Thursday, December 16, 2021

As I complete 30 years in Industry

 Finally a career landmark has been achieved. Today I complete 30 years in this Industry. All my life I have been writing software of some or the other variety.

I started working for Bharat Electronics exactly 30 years on today's date, i.e. 16-December-1991. Although as per original career plans, I should have retired by now but that has not happened still it is a good time to look back at my career.

Joining BEL

I completed my graduation in June-1991 and was asked to join BEL on 16th December 1991 in Bangalore unit. We had three months of training and we were called probationary engineers till our training was completed. Once we completed our training, we were designated Deputy Engineer and posted to our units which in my case was BEL Kotdwara in the foothills of Garhwal mountain ranges. The PEs training in BEL was an education in itself. All of four years our colleges treated us like adults and suddenly the company that we were working for wanted to treat us like children again. 

BEL Kotdwara

I, along with the group of other 5 engineers from the batch, joined BEL Kotdwara on 11th March 1992. I still remember it was one day before the festival of Holi. BEL Kotdwara was fun, regular visits to Siddhabali, Lansdowne. Suddenly all the YouTube Vloggers have discovered Lansdowne which used to be our backyard and we were visiting this sleepy little settlement whenever we wanted. We even drove our bikes to Dehradun, Mussoorie once. On 28th of September, 1994, I left BEL to join Motorola India Electronics Ltd. in Bangalore. 

Motorola India Electronics Ltd., Bangalore

In the later part of 1994 the area around our factory was engulfed in the agitation for formation of Uttarakhand. We had some factory shutdowns as part of strikes. In one such strikes, we saw a walk-in advertisement from Motorola. We did not even have a resume. But somehow we hitchhiked and reached Delhi on a overnight bus trip and attended interview with Motorola in Taj hotel. They made an offer and I joined MIEL on 3rd of October, 1994 in Bangalore at their office on St. Marks Road. The building was called "The Presidency". Since the building was full, after joining and training I was sent to work at a rented facility at Manipal Center at the junction of Dickenson Road and Cubbon Road. In a few months the new facility of Motorola, called The Senate, was ready at Ulsoor Road. We moved there and I worked out of that facility for next almost 10 years. Eventually, Motorola built another facility in C. V. Raman Nagar in Bagmane Tech Park. We moved to that facility on 27th February 2004. I worked out of that facility till 2010.

Leaving Motorola

In June 2010, Motorola decided to close the group (Enterprise Applications Research Labs, Applied Research Center, Bangalore) in which I was working and I was one of the causalities of that decision. Anyway, it was time to leave the place. Motorola was a good employer and a decent severance was paid to us at that time.


In July 2010, I joined the startup with a few of my friends, to build a product in the telecommunication infrastructure space. We built a prototype, demonstrated to few tier-1 operators across the world and then we were acquired by Movik Networks in October 2010.

Movik Networks

I joined Movik Networks as part of that acquisition, did some interesting work for the next few months and finally left them on 31st March 2011. This experiment had failure written all over it. We got kind of acquihired into the company even before that phrase was popular. I could not tolerate this place for even six months and after handing over technology that I had built, I left the place.

In April 2011,   I joined Hewlett-Packard in Bangalore.

Hewlett Packard

I worked at HP in the storage group. We built a scale-out file system for large storage systems. The work in place was reasonably good but the politics of the place just got to me. I left in October 2014 after little more than three years in the place.


I joined Oracle's cloud group and worked on Application PaaS. I found the company very suffocating for technical people. Even architecture documents were approved by managers there. So finally left the place after little more than one year.

Hubble Connected India Private Limited

Joined the company because they were running a cloud service that required a refresh and needed to be rearchitected to run at a much higher scale.  We built a brand new service, scaled it from a little over 100,000 subscribers to close to one million subscribers. Finally had a disagreement with the management and left the place.


Joined Tesco in January 2018. The primary goal was to build a cloud based fulfilment service. We did one of the initial builds and then I left that place. As usual it did not seem a good place for somebody who was only interested in development technology.

Paypal India Private Limited

I joined Paypal India Private limited in the month of November 2019. As soon as I joined, I realised that I made a mistake. I was hired to re-architect the partner reporting system as a scalable system since the existing system was mostly based off Oracle. But I realised that there was so much resistance to that activity I found myself fighting battles everyday. Also the person who hired me, left before I joined and the new manager had different priorities. I left in less than six months.

Adobe India Private Limited

I joined Adobe i March 2020 just as COVID lockdowns started countrywide.

To summarise, it has been an interesting ride for the last 30 years. What is the most disappointing is the level of technology ownership in most of the Industry? I had expected that we would see more technology and product ownership with Indian industry, which does not seem to be the case. Hope things would improve in the next few years.

When I started working 30 years ago, I was of the view that I will not work as an employee for more than 25 years. That is one milestone that I have unfortunately missed. I have not been able to transition from a salaried job to either freelance consulting or build a company of my own. That is probably the biggest regret that I have as I complete 30 years.

In these 30 years, I also built on my education, acquired a post graduate in management from Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru. A doctoral from Indian Institute of Management, Indore and a post graduate in Telecommunication and Software Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. 

One thing I am sure of, I hate being manager. In my whole career, I have only worked as full-time manager for one year and I have hated every minute of it.

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