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[BUSINESS] Himanshu Bhatia: Chief Executive of Rose International

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  • chiayuan25
    The Boss A Flair for the Unconventional As told to Patricia R. Olsen. The New York Times Published: September 11, 2005 WHEN I was a teenager living in New
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2005
      The Boss
      A Flair for the Unconventional
      As told to Patricia R. Olsen.
      The New York Times
      Published: September 11, 2005

      WHEN I was a teenager living in New Delhi, I read "The Fountainhead"
      by Ayn Rand and decided I wanted to be an architect. My parents
      wanted me to be a doctor, but I stood my ground and took the entrance
      exam to study architecture.

      Admission to college is very competitive in India, especially for a
      professional degree. At the time, there were about 2,000 students
      competing for about 28 openings in the School of Planning and
      Architecture. I was one of six women admitted.

      I have a history of doing unconventional things. After I graduated
      from college, I saw an ad for a beauty contest and entered it for
      fun. I had no expectations. I grew up in a family where girls were
      encouraged not to attract attention to themselves, so this was more a
      rebellious act than any desire to win. To my surprise, I came in
      second. I was offered a modeling contract, but I had bigger plans. I
      left for the United States two months later.

      I had worked in architecture for a year in India, and I wanted to get
      a master's in my field here. The semester had already started in that
      program, however, so I got a master's in management information
      systems instead. I also got married. It was an arranged marriage.

      My last salaried job was working in information technology for Edward
      Jones, the investment firm. They had a program where I could work at
      home, which seemed attractive because I had two small children. But
      when they told me the hourly rate compared to my annual salary, I
      thought, "Is that all, for my qualifications?"

      My husband tried to talk me out of starting a business. "Why do you
      need to do something different?" he asked. I had seen my parents
      struggle, and I wanted a better life. "I have to," I told him. I was
      ready to fail. I started cold-calling and attending networking
      breakfasts. I wrote a business plan with the help of the Small
      Business Administration. I was lucky to get a few contracts and felt
      I owed nothing but outstanding service to these clients for putting
      their trust in me.

      The early years weren't easy. I was always trying to keep costs down,
      so I'd take late-night flights and look for the cheapest rental cars.
      Once I took a late-night flight to Arizona and couldn't find my way
      around. I ended up in the desert and it was pitch black. I wanted to
      put my head on the steering wheel and cry. Another time, in
      Washington, I hailed a cab to take me to a meeting. The cab driver,
      who had just arrived in the country, drove around for two hours. I
      was afraid I was being kidnapped. This was before cellphones and I
      was late to the meeting.

      It was sheer luck that we were able to survive when the technology
      bubble burst. A majority of our clients have always been government
      organizations. A few people said that wasn't too smart, but it saved
      us. We saw a lot of our competitors go under. I never understood the
      dot-com hype, and the business model just didn't make sense. I see
      the same thing now with the overvaluation of offshore companies.

      The lessons I learned early in life helped me immensely in making a
      company grow. My mother used to teach night school and wasn't there
      when I got home from school, so I learned how to fend for myself.
      When I was 12, she visited the United States for several months,
      leaving the household responsibilities to me. I had to learn how to
      use my time and energy wisely. I learned survival, which is what
      business is all about. I've also learned that as a leader, how kind
      you are is more important than how much you know.

      Two years ago we put a great deal of time and money into landing a
      new client in Texas, but the company chose three large multinational
      companies instead. I said fine, remember us. I got busy with other
      ways to strengthen the company. The client called recently and said
      one of its suppliers was not performing. They gave us the contract
      instead. Persistence pays.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/11/business/11boss.html?
      ex=1127448000&en=a9ad44e007c9cdad&ei=5070
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