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'Aspire, persevere and you will succeed'

Last updated on: August 25, 2009 
Image: Raja Anandan
Video: Satish Bodas
Rajan Anandan, managing director, Microsoft India, has had a successful stint with multinationals like McKinsey & Partner and Dell in a 16-year long career. It is this vast experience that he uses while giving advice to young Indians on how to become more employable and successful in their lives.

Anandan spoke with Prasanna D Zore while in Mumbai to sign a memorandum of understanding between the government of Maharashtra and Microsoft India for building information communication and technology capacity and enhancing employability opportunites in Maharashtra.

How can young Indians make themselves more employable in this economic environment?

It's important t know that India's GDP si growing at six per cent while the world is in recession.

In fact, if you look at the reports coming from World Bank, they say that in 2010 India will be the fastest growing economy in the world. It will be in the first time in the history that India will grow faster than China.

In terms of what students should do to become more employable it's very simple: just make sure that they acquire skills that make them employable.

And given the background that I have and the industry that I come from ICT (information, communciation and technolgy) is a very, very important skill. So learn computing, how to use computers and also learn to leverage computing in various roles. Whether your are in banking or a software developer.

I'd say one must learn practical-oriented skills. If you look at India today there are many industries which are growing at rapid double-digits. Look at telecom, infrastructure, FMCG continues to grow, media continues to grow; even the domestic technology industry will grow at 16 to 17 per cent even this year.

So you really need to identify an industry that a student needs to join and then building the skills which these industries demand.

While Microsoft offers a lot of certified courses which among them can make students more employable?

First thing is to start with digital literacy curriculum. You can start it once you are in 11th or 12th grade. And then get Microsoft Certified. There are multiple levels of certification but there is one thing that I can tell you is get Microsoft Certified. Start with the basic certification.

How can young Indians become more successful? How can they emulate Rajan Anandan?

I think the first thing to achieve success is to aspire. Second thing is there is this great book called The Outliers. I think every young Indian should read this book. What it says is to be really good at something you need to work at it for at least 10,000 hours. Simple: 10,000-hour rule.

The problem with a lot of young people is that they don't focus on a thing for long period of time. Nothing comes quickly; everything requires lot of hard work.

To summarise:

  • You got to want it
  • You got to work at it for a very long time
  • And you just have to keep working at it... persevere