Monday, November 22, 2004

An indian man approached me today when I was down in Silicon Valley.
"Excuse me," he said "You were with XYZ company in 1999 right?"
"Yes," I say "I was..."

"You interviewed me then, in India. And you hired me."

I had flown to India to recruit developers for our India office. I spent a whirlwind few weeks in Hyderabad and Banagalore, meeting with officials, cutting through dark red tape, helping to secure our offices, meeting with potential partners and clients and, finally, hiring.

The administrators we had hired beforehand had already filtered out resumes of people who had responded to our ads but were clearly unqualified. This still left us with a few hundred resumes to sift through. S. and I spent a couple days going through them all, putting them into three categories: Definite interview, Possible and No Way. The latter were immediately sent thank you notes. The Definites were sent an invitation to come in for an interview.

Since our Bangalore office hadn't been set up, I rented a suite in a hotel and used one of the rooms to do my interviews. My assistant C. acted as a gatekeeper. She had flown with me from the U.S. and together we were the two foreigners trying to assimilate into the culture as quickly as possible (In the end, she wasnt able to and had a nervous breakdown but thats another story, which ends with her almost marrying a Bollywood movie star. But, again, thats another story) I worked almost without sleeping, catching quick naps in the back seat of the Honda as my driver raced from one place to another. Those were insane times.

I interviewed about forty people in the course of just two days so I can be forgiven for not recalling the man who approached me today. I had suggested we hire him and we did. Later, he was flown to the US to work in our offices here in the Bay Area. We sponsored his H-1 Visa. He left our company and went on to work for a large company here where he is doing really well. All of this because I hired him in India. I had forgotten him but he remembered my name and had recognized me by sight and even told me that I had "inspired" him.

Later, when I told this to A. she says "Much of life is like that. You set off so many things and rarely do you get the chance to see the results of what you started."

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