Atanu “RISC” Dey and I spent the past couple days in Hyderababd meeting with various people to discuss rural development. Travelling and talking to people is a great way to think. I am understanding RISC better now. When we meet people, the initial reaction is normally, “Oh, its all been tried and done before.” It is interesting to watch this change from “Hmm, this seems different” and finally to “But what if others start copying it everywhere”. As we travelled, I got a good primer from Atanu on Economics, Game Theory and Rural Development.
Hyderabad is not a city I have visited often – this visit came after nearly 2 years. I remember going there in the early 1990s to the various R&D centres trying to (unsuccessfully) sell the image processing solution we had developed. A lot has changed in the city since then thanks to Chandrababu Naidu. It is a very clean city. The roads are nice and wide. The lake adds to the charm.
Travelling gives one time to think and contemplate. As one sees things around, linkages and connections start happening and images start forming, and the ideas get amplified. That is why it is so important to get out of the confines of the office every once in a while.
On the way to Hyderabad, we looked down from the aircraft window on the Indian countryside. We weren’t flying that high and it was a clear day. I was trying to see the villages and their distribution, and imagining where we could set up the RISC centres. Reminded me a bit of how Sam Walton must have felt as he overflow rural America trying to decide where to locate the Walmarts.