Sunday, July 16, 2006

Dot Com Years of Onio

It all started with uncertain business in Product Design which forced us to think of alternative sources of revenue, back in 1999-2000. While my brother Sunil, that time he was in Scotland, doing MS in Artificial Intelligence. He introduced the concept of website to me and pointed at a free website making portal www.expage.com (our page on this site still exists) in its primitive form. I still remember Prakash, my partner, stood for four hours at VSNL (the sole internet provider that time) to get an internet connection of 33kbps. Sending an email and getting one, was an achievement. Websites had started springing up. NIIT was standing tall that time, offering computer education as an alternative to Engineering and Medical careers. Our tryst with website started at IIT alumni meeting atMumbai (25th Dec 1999) where I happen to bump into a classmate who saw the year of graduation (19992) on my badge and happen to ask me what I was doing that time. When I said, I run a design studio. He casually asked if I could do a website for him, which I nodded affirmatively. No entrepreneur can afford to let go of such chances. "I will figure it out once I get an assignment', was an attitude that made us master of many things in shortest period of time...many times during our careers.

So I went for the first meeting with this batchmate of mine, who was setting up a portal for alumni of IIT and IIMs together. The technology consultant asked me if I was clear on the 'site structure' for this portal. I lost my head..what the hell is this site structure? What has a website designer got to do with that? ....The journey of website making, had just begun....We managed to do that assignment and many more in the years to come...including McKinsey India website.

Dot com bust took away the boom from our website business and we were back in product design saddle by the end of 2003. But during this period we managed to do several protals, interaction and interface design assignments, onsite consulting assignments for British Gas and NedLloyed even ventured into launching a portal of our own...(we almost did it:)) .