BDG often tells youngsters that everybody’s journey is different. If there are 160 students in a class of his Globsyn Business School, may be only 20 of them will become CEOs. But at some level all these students had started on the same field, then the trajectory changed. For some had the urge to change, some the urge to make it happen. Bikram Dasgupta’s phenomenal professional journey from IIT to working with top IT giants to finally turning into a global entrepreneur was not by sheer luck. Rather, he kept moving, like the floating clouds and discovering new horizons. His journey is indeed inspirational and he enjoyed every bit of it.
(Naga) (Friend and fellow Vizagite)
To us, the Vizagites, the name of Bikram Dasgupta is a sweet package of nostalgia. The days that have flitted by carry special memories infused with lasting and indelible imprints very close to our hearts. In the early 1970s (1973, to be more accurate), after an arduous day at Indian Oxygen, an youngster could be seen guiding his Rajdoot from Seethammadhara towards the Bengali Association Club. His quest was to seek an ambience of cultural activities of which he felt starved after his departure from West Bengal, in general, ...and IIT-KGP, in particular. He was with Snehamay Nag in his dramatic experiments as he was with Ratan Pal in his film society programes, meeting the famous director Shyam Benegal and the then rising actress Smita Patil. He acted in a couple of plays at the Town Hall during Durga Puja celebrations, the most notable was Bidhyak Bhattyacherjee’s Tahar Namti Ranjana under Snehamay Nag’s direction. After his marriage, his wife Ranjana capably complemented his role in the society of Visakhapatnam. She was (and we are sure, still is) a marvelous singer of Nazrul Geeti. In those days, his dynamism and creative passion, though quite apparent, was not finding its much-needed fuel. The people around him hardly realised at that time what he was destined to achieve. It is quite natural that the confines of Indian Oxygen was not enough for him. He left Indian Oxygen and joined an enterprising entrepreneurial group of men that had formed HCL, in the capacity of the key market development manager. It was a very daring step to have left the secure beaten track of an established profession and taken a plunge into an unknown area of uncertain future. All the more so because the computer industry of India was but a fledgling one in those days. But what happened subsequently is now history, as they say, and the saga can be found all over the Internet. We fervently hope and wish him a wonderful, happy, ever-successful life with his loving family around him. He must rise to greater and greater heights of successes so that coming to know of his achievements we may always exclaim with pleasure and pride, ‘Yes, that is our Bikram!’
(Former executive director of PCL, Ashwini worked with Bikram during his PCL days)
Rajasthan, a border state on the western fringes of India, has always been a land fiercely proud of its independence. By the 16th century, its frontiers were being slowly eroded from the pressure exerted by the marauding Mughal warriors who ruled vast tracts of India from Delhi. In the midst of this crisis arose a hero from the dunes of Rajasthan to rally its people under his banner. Endowed with an indomitable spirit, RanaPratap was a formidable warrior and thought nothing of facing up to his biggest enemy—Akbar, the great Mughal emperor. RanaPratap remains a revered name in modern India. This is how I would like to introduce BikramDasgupta. ...He never shied away from action and was single-handedly responsible, with limited resources at his command, for the PCL-Dell joint venture in India. It was one of the first such partnerships in the Indian information technology industry and his setting up of the export division was another great achievement. I would consider BDG as the shining star of the IT industry of his era.
(Raji) (Padma Bhushan awardee; former chairman, NASSCOM; co-founder, chairman and managing director, NIIT Group)
Your curiosity, mischievousness and joie de vivre have always made you stand apart from others. Your ability to find excitement in things others find normal has surely contributed to your great success. Entrepreneurs thrive on the potent combination of unquenchable curiosity, a deep and abundant source of energy, a penchant for making friends so easily, and the raw power of intellect. I have always enjoyed your company because you are a storehouse of all these qualities.
(Former CEO, Wipro; former chairman, Mindtree; and currently founder and executive chairman, Happiest Minds)
I do recollect Bikram as being the least confrontational person, both within MAIT and the industry. For the latter part, Bikram was probably the best foil to Dadan, who could be quite aggressive and they complemented each other very well. I am sure these qualities of being in competitive environments without getting into arguments and contentiousness must have stood him in great stead over the years.
(Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri Awardee. Founder and Ex-Chairman, Infosys)
If there is one person that exuded confidence, joy and hope while carrying the huge burden of the Indian hardware industry during its formative years, it has to be my friend, Bikram Dasgupta. When you were down in spirits, lost for next step, and submerged in your sorrow and misfortune, you just had to pick up your phone and connect with Bikram. You would emerge from that conversation smiling, confident about the future, and ready to conquer the world. Bikram and his wonderful family are lighting up Kolkata’s IT scene with their dedication to IT professionals and their charity. I wish the old, the middle-aged and the young members of the Bikram Dasgupta’s family the best of everything.
(Former chairman and MD, Advanced Micronic Devices)
The title of your memoir reminds me of Col. Pickering congratulating Prof. Higgins in My Fair Lady by singing, ‘You did it, you said you would do it and did you did.’ You also did it your way. For instance, you said you would get the Dell business for manufacturing motherboards in India and you did it. It was a folklore during those days when export of IT hardware services were unimaginable. As a friend and a well-wisher, I have watched you diversifying into many new and disruptive areas with the same aplomb and being successful in that. BDG, in all these you have had time for family (I hope Ranjana agrees) and friends. Teaming up with Pradeep Kar and Pravin Gandhi, the three of you set up a fabulous social network…BAIT, a platform that we and our families enjoyed. I hope it finds mention in your book.
(Former chairman and co-founder Hindtron; former director, Digital Equipment Corp.; entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and an icon of the Indian IT industry)
Dada, as I have known him, has always been a big thinker and a great executioner of big ideas. The deal with Dell is an example of that. He was a great believer in creating brands and he continues doing that in his new ventures post PCL. I had met him during the PCL days and while I had no business dealings with him, I was impressed with his salesmanship. Here was a guy, very charming and yet an aggressive sales person. We have been friends ever since. I consider it a privilege to have known him and Ranjana as friends. Honest, well-meaning and a good human being.
(Chairman and MD, Microland Ltd)
There can be only one Bikramda! What is a good barometer of success? I imagine it would be a person like Bikram Dasgupta, who has been a pioneer in the Indian information technology industry with a voracious appetite for creating ideas, building relationships, nurturing talent, growing businesses and bringing tons of happiness to those around him. Today, he stands tall as a thinker, a firstgeneration entrepreneur and a master risk-taker. He is confident, popular and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. To me, he is the very essence of ‘cool’. If Bikramda (as he is called) was a Facebook post, he would have drawn a record-breaking number of ‘Likes’. ...I first met Bikramda in 1986, during a stint with Computer Point. He was with Pertech Computers Ltd (PCL) and had launched their PCs. We were discussing the idea of selling his PCs through Computer Point. But, during our conversation, he just couldn’t resist offering me a job. Who knows what path I would have taken had I taken up his offer… In 1994, we co-founded the Beer Drinkers Association of Information Technology (BAIT) along with Pravin Gandhi. In his wisdom, Bikramda realised that an informal organisation like BAIT could help solve many problems for all of us without the intervention of an industry body. BAIT resulted in many business issues being resolved between leaders of the IT industry with the bonus of several friendships being forged when we met over beer. A lasting one emerged with Bikramda and his family. Bikramda was (and is) a visionary. He had seen the PC revolution way ahead of others and had signed a $50 million deal for manufacturing computer motherboards with Michael Dell. Remember, this was in the 1990s, when we were barely conversant with electronic typewriters. He went on to create Infinity in Kolkata, one of the first tech parks in the country—once more, way ahead of others. This was followed by a string of ventures like the ultra-modern Globsyn Business School. He knew that India would need a steady supply of top-notch executive talent and a new generation of engineers. But more than this, it was his deeply passionate approach to people that drove him to set up the school. He wanted everyone to realise their true potential. Somewhere in between his hectic schedules, he almost set up a very successful Mexican food chain. Most would relate this to his being a food loving Bengali. And they would not be wrong. But it goes deeper than a love of food. Bikramda is curious by nature; he wants to experiment and innovate, and he will not stop until he had done things his way. I join my wife Kalpana in wishing Bikramda the very best in the journey that lies ahead and may he never run out of wind in his sails.
I have known Bikram for more than three decades now. Popularly known as BDG, he, along with Dadan Bhai, created waves in the IT industry by launching low-cost PCs and doing the early IPO among IT companies. The product made a splash in 1990 at the CSI held in Kolkata, the biggest exhibition of IT products. I remember the huge jazzy pavilion of PCL, with BDG in all whites, and gold chain, imitating Bappi Lahiri. It was to BDG’s credit that he was able to persuade Michael Dell and bring the iconic brand to India, another rarity as India was nowhere in the IT world those days. Going on, he bet big on Bengal with his venture, Globsyn, when no one was willing to touch the East. He is a great lover of the golden oldies, especially songs by Kishore Kumar, which he himself also loves to sing. Right from his college days, has been a theatre buff. He not only used to see plays, but also acted in and directed a number of them.
(Director and co-founder, NIIT Technologies)
A salute to Bikram from a fellow BAITer…Lots of sweet memories of working together… managing the complex relationship between MAIT, NASSCOM and Business India in the IT Asia days… rallying the industry buddies together at BAIT….being ever ready to help a friend in need. Bikram loves to live on the edge and thrives on solving seemingly impossible problems. He is an aggressive salesman, yet his customers love him; he is a strong negotiator, yet closes with a touch of magnanimity. Indeed a ‘Limited Edition’, he builds lasting relationships stamped with his inimitable blend of genuine concern, affection and trust.
A contemporary of well-known names such as Nandan Nilekani (Infosys), Pradeep Kar (Microland), Pravin R Gandhi (Digital Equipment), Pradip Gupta (Dataquest), Rajendra S. Pawar (NIIT), and others, Bikram Dasgupta in "I DID IT MY WAY" traces his journey from his humble Bengali middle-class roots to helping create India's Number One PC company of its day.
Given the sobriquet of being 'an ideas man' by none other than Shiv Nadar himself, one the doyens of the Information Technology industry in India, "I DID IT MY WAY" is not a rags-to-riches story nor a fairy tale with happy beginnings and ends, but a fascinating insight into the life and times of someone who didn't shy away from thinking big and, for whom, progress only meant a milestone passed in a road lined with milestones. Read More...