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'My first crush was my computer lab'

By Shuchi Bansal in New Delhi
October 05, 2005 13:58 IST
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Niru MehtaNiru Mehta (46) is the Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Avaya GlobalConnect Ltd and Avaya India Ltd.

Avaya is a US-based company providing communication solutions for businesses. As managing director of Avaya (India), Niru bridges the global technological leadership of Avaya with Avaya GlobalConnect's extensive domestic presence to bring best-in-class communication solutions for Indian businesses.

Niru has been credited to lead Avaya GlobalConnect (formerly Tata Telecom) through a significant financial turnaround and repositioning it from an EPABX company to a total business communication solution provider.

Here he reveals his technology habits.

What's in your pocket?

A cell phone -- Sony Ericsson P 900. But if you were to ask me this question three weeks later, the answer would be different. I am moving to a Trio that is push mail enabled. It will be useful for work.

First crush?

I studied engineering in Baroda (Gujarat). So, when I went to New York to do my master's, my first crush was my computer lab. There were so many computers, something that I did not have in Baroda. And I could have the whole lab to myself!

I used to spend 17-18 hours in the lab. The joy was not the assignments but getting to know the machines and play with them.

True love?

Not being bothered by technology. True love was going to Alaska last summer on a cruise and not being bothered by email or cell phone.

Latest squeeze?

My new plasma TV. It is a Samsung. My daughter thinks that I come home early these days just to watch TV. I watch sports and The History Channel and Discovery.

What makes you mad?

I don't really get mad, I may be disappointed. When I see people not putting in their best, especially young people, it disappoints me. And I do make it known to them that I don't like it.

Your biggest tech disaster?

It was the blowing up of all the gadgets that I had got from the US when I came here four years ago. My keyboard, music system and treadmill blew up in the first six months. I had heard about the power problems in India but I had not bargained for this. I had transfomers all over my house - basically gadgets supported by more gadgets. Later, I bought things made here. And they work beautifully.

If money was no object?

I would go to New Zealand for six months. I am a nature lover and New Zealand is very peaceful. I take at least three weeks to unwind!

PC or Mac?

PC.

Linux or Windows?

Windows.

Google or not?

Google all the way.

How wrong have you been?

Are you kidding? Of course, I have been wrong. If you are trying to do things that have not been done before and trying to raise the bar, it may not work because the organisation may not be ready for it. I am very ambitious and not everyone in an organisation may have the same benchmark.

Company to watch?

Avaya Global Connect, of course. But there are strong companies in the call centre space. Daksh is one, Allsec is another.

As far as Avaya is concerned we are at an interesting point in our journey. We have built capabilities in terms of human capital, systems, processes and brand presence. Avaya Global Connect has a bright future.

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Shuchi Bansal in New Delhi
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