I, T.KaruppuSwamy started life on 26th May 1972 at Old Washermenpet, Chennai, India. My mother is T.Rajammal and father is K.Thangaraj. I joined National Christian Middle School, Perambalu Street, Old Washermenpet at the age of 5 in First standard. Still I remember that my mother paid only Rs. 5/- for my school admission. The medium of instruction was Tamil throughout my schooling. I studied there, up to 5th standard. I was very much homely boy then (still????). I used not to go out and play in the street with other children. But mostly stood first rank in the class.
My childhood photos
In the year 1982, I joined K.C.Sankaralinga Nadar Higher Secondary School, G.A.Road, Old Washermenpet, Chennai. The Real People’s Leader Thiru. K.Kamaraj inaugurated this school in 1960s. I completed S.S.L.C there. During this period of study here I met with different kind of teachers and friends. From 6th Std to 8th Std, I used to fail in at least one subject. Mostly they are Mathematics and English. Since I was average in studies, I was in bad need of some good teacher and friend to accompany me. Thank God! It was Mr. GanapathiRam, who was my class teacher in 9th and 10th Std. One boy, who sat next to me in first day of 9th Std. class, was Jayasingh.T. This boy was found very cool and active always and also good in studies. Thanks to his friendship I also started studying well in rapid progress. We used to discuss political and social issues. Our class teacher encouraged us to score good marks in the S.S.L.C examination. Since I was in very poor financial state, he helped me to get some textbooks and also conducted tuition for me at free of cost. Singh and myself used to exchange 1st and 2nd rank between us. We were so close that none of us had ego on other’s progress. In the year 1987, I finished S.S.L.C with 3rd rank in school.
Studies and vacation jobs:
After finishing S.S.L.C, I joined V.Ramakrishna Polytechnic, Thiruvottriyur to do Diploma in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I was very much impressed with the electronic magic, which made me to choose electronics as my branch in the Diploma. I didn’t do well in diploma. It was average only. I was mistreated by some of my colleagues there while doing Computer related project. This was because I tried to work with my own written computer program. This kind of work took more time. But these people appreciated those who copy computer programs from books. This incident fired me to enter into the world of Computers. In the year 1990, I finished Diploma. Till that time, apart from Home and Polytechnic, only place I knew in Chennai was Connemara Library. That too I didn’t utilize well.
During the period between my S.S.L.C examination and Diploma Final Semester examination, I had been to several kinds of jobs in semester holidays. The direct benefit of such jobs was to pay the next semester fee and also to buy textbooks. Now I realize that it helped me to have good experience on various levels of society. Here are a few jobs I had done in those periods.
Copy Writing work in a one-man office at Thiruvottriyur. Salary was around Rs. 125/- for two months, if I am not wrong. Here my office colleague was a Communist. He used to discuss various social problems with others. This is my first sight on a man who thinks for the society. I am very much eager to meet this person again. Knowing that he was doing BASIC and FORTRAN computer courses astonished me. Then I had not seen any computers at all.
As a Casual labour in Tablets India Ltd., Tondiarpet. Here I had been working for 1½ month at the salary of Rs. 35/- per week. It was very hard work. I was asked to do all kinds of miscellaneous works. One such job was to remove the syringe bottle caps and carry them to the 2nd floors of factory. Once I got hurt in the left palm. Mostly my responsibility was to clean the walls and machines of the factory with the help of a ladder, bucket, and soap water. Here some of my colleagues were uneducated young peoples with all bad habits. Their way of thinking and talks were horrible to a homely boy like me. But I used to dream of becoming a Supervisor. Yes! It was fulfilled, later when I visited the same factory as an Electrical Engineer to attend a problem in the Diesel Generator Plant. I was assisted by two casual labours to carry simple parts of the machines and to clean the machine. Power of Dream!
As a Helper for Electricians in an electrical service shop. I was paid around Rs. 280/- for two months, if am not wrong. Here I learned basic electrical house wiring and usage of various tools. Some of the electricians used to scold me like any thing and used very bad words. I used to drill holes in the high ceilings and wall with a jumper and hammer. I was very much scared of landing my foot on a tall ladder and work with jumper and hammer at such high ceiling. I used to get coffee for everyone in the shop and distribute. Though the shop owner Mr. Selvam didn’t like it, sometimes I did those kinds of work to co-operate with the other electricians. Thanks to Mr. Selvam and all other electricians, I learned about electrical systems. It helped me in 5th semester studies of diploma.
Only one day I was working in an Export Garment Company. Since my health was not well I didn’t continue.
As a Parcel Server in Hotel Pandian, Old Washermenpet (Now there is a branch in Vadapalani, Chennai also). I remember very well that I was paid Rs. 200/- for two months of very hard work. The job timing was something like IT industry standard nowadays. Duty timing was 06:00 AM to 11:30 PM. I shouldn’t sit anywhere even there was no work. It was a very famous Non-Vegetarian hotel in North Chennai. In fact I joined there to make bills. But I was not able to calculate and write bills to cope up with the busy business. Hence I was shifted to Parcel packing and delivery work. One more beauty of this job is NO HOILDAY, that too Sunday will be a very much busy day. Though I want to avoid negative things in my web site, it is unavoidable to mention some of my colleague’s experience here. The hotel employee’s life is miserable. The lack of education and parental guidance makes some of them to spend the most part of their salary for movies, liquor and woman. Small boys are learning bad habits. They are suppressed monetarily and socially. Sometimes these children are becoming scapegoat for the sexual outlet of other employees. Horrible experience!!!!!
Electrical and Electronics Engineering career:
Once my Diploma examinations were over, I was selected by an Abudhabi based Non-destructive testing and Corrosion Control Company for an employment in Abudhabi. I was hesitated to go to Abudhabi leaving my family here. Thanking to Sadam Hussain, I took Gulf war as an excuse to drop that proposal. After that I started working in various Electrical and Electronics Industries, and also started appearing for the A.M.I.E Examinations.
In Aug’1990 I joined Electra Power Supply System Pvt. Ltd, Ambathur, Chennai as an Apprentice. My stipend was Rs. 500/- pm. After the completion of training period, continued as a Service Engineer for the pay of Rs. 650/- pm. Here I started roaming all around TamilNadu for Servicing of Battery Chargers supplied to TamilNadu Electricity Board. Here I was working in the field of Power Electronics. Once I went to Rajamundhry, AP for an installation in Oil and Natural Gas Commission Plant.
In Nov’1991 I joined Security Electronics (P) Ltd., Hyderabad as Service Engineer responsible for North TamilNadu. My responsibility was to maintain and install Bank Security Alarm Systems in North TamilNadu. I was paid Rs 750/- pm. After 1½ month training in Hyderabad, I was placed at Chennai. The Representative of Chennai, Mr. Ramakrishnan and his life Mrs. Savithri partner encouraged me a lot to high in my life. Their wish really encouraged me a lot. It was heavy schedule to go all around TamilNadu every month. Most of the time I was in tour only. Hotel food became allergic to me mentally. So I started to eat some fruits and milk for whole week of tour. The allowance paid was Rs. 45/- per day, which is meant for food and accommodation. Even with this scale of allowance I saved some money to avoid disturbing my family for my A.M.I.E examinations.
In Mar’1993 I joined Ramsons Udhyog, Bangalore as a Service Engineer based in Chennai. Here I was paid Rs. 850/- pm. The field was maintenance and installation of Garment Finishing Equipments used by Export Garment industries. Most of the Export Garments I visited during this job.
In Jul’1993 I joined Rukma Groups of Companies (Arlav Electronics Pvt. Ltd. and Rukma Elchem Pvt. Ltd.) for the pay of Rs. 1200/- pm as Supervisor. Here I was bored to do clerical job and hence taken maintenance of some old imported Microprocessor based Electronic Coil winding machine. But it was not enough for me. Once I was deputed to Pune as dummy person to satisfy a major customer, Videocon. But I took it as an opportunity to show my interests in technical work and professionalism in doing a work. After that 10 days tour of Pune, the Managing Directors appreciated me for my unexpected splendid work. At that time, I got a technical work opportunity. So I resigned my job. I can’t forget the farewell given by those poor employees and Managing Directors.
In Apr’1995 I joined Vishvadevi Engineering Enterprises, Chennai as Service Engineer for the starting salary of Rs. 1500/- pm. After 3 years I was drawing Rs. 2800/- pm. (including allowance I used to get Rs. 4500/- pm). The nature of work was to service and install Electrical Alternators and Diesel Engine’s Electrical Systems. Most of my service works were in Chennai only. So I started concentrating on my A.M.I.E studies. I finished Section-A of the course. At that point of time, I joined a Computer Course in a small computer center near my house. (Joining a Computer Institute like NIIT was my dream. Due to heavy fee it was not feasible then.) I learned FoxPro2.5 there. While doing this course I was not able to find answer for my questions based on concepts of computers. So I decided to select Computer Engineering as branch of A.M.I.E studies. I used to finish Generator Servicing as early as possible, returned home early to study computer-engineering subjects (I tried to attend some classes, but the way of teaching and timing was not fit for me). I joined an institute to learn Oracle, VB & PB. Since the way teaching was satisfactory to me, discontinued. My office colleagues and friends ThamaraiSelvan and XavierSelvam encouraged me to do the A.M.I.E studies well.
Computer Industry career:
In the year 1998, my friend Jayasingh.T looked into my FoxPro project and very much appreciated. I was mentally ready to switch over to my favourite field of Computer-Engineering at this point of time. Many people discouraged me not to take up a new field as the career at the age of 26, leaving the well familiar Electrical and Electrical Engineering field. I did not want to live a bored life taking job security as an excuse. So, I launched my resume to an IT company first time. This is the turning point in my career!
I applied for a Service Engineer post in Krishna Computer Services, a Franchisee of WIPRO. In spite of having lack of computer industry background and heavy competition in interview, I was selected as No.1 in the Written Test among 120 candidates. Sacrificing Rs 4500/- pm salary, I was ready to have Rs. 2800/- pm, forecasting the good future for me in IT career. I was very much happy. As per company’s condition I bought a two-wheeler, TVS Champ after long financial struggle (I learned to ride two-wheeler with my new vehicle). I had been working there for 5 months. I met with a major road accident at Anna Flyover, Chennai. After a few weeks of hospitalization I was alright with 13 stitches in head. Thank God for saving me to serve others. In Feb’2000 I resigned this job. Though I was selected for Computer Servicing, I was mostly utilized for Printer Servicing; it was not enough for my thirst.
In that situation, my friend Jayasingh.T approached me with an offer in HMA StarWARE Ltd. (HMA Data Systems Pvt. Ltd. then) doing ATM based applications. I attended an interview there for Hardware Cum Testing Engineer. Mr. Mani.V.S and Mr. Ismail.M interviewed me and selected. My IT Guru ManiVS taught me everything related to computer basic hardware and software. I learned UNIX also there. Later the UNIX has become my favourite Operating System. After 3 months of service I started doing only Software Testing and implementation. I used to fly (yes! Flight journey) to Mumbai for Software installation and support. In the first year of service I had been paid Rs. 48000/- per annum. In the second year I was given good increment of Rs. 2 lakhs per annum appreciating my hard work and attitude. In the third year I was paid Rs. 3 lakhs per annum. This was my financial growth there. In spite of having financial growth, my interest to become a Software Developer made me to think of quitting HMAS. I resigned from HMAS in Oct’2001. While joining in HMAS I was the lowest paid employee of HMAS, whereas I was one of the highly paid resource of HMAS while resigning. Hope never fails! Hard work ever returns Fruits! HMAS is the motherland of my IT Career. HMAS shaped me as a Software Engineer. Still I am very much eager in development of HMAS as a mega IT giant. Unfortunately till now it remains as my dream. Hope, soon my dream will be fulfilled!
I joined Polaris Software Lab Ltd. (Navalur, Chennai) as Consultant on Oct’2001. Here the project was Global Banking System and the client was NEC. The nature of work here was not satisfactory to me at all. It may be good for beginners or for management career. Since I was very much interested in learning and implementing technical skills, I was not able to concentrate on job. It was boring to do a repetitive kind of job well within the border defined by somebody. I may be wrong with this attitude, but I don’t want to work so. Once again I met with a road accident near War Memorial, Chennai. I got my left leg fractured and cracked. After two months of bed rest, I was alright. Thanking the God once again..!
I joined T & B International Pvt. Ltd (Nungambakkam, Chennai) as Senior Software Engineer on Mar’2003. Here I was promised to give technical stuff to explore. Yes, it was so. Here I am working on Windows CE & Embedded Micro controller Programming. I bought Hero Honda Splendor model bike. I have been promoted as Team Leader on May’2005 to head a team. I resigned from T & B on Jun’2006, to take up an offer from HCL.
I joined HCL Technologies Ltd. as Tech. Lead on Jun’2006, expecting nice technical stuff to explore. Here I was a part of Storage and Server Business Unit. Worked in Windows/Linux Device Driver, eMMC Controller Firmware, iSCSI Testing, etc. While resigning from HCL, I was a Technical Manager for Linux/VMware Device Driver development for PCIe SSD controllers. This team was self-motivated and shown sharp learning curve. I am, being not a good manager, still the team delivered great in both quality and quantity.
Time to move, joined LSI India R&D Pvt. Ltd., Pune in Aug’2013. First time moved out of my home town Chennai for a professional career. It was a tough decision to take. But lack of Storage/Embedded opportunities in Chennai pushed me to take this decision. Here I work in PCIe SSD Controller firmware. Comparing to my host software experience, embedded experience is less. Trying my best to learn a lot of low level stuff. Interesting….. life goes on.