Suck Goes to High-Tech India


My main contact in Hyderabad is J. A. Chowdary, president of a start-up named PortalPlayer, but more importantly the man who led the creation and development of something called Hi-Tech City. Chowdary had invited me to meet him at his office, but the address he'd provided was deep in the midst of Jubilee Hills, a new neighborhood whose unnamed, nearly unnavigable streets are chock-full of brand-new 6000-square-foot houses. Well out of center city, the area is perfectly insulated from whatever disturbances took place: a perfect illustration for why Hyderabad makes its tech industry's physical aloofness from the city a selling point. Through sleet or snow or rioting or kidnapping, Cyberabad would be able to go about its business.

PortalPlayer's logo adorns what looks to be a big house. I step in, through a nicely appointed foyer, past a living room packed with Windows workstations, and into a spacious American-style home-office: floor-to-ceiling bookshelves behind a large L-shaped desk with a 17-inch CRT and a multiple-line phone. Chowdary's nine-year-old boy is there (school's out for Ganesh's birthday), having commandeered his dad's rig to surf the WWF website. On one wall hangs a snap of Mr. Chowdary with former US Ambassador Dick Celeste, and on another a photo shows him walking down a New York street with Chief Minister Naidu.

Ever the incisive reporter, I begin our interview with a probing, insightful question. "So, um — where are we? Is this your house or your office?"


Speak your mind about today's Suck
Goes to India

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