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"Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."
- Napoleon Bonaparte

Times of India Feature R K Misra - Road Less Travelled

Here's the article (ToI.BLR.2007.0904.Pg02) for folks who missed it

Road less travelled

IN THE running As the deadline for nominations for Lead India nears, we profile some entrants
Swati Anand TNN

Rajendra Kumar Misra (42) is not one for conventional choices. After graduating from IIT-Kanpur in 1989, he refused a P-G scholarship in USA. Instead, he was one of the 25 students from 18 countries chosen to pursue Master of Engineering in Infrastructure and Transport Planning and Management from Tokyo University.

"Pre-internet USA wasn't exciting,'' he shrugs. "I was intrigued and impressed by Japan's culture and successful economic development model.'' After P-G, he joined Kajima Corporation, Japan's largest infrastructure development organisation. "Despite World War II, Japan became the world's second largest economy in 60 years and perfected inclusive growth and equitable wealth model of capitalism.'' Misra imbibed Japanese culture and work ethics. But he was bothered by the negative business image that the Japanese had of India. "I felt the itch to return to India,'' he recalls.

And against criticism from friends, Misra made unconventional choice No. 2: to prove entrepreneurs can pursue dreams in India.
In 1996, Misra founded Tekelec India, a telecom design and software company, and acquired its US parent two years later and renamed it Tenet Technologies. US-based CitiCorp invested in Tenet in 2001 and in 2003 Tenet merged with Hughes, which was acquired by Flextronics.

" I hated to be an armchair critic. My friends and colleagues complained about problems around us. While some had ideas how to fix problems, none had the conviction, commitment, time or financial independence to take the next step.'' Misra wanted to lead by example.

Thus came unconventional choice No. 3: he quit Flextronics in 2005 and got involved with various public policy initiatives around the public private partnership (PPP) model.
When Bangalore's poor infrastructure brought a faceoff between IT industry and political leadership in 2004, Misra convinced the government about the PPP model and assured private participants about government's commitment. "We delivered India's first set of community-based PPP road projects by developing four-lane roads in Bangalore's congested IT corridor -- 20 km at a cost of Rs 25 crore funded on a 50:50 model by government and users.'' Misra is now a PPP regular and a member of the state's Empowered Committee on Infrastructure.

"If I win Rs 50 lakh, I'd start a low interest microfinance venture for families that will put the money into entrepreneurial activities. It's better to teach a man to fish than give him one.''

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