Monday, August 04, 1997
SECTION: Science & Tech

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A Million Dollar
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Fabulous `Net' gain

Date: 04-08-1997 :: Pg: 26 :: Col: a

Internet has fantastically changed the career and fortunes of otherwiseordinary people, says G. Pramod Kumar.

The first time the three sons of an Advocate, Mr. Balasundaram, sawa computer was in November 1993. The brothers, the eldest in his late Twentiesand the youngest still in his teens, had no inclination other than to helptheir father with his mounting consultancy work.

But it was a world of mindboggling proportions that the 386 computerled them to. Next year, they were receiving huge Internet files througha private E-mail provider, who ultimately paid much more than they gainedfrom them, even when the Net was a fantasy confined to magazine pages.Three years since then, the brothers - Mr. Srinivasan (32), Mr. Kandasamy(26) and Mr. Parameshwar Babu (23) - are digging deep into the Net fortheir first million.

The Net also brought the family closer. Mr. Srinivasan's wife has apopular recipe page on the Net while Mr. Balasundaram offers legal consultancythrough the web. ``The Internet binds us together''.

Operating from a least flashy office-cum-residence at Dasarathapuram,near Saligramam, they are the symbols of an enterprise unleashed by theNet. A cyberfriendly, market savvy intelligence and a sprawling, seamlessworld makes a winning combination.

The story of Mr. B. Vijayanallendran, Managing Director of the Q- Circleon Poonamallee High Road, is similar. Internet was the last thing on hismind when he thought of expansion of a successful data processing and communicationbusiness. A suggestion from his U.S.-returned cousin, Mr. S. Balasubramanian,provided the spark. Now he has a host of Net-related services which attractspeople and corporate groups from all over the city.

It is mainly the working conditions and the hidden possibilities ofthe Net, unique to the country's technical and socio-economic conditions,that stirred the young cybersavvy minds like that of the Saligramam brothersto action. Their products precisely address the ground reality and offerways to exploit the Net with minimum investment.

The PPPshar (PPP standing for Plans, Proposals and Projects), whichhas invited business enquiries from all over the world, is a classic example.The software which offers ``simultaneous multiple access using one Internetconnection,'' distributes a single dial-up Internet connection to a networkof computers. This software optimises usage time and reduces investment.The nervous system of Mr. Vijayanallendran's cyber business is PPPshar.According to Mr. Srinivasan, the software had instant buyers all over theworld, most of them hearing about it through their site on the World WideWeb.

Other software packages created by PPP includes PPPftp, a client softwareto upload and download files. The software comes to the rescue of thosewho get ejected from the Net while downloading due to faulty communicationlines. Usually, once thrown out, the user has to start downloading fromthe beginning itself. But PPPftp lets the user continue from where he stops.A huge saving on time and money. They also have packages like offline interfacewhich allows Net E-mail users to type offline which again translates intosubstantial saving on usage time.

Creation and insertion of web pages and consultancy on various applicationsof the Net have created lucrative jobs for many in the city. For instance,several students at the IIT, Institute of Matscience and Anna Universitycan create web pages for corporate groups and individuals and collate informationon various subjects ranging from research to trade.

The services of Q-Circle is a pointer. Many leading corporate groupsget regular trade information, collected from the Net, from the company.They also offer individual mail facilities. At minimum cost, the benefitsof which is transferred to the customers, the set up offers an entire rangeof services.

Mr. Srinivasan and his brothers say that the opportunities are immense.The primitive conditions of the communication lines, the inherent hitchesand economic and bandwidth constraints could be turned to one's advantage.``It is a passion that makes good business sense''.

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