‘Work hard and believe that you can make it big in IT’

You must see the larger picture, work hard and believe that you can make it big in IT, says Vishal Chalana, co-founder of a US-based IT company.  


I was born in Bihar and comlpleted most of my school education in east India. Afterwards, I joined Assam Engineering College to pursue a BE (electronics and telecommunica tions). I grew up with a dream of making a career in IT; however, it was nipped in the bud, for there were no computer science courses at college. In the final year, I took up a software-relat ed project and was thrilled at its interesting outcome. But I could not fetch a job during the campus placement drive as employers thought that I was more inclined towards IT.

The search for a job took me to Delhi, where I chanced upon a write-up on optical character recognition (OCR) in Indian languages. It was similar to my software project in college. I wrote to the writer, along with the details of my project. Soon, I received a call from Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to join the team working on OCR in Indian languages at its Pune office. The writer, an expert from C-DAC, was impressed with my project.


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After working at C-DAC for two years, I joined Innomedia Software and then moved to Quark. My enriching experience at these IT organisations expanded my horizon in the field of data processing, language technology and enterprise data integration. I quit my job in 2003 and moved to the US to pursue a Master’s degree. This was the time when the US was witnessing robust growth in IT products. Sensing the vast opportunity in IT products, I left my course mid-way and founded a software company, Winshuttle, along with two partners, in America. As we did not have huge capital, engineering operations in the US were making it difficult for us to sustain. I decided to design and engineer our products in India and handle sales from our US office. I returned and started operations from my house in Chandigarh.During the day, I was a software developer while at night, I was support staff. Later, I took office space at IT Park, Chandigarh, and gradually expanded my team by recruiting talent from institutions like the IITs, IIMs and NITs. Soon, our IT solutions garnered response from multinational giants. Today, we have a team of 350 people at our offices in India, US, UK, Canada, France and Germany to design enterprise software products.

— As told to Nishant Kumar

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