And The Frog Kissed The Damsel

When I was a little kid, I am told, I was
one stubborn little kid-snot-nosed, unruly, and highly whimsical. I would never stop
haranguing anybody once I had set my eye on something. One day, I saw a motorcycle-a Royal
Enfield 350 cc, puttering away ridden by a uniformed soldier. I decided, I had to have it.
My dad looked at me surprised and made some feeble attempts to dissuade me from the
thought of riding a 350 cc bike. But no, I just had to have it. I was supremely confident
of my skills. Things started getting a little uncomfortable for my brothers and sisters
who unfortunately had to live under the same roof. I just wouldn’t stop.

Then my rich uncle happened. He had never
come to India, having emigrated to the US with his father at an early age of three. On his
first visit, he visited us when the air was thick with a 350 cc tension. "You shall
have it," he declared and became my friend for life. The only soul who understood me
and empathized with my needs. There were wild celebrations around and the uncle departed,
promising to invest in my 350 cc.

One year later, he sent me a wire: ‘Bike
sent, please collect’. And two weeks later, there was the delivery. Neatly wrapped with a
bright ribbon was this gleaming toy for a 12-year-old. My uncle had kept his promise. A
bike is after all, a bike.

No, my uncle’s name is not Gates and my dad
is still a friend of mine.

Funnily, Microsoft makes it appear as if
the Indian Dev Center is the Next Best Thing after One, Microsoft Way. Last count, there
were close to 25,000 people in Microsoft and the Indian Dev Center will have 25. When I
heard about the announcement, I was reminded of Stew Alsop’s column where he had advised
Bill Gates to have better PR. Stew, Bill has learnt his lesson; see what he has done in

The other enemy of Microsoft, Oracle, also
sprang a surprise. After three months of intense speculation, they announced the name of
Shekhar Dasgupta as the new head of Oracle India-not MD of the Indian company, but Country
Manager. Forty-year-old Shekhar is an old industry hand, what with peddling mainframe with
PSI and then hanging out with Oracle for the last five years. Shekhar is actually a
marathon man who has spent eight years with PSI and the last five with Oracle.

…Nobody is saying it but there is a lot
of antipathy between the MNCs and the ‘Indian’ vendors in MAIT. However, one MNC rep said
that he has to be PC (politically correct) especially in a ‘BJP’ country. I said ‘never
mind, BJP is not going to be (politically correct, I mean). With pulls from more parties
than the 13-party UF, the 18-party co-opted BJP Government may actually be closer to the
center than the ‘right-wing-fundamentalist’ stance that they, and the foreign media wants
them to, have.

Be that as it may, the Frog believes that
Dr Naidu will overtake MS as far as interest level in the center is concerned. Not that
there will be unimportant work per se, but the impact of 25 people against One Microsoft
Way is pretty tenuous. Frog also believes that Oracle’s fortunes will improve as the
company now starts getting a fresh sales focus. Number will jump, as will competitors.

Froggily yours

PS: Nandu Nilekani of Infosys is to be
nominated as the chairman of Bangalore Basher’s Club. The way he goes about it, Bangalore
should be abolished from the face of the earth… tut….tut…Nandu, after your bread,
butter and SLOC reside here.

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