Natarajan, Chinnappampatti and the Tech Industry

I was fascinated reading about Thangarasu Natarajan, Blue Jersey Indian Cricketer who returned from the Border Gavaskar series win from Australia and received a rousing reception at his village Chinnappampatti in Salem, Tamil Nadu, India. I also watched his interviews, his parents speaking about their hardships and how their entire family lived in a small hut and slept together. His mother still runs a roadside food shop in Chinnappampatti. 

Watching these interviews you’ll have tears in your eyes. It’s a proud moment for all of us. Money is no barrier to success and India is an aspirational nation. It was even more inspiring to learn that he runs a cricket academy in his village and this is his way of giving back to the game and his village. The story of Natarajan is an excellent analogy to the talent in tech.

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The Tech Natarajan!

In the last three decades, we have had a rising middle and upper-middle class in India.  Poverty in this country will be a thing of the past in the next two decades. We have thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Natarajans in the technology industry.

A lot of people who work in tech today, come from thousands of small villages across the country. They create software that’s being used across the globe. They’re celebrated in the companies they work for and are paid well. They will be paid even more based on their technical skill-set.

Just as much as I’m fascinated by Natarajan, I’m also fascinated by the tech talent in the villages across India. I have interviewed a lot of folks in the last few years and I’m amazed at their technical ability. They come from very humble backgrounds (very similar to Natarajan’s). All they need is more exposure. With Uber, Amazon, Netflix, and more the exposure is bound to happen. With people like Natarajan showing the way, one can become a Natarajan in their industry, earning well from anywhere in India. The competition will be more intense and I strongly believe it’s becoming a more level playing field today.

I feel that the kids in cities will have to work even harder to compete with the kids in villages. Opportunities are more widespread and it’s essential to treat everyone with respect. Your maid’s son or daughter will soon have the same opportunity as your son or daughter. This is exciting and we will see hundreds of thousands of Natarajans in their respective industries. They may not be as famous as him, however, they will earn well and have a great quality of life.

This is the opportunity ahead and all of us need to make the most of it. 

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