Everyone in life lives by a dream. A dream which cherishes his thoughts, which he feels, would make his life worthwhile.
We all dream. Don’t we? At times, or many a times, it is simply improbable for others to believe, or even understand, your dream. ‘What nonsense!’, ‘You have lost your mind!’, ‘That’s simply not possible!’ are some of the sentences, ending with exclamation, a person has to bear with it when he expresses his dream or, better said vision, larger than his persona. Those sentences of exclamation are like hammer, you will be shattered, given you are fragile, or forged with conviction if you are strong. ‘Hammer shatters glass forges steel’, a famous Russian proverb, is very apt in this regard.
In the year 1998, when I was working with a premier multi-million dollar conglomerate in the region a humble and timid looking chap had setup a base in a Software and Technology Entrepreneurs Park (STEP) in KREC. I had good reasons to keep a track of him, then. After having worked in Corporations in India and abroad he had, I found out, returned rather prematurely, without any great dollars in his wallet, to India only to start a software development enterprise. The solution he offered, I bet, not many in India had heard of. It was well known, though, in Europe and the Americas. He was ambitious and determined. While many found him interesting, I completely brushed his business model aside saying ‘From where on earth is he going to find people to work on that technology. He’s lost his mind!’ I sincerely believe I wasn’t the only one – there were many who spoke the same language with me, while many of the inhabitants in the area had hardly, ever, heard of this man or his company.
Days passed into months and then into years. He migrated, to my awe, to Udupi – a place that was known for little more than its beaches and its temples. ‘He is proving me right!’ I was confirmed of his ‘doom’. But every thought and analysis of mine he proved all wrong, to this date. And this doesn’t make me jealous – honestly. Instead it makes me proud. You better believe me.
The man I have been speaking of, in the past three paragraphs, is none other than Rohith Bhat CEO & Managing Director of Robosoft Technologies Private Limited, who’s magnanimous and splendid corporate head quarters spreading across few acres on outskirts of Udupi is a monument for people who after Banking Revolution, never dreamt of a world class corporation to be based here. The structure, developed by the very Robosoftians, under the able guidance of Purushottam Bhat, is a hallmark of courage, conviction and dedication to ones dream. It is the living testimony of a leader who believed in himself while others thought otherwise.
On 25th of December 2007, I had a very distinguished opportunity to visit this facility for the first time with my distinguished friend and mentor Adam Clapham, who was formerly Senior Producer with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and has produced several Hollywood movies in association with Home Box Office (HBO), Paramount and the like. We, I must say, were given a very warm welcome! I was so amused to read ‘Robosoft welcomes Sir Adam Clapham’ followed by ‘and Mr. U Mahesh Prabhu’ on the welcome board just at the entrance. After having a brief chat session, Rohith was so kind enough to take us on a small campus tour. ‘What a magnificent office you have Rohith. I can’t believe this place is in Udupi.’ Mr. Clapham, who had distinguished opportunity of visiting internationally acclaimed landmarks like White House, Pentagon, 10 Downing Street, Rastrapati Bhavan, and like, said in awe. More than Rohith, I am sure, I was feeling proud.
Very interesting to note, is also, a chimney of 1800s that still stood in front of the Robosoft Corporate HQ. ‘What is this doing here?’ I asked only to recall that the current facility at Robosoft was built after having demolished the previous structure, that which happened to be a Tile Factory. The retaining of the chimney had a very special significance for them. Purushottam Bhat would later go on record to say that it belonged to an era when first industry, somewhere, in 1800s was founded in this part of the world and that it was an engineering excellence of the time ‘which deserves to be preserved’ he admitted.
Robosoft has a best blend of family and professional management. While Rohith is at the helm, his siblings, Sudhir and Purushottam, assist in Facilities & Infrastructure and Finance respectively. Shylaja Rao and Rohith’s long time friend M Ramachandra Acharya, tech geeks, share the responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer and Vice President – Engineer accordingly.
Robosoft employs to this day approximately 350 software engineers who work on cutting edge technology projects from international conglomerates like Apple, IBM and the like. It has to its name several patents and accolades. Some of the awards won by them include ‘Certificate of Excellence’, ‘Karnataka’s 2nd Best Software Exporter Award – Mangalore/Manipal Region 2004-05’, ‘Best Services Exporter Award (Silver)’ by Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Almost a decade back Rohith had endured on a journey which many, including me, had dared him not to. Today he proves all those apprehensions to be erroneous. We, at least me, aren’t jealous, but are proud of what he and his team have achieved. Still I don’t want to settle for this. I want to dare him, along with his team one more time. I dare you Robosoftians that you can’t scale further, this is the best what you may achieve and you have got nothing more left.
Prove me wrong and I shall be more than happy to loose – yet another time.
You are our best – make us proud!
[The author is Editor-in-Chief of Aseemaa: Journal for National Resurgence. He can be reached via email: ]
Author: U. Mahesh Prabhu- Mangalore