Sunday, June 10, 2018

Email Interview of Dr P Vyasamoorthy by TechGoss - Australian Website

Interview of Dr P Vyasamoorthy by Australian Website – Sep 2012

Techie gives solace to seniors
By Hitesh Shetty

The booming IT industry has enabled many Techies to pursue their talents and passions.  And then there are dynamic men like Hyd based Padmanabha Vyasamoorthy (who worked at a Tech major) who has won much praise for his social work after retirement.  He is a man of many talents – Moderator of Yahoo & Google groups, Writer and even the recipient of AP State award for social work.

Techgoss speaks to Dr P Vyasamoorthy

Techgoss (TG): How did you get introduced to Technology, when the latter was just into its baby steps?

Dr P Vyasamoorthy:  While I was working with IDL (Indian Detonators Limited), Hyderabad, the Company bought in Jan 1977, a Minicomputer called Varian 76. I asked for a Terminal in the Library and got it. I was working as a librarian out there. Thereafter, I learnt Basic, Fortran, Cobol etc through in-company and external courses and developed applications for the library. I was one of the few handful of persons in India using dBase II in late seventies. I ran a monthly newsletter (sent out by post) called DUES ( =dBase Users Experience Swap).  Mr. HR Mohan, Systems Head, The Hindu, Chennai was one of the regular recipients.

TG: How long were you with Satyam? Did Satyam run 'Demystifying the Internet' course?

Dr P Vyasamoorthy:  I was with Satyam from Oct 1992 to June 2001 (8+ years). Yes, I ran that course, charging Rs 2000 or so for a day's course. Satyam is the first company in India to have its own 64Kbps direct link to the US. (Within a year ten others followed suit). We used Internet available with our counter parts in the USA to connect. It was all text only to begin with (Gopher, does anyone remember?). The course was so successful we repeated it a few time within about a year.

TG: What is your exposure to technology?  How did you select a blog / website platform for the job site for retired people? How did you get the idea to start such a blog?

Dr P Vyasamoorthy:  I belong to that category of IT professionals who had no formal degree in Information Technology. Formal courses came up later. It was Pure practical experience through self learning. I used IT so much in IDL that I took Voluntary retirement from IDL in Feb 1992 to join Informatics India P Limited, Bangalore. I was the General Manager, Marketing for about a year there -- selling online passwords facilitating access to academic databases, training in online searching of databases etc. "Informatics" is again a pioneer in accessing international databases via telex!! (I was a user / customer earlier), then via phone then via Internet etc. This experience paved my way to Satyam.

Blogs are easy to start and manage. I run four blogs - one covering all interests of Senior Citizens, another for AISCCON, yet another for Senior Discounts. And a blog for jobs for retired people.

TG: Have you got any requests of help from people with links to IT / BPO / KPO-Telecom work experiences?

Dr P Vyasamoorthy:  Not outsiders. While at Satyam, I was Knowledge Manager. I developed a knowledge repository for inhouse use. I was also the Head of Library Network. Providing Information to Satyam Employees was my full time job. Of course I had a team of some 12 librarians spread over many branches helping me fulfill this objective.   

TG: Even as your are using technology - online site - to help people.  Do you think that even in such a tech hub like Hyderabad where human and family bonds have become more fragile because of all the money pouring into our State because of the IT-BPO sector?  And that because people can SMS or Chat online they don't bother as much meeting in person?

Dr P Vyasamoorthy:  What you say is partly true. Technology has distanced people. Many are home bound (rather Desk Top or Lap top bound) and prefer to stay put in their houses instead of going out meeting people and showing smiling faces. Sharing experiences face to face or with a human touch is diminishing. Even in my two bed room house with just three persons staying, we prefer exchanging email for communication and go about our work as if other members are far far away! This is limited to families with easy access to technology and basic needs -- having to communicate with children abroad.

On the other hand, my interest for the past decade has been: senior citizens (60+). Most of the senior citizens I come across are not techno savvy. Most are not even comfortable with SMS though they have mobile phones. They have a phobia or aversion to technology. It takes lot of efforts and persuasion to make them interested in PC or Internet. It took nearly four years to make my elder brother interested in Internet. He caught on six months ago - now there is no looking back what with emails and discussion groups and entertainment.

TG: How has life changed after a very prominent newspaper profiled you as an 'Internet Hunter'?

Dr P Vyasamoorthy:  Recent Exposure in Deccan Chronicle was fantastic. It gave me maximum publicity than I imagined. Many unknown retired persons are approaching for help in placement; Employers have started sending me vacancies that need to be filled; One has asked to trace his childhood friends. Other journalists have approached me for stories.

I really wanted some publicity for my blog on second careers. The average number of visitors was about 40. After news paper story it shot up to 600 visitors. I got a lot of personal publicity as well.

You can contact me at this blog:

NB:   Interview was published in the website on 26th Sep 2012
I guess the site has vanished / moved out – no longer traceable. Text copied from my email inbox.

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