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No child's play, this

Meet India's youngest CEO and a geek, Suhas Gopinath...


AROUND THE end of 1999, Suhas Gopinath set up an online IT firm that specialised in web designing, web-based application development and chat engines. It was `online' because Suhas had partners around the world who communicate through e-mail or video conferencing.

On November 2, 2003, at the Bangalore IT.com venue, Suhas, CEO of Globals Inc ( http://globalsinc.com) announced his company's latest venture - an online school management system. Well, Suhas is all of 17 years of age, and perhaps the country's youngest entrepreneur.

Setting up a company at the age of 14, and becoming its CEO at 17 is no child's play. Today, Globals Inc is a 60-member team of 14-17 year-olds from India, Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere, who work from cyber cafes, or fiddle around with their parents' computer, and produce `source codes' and websites for their `clients'. Suhas and friends also host another web page www.coolhindustan.com catering for NRIs.

Globals Inc welcomes other youngsters to join. As long as they are in the age group 17-22, they can apply online, provided they bring relevant skills with them.

The concept of a student management software is relatively new in India, except of course, for a couple of high-end capitation colleges in Bangalore. "We essentially approached schools with a proposal, where Globals Inc would provide a customised website for each school, and have facilities to access the students' attendence status and marks in addition to admission modules and even a virtual `notice board'. SMS alerts to the parents' cell phone, and a two-level access by the parent, and teacher is another unique feature," says Suhas about his new initiative that has already made 20 schools take notice and sign up for the software.

Other initiatives include a GPS-based low cost vehicle tracking system, which would be tailor-made for Indian automotive and road conditions.

When Globals Inc attempted to sign an agreement with a Singapore-based company called Smith and Gale, his offer was turned down as he was under 18 and legally underage to enter into a contract.

Probably, it would take a while before signups and collaborations begin to happen. But the Student Development Software is definitely a positive step towards it.

A. VISHNU

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