Uday Grover, better known as Gabbar in IIT Madras passed out in 2003 with a B. Tech in Metallurgical and Material Sciences. After graduating from IIT, he worked for two years in a Management Consulting firm in Mumbai. Incidentally, the company had bumped most of the MBAs from his batch to end up taking him. Gabbar finally quit the job to begin his own entrepreneurship adventure. He runs his business in Chennai. In the Phres IITians series, he talks about the things he liked about IIT and gives gyaan from all he learnt and saw after stepping outside IIT.
What exactly do you do for a living? I work hard for a living! The business is immaterial. The idea of generating wealth is what makes me get up in the morning every day.
What was the most important thing that you learnt in your two years of job? I acquired general business skills, mostly to do with marketing.
I feel proud everyday! IIT has given me a lot, may be not academically, but in a lot of other ways. I would have been a totally different guy if I had not been an IITian.
Why did you quit the job? a: I got too bored of consulting and didn’t see things going ahead in that direction. b: My boss was trying to act funny, so I had to shove his arse. c: The spirit of entrepreneurship was calling, the time to make the transition from an employee to an employer had come.
How does it feel to be an employer now? It’s hard! But it’s definitely worth the pain. The real pleasure, for me, will start after a few more years I guess.
What is the best thing that you remember about your IIT days? Wing corridors, late night partying, having fun with the juniors, local calls on the phone…
Was there any specific moment, when you really felt proud to be an IITian? I feel proud everyday! IIT has given me a lot, may be not academically, but in a lot of other ways. I would have been a totally different guy if I had not been an IITian.
You take on insti politics? I have never been a very diplomatic person and never much cared about politics. I guess this was one of the reasons I was quite (in)famous in IIT.
One thing that you never liked about IIT? Attitudes of the profs, especially the dean and the CCW guys. I never liked some of those stupid rules and regulations about bikes and smoking.
Was there any prof that you actually liked? I didn’t attend enough classes to develop liking for profs!
Ha, ha. In your time, there was no net in hostels. How did you guys survive? We survived on music and partying. And of course, the juniors were there to have fun with. We used to ping from the CC to the Civil DCF for all the long chat sessions (chatting was not allowed in CC and non-civil junta were not allowed into Civil DCF)! And for the ‘other ‘ recreational stuffs, friends had nice collection of CDs. Guess these are the things for which net in IIT is being used for currently too.
IIT is like a nice little egg shell. When you finally manage to hatch out of it, better be ready for a lot more RGing in the world.
Having fun with juniors sounds interesting. 😛 Who was the ruling beauty in IIT during your time? There were a few, as told to me by others! I myself never bothered about them and don’t remember crossing the library to the girl-hostels ever.
No girls in your life so far? There are a few. But nothing serious.! I still can claim to be an eligible bachelor! If this interview elicits any interest in me from eligible bachelors of the opposite sex, they could find the following four figures extremely convenient. 98, 404, 11 and 582. 😛
I am sure the hint above was loud and clear. Alright now, any message to freshies about how they should spend their IIT lives? a: listen to seniors. b: have fun because these days are never gonna come back and you will realise this only when you are out of IIT.
As the last question for this interview, would you please throw your bit of gyaan to passing out IITians? It’s a tough world out here. IIT is like a nice little egg shell. When you finally manage to hatch out of it, better be ready for a lot more RGing in the world. Also, you guys have to live up to the brand image of IIT. Not that you have to be a nerd, but better be prepared.