Thiruvananthapuram

Memoirs of the ‘first CEO’

The baby steps of Technopark, the primary landmark of modern industrial development in the State, are finally coming out in print, penned by the man who handheld the State’s software industry though its turbulent beginnings to its current path of steady growth.

It was a foregone conclusion of sorts, that if G. Vijayaraghavan ever wrote a book, it would have Technopark as the protagonist.

And his first book, to be released by Planning Board Vice Chairman K.M. Chandrasekhar during the International Book Fair at the Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium on Thursday, certainly has Technopark all over it, either on every page or as a silent but looming presence in the background.

Titled Vijayavazhikal: Ente Technopark Smaranakal , the book will stand apart in the way it is being released as well.

Mr. Chandrasekhar will be handing over the first copies of the book to Technopark Chief Executive Officer (CEO) K.G. Girish Babu, besides two relatively lesser known persons — Ashokan and Binu.

While Ashokan was Mr. Vijayaraghavan’s driver during his initial days with Technopark, Binu was one of the first housekeeping staff that the park had.

Nayanar’s role

The book, in the author’s own words, is how Technopark came about, and how, quite ironically, the leader of a political party that fiercely opposed computerisation, was instrumental in the setting up of what is now the State’s information technology hub. Former Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar is the foremost person, from among three, to whom Mr. Vijayaraghavan credits Kerala’s software industrial revolution.

Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty and Mr. Chandrasekhar, who was the then Industries-Finance Secretary, are the other two.

The book is punctuated with anecdotes, including many that hinge on the legendary wit of Mr. Nayanar, and narrates how Mr. Nayanar, despite being a ‘hardcore Communist leader,’ went to America, still labelled an imperialist nation by his party, and invited industrialists to Kerala.

Apart from writing on his days as the first CEO in the State’s public sector, Mr. Vijayaraghavan also compares the approaches of two Marxist leaders, who stood at opposite poles on matters of development.

NISH

The birth of the National Institute of Hearing and Speech (NISH), now on the threshold of being upgraded as a national university, and the new work culture that he heralded in the State are all interesting chapters in the book, which has over 200 pages and over 20 pages of photographs that promise to take readers through the fascinating journey of Technopark.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 12:29:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/memoirs-of-the-first-ceo/article7709824.ece

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