22 years ago my dear friend Kiran Ramineni taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life – there is no motivation bigger than belief.
Kiran was a short, intense guy, one of a group of brilliant engineers hired by Maruti Udyog in the mid 1980s. Set prominently on his pleasant round face were a pair of the most expressive, brilliant, bright eyes you will ever come across.
I was leading a team that managed the sales system for the company, a critical system that could not afford any downtime. A big database crash brought the operation to a grinding halt, setting the cat among the pigeons. We lost many days’ worth of live data, and our manager was busy getting data entered from physical invoices into the system to bring it up to its current state – a task that would have taken a week or more to accomplish.
As I was coming to terms with this disaster, I was confronted by Kiran’s big expressive eyes, pleading with me to give him a chance to recover the information from the database audit files, an option already considered impossible by all of us and discarded. And in that moment I made a decision that changed my relationship with Kiran forever. I said something to the effect “Go ahead buddy, I believe in you. Make it happen.”. And make it happen Kiran did. What was supposed to take more than a week was accomplished in a day due to Kiran’s ingenuity.
Even today, 22 years after the incident, Kiran and I talk about that moment. A moment that taught us that nothing motivates like belief. However one must remember that the belief has to be earned – a lesser man than Kiran may not have had that chance…