Nurture Dreams – (Financial Times)

Nurture Dreams – (Financial Times)

April 23, 2001
Financial Times, Bangalore – Srikala B

Nurture Dreams

“Nurture Dreams, but at the same time also have the right people with you and be systematic in your approach” says Srini Rajam, chairman and CEO, Ittiam Systems, in a conversation with Srikala B

Q. You left Texas Instruments after 15 years to create Ittiam. The industry says you were pushed into this. Wasn’t that your dream?
A. If you ask me about my childhood dream, it was not this ! As a child, I loved maths, and wanted to be a mathematician. If my brother hadn’t pushed me into becoming an engineer, I would probably have been happy teaching maths!

Q. Did Ittiam happen because of venture capitalists?
A. I wouldn’t say that. All of us were thinking on these lines, and Ittiam took birth about six months ago. For me, Rene Descartes is a role model. He was creative and analytical. In fact, I have more of this analytical bent of mind, and that is why I have a six-member team to be creative!

My colleagues actually accuse me of being too systematic! I think that being systematic is an integral factor in becoming successful. I joined Texas Instruments in 1985 as a software engineer. In the ten years after that, I had climbed many rungs of the ladder to become the company’s technical marketing director (during 1993-1994), and then its managing director (in 1995).

I attribute my success to my systematic approach. In addition, you also have to be a good communicator. By that, I don’t mean just being a good speaker; you should also know how to be a good listener.

For me, it isn’t enough to just have dreams. You should also have the right people with you. I think there are so many things that I am not good at. At Ittiam, we are a strong seven-member core team with a dream of creating the world’s best DSP (digital signal processing) company. And it is’nt a short term goal; we are talking about a long journey.