra imbibed Japanese culture and work ethics. But he was bothered by the negative business image that the Japanese had of India. "I felt the itch to return to India,'' he recalls.

And against criticism from friends, Misra made unconventional choice No. 2: to prove entrepreneurs can pursue dreams in India.
In 1996, Misra founded Tekelec India, a telecom design and software company, and acquired its US parent two years later and renamed it Tenet Technologies. US-based CitiCorp invested in Tenet in 2001 and in 2003 Tenet merged with Hughes, which was acquired by Flextronics.

" I hated to be an armchair critic. My friends and colleagues complained about problems around us. While some had ideas how to fix problems, none had the conviction, commitment, time or financial independence to take the next step.'' Misra wanted to lead by example.

Thus came unconventional choice No. 3: he quit Flextronics in 2005 and got involved with various public policy initiatives around the public private partnership (PPP) model.
When Bangalore's poor infrastructure brought a faceoff between IT industry and political leadership in 2004, Misra convinced the government about the PPP model and assured private participants about government's commitment. "We delivered India's first set of community-based PPP road projects by developing four-lane roads in Bangalore's congested IT corridor -- 20 km at a cost of Rs 25 crore funded on a 50:50 model by government and users.'' Misra is now a PPP regular and a member of the state's Empowered Committee on Infrastructure.

"If I win Rs 50 lakh, I'd start a low interest microfinance venture for families that will put the money into entrepreneurial activities. It's better to teach a man to fish than give him one.''


  1. Its rather surprising to see how you have been using your so to say celebrity status to take up cause of just 1% of city who crib about travelling 25 KMS. Its strange to see how well travelled educated people dont look at the larger picture and claim its what everyone wants. Its what the polititians want to hold the growth of the city and make more money raising rents, real estate, crime.

    I have a few questions for you.

    Where were you when the agreement was signed?

    What were you doing for past 4 years? yeah u did not win ur so to say title?

    Why are holding someone who has performed put up something amazing in just 33 months?

    Why are not filing PIL against the polititians who have allowed the city grow, so they can make more money fueling real estate prices?

    If the concept of this airport was conceived in 1991 why did take so long to start...if we had airport someup in 91 we would have never had any traffic jams now...cause the city would now grown beyond the airport,real estate would have not been so steep and out of reach for the common man.

    Why hasnt the railways comeup with a solution to connect the airport. they aleady have line passing through the premisis..why no PIL against them...

    You being a public figure have turned out to be cribbing celebrity.Shame on you dude...all the bullshit you gave about mirco finance and taking the cause for the common man..yeah right...

  2. "We are creating an army of unemployable youth ", a line from R.K.Mishra’s blog is what that worries me to a greater extent.

    Yes, we have a healthy number of graduates and yes again , of no use.

    We are bent more towards uplift of a rural kid to an graduate and have no foresight for an graduate into employee. It’s just like growing more & more crops but not harvesting them.

    In all I want from big guns like you is to find out a solution for bridging up the gap between Graduates and the Industry which is also a big cause of unemployment.

    Vasu Kesiraju


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