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IITAGH Hosts Workshop on Principles of Networking

Pradeep Anand during his talk

Pradeep Anand during his talk

HOUSTON: Building a trusted network takes a lot of effort and is built one person at a time. That was the message shared by Pradeep Anand, President of Seeta Resources, to over 60 participants at the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston workshop on “The Principles of Principled Networking,” held on Saturday, September 27 at India House.

Pradeep started the discussion with his family story. He took the audience on two journeys. The first journey was of his grandparents and his parents, immigrating from Tamil Nadu to Ahmedabad where his father worked for the Tata group, and then to Bombay. This was a journey from 1918 to 1978.

 Pratish Kanani welcoming the group with an overview of IITAGH activities

Pratish Kanani welcoming the group with an overview of IITAGH activities

The second journey was Pradeep’s own journey as a student at University of Houston after graduating from IIT Bombay, from 1978 to the present. He talked about being laid off during the oil bust in 1982, and surviving through the generosity of friends and the personal connections that helped him land a new job. As Pradeep explained, what helped him was that he had actively networked along the way, although he did not quite know it at the time. He attributed some of his luck to showing up for a meeting with a colleague, and thanked the group for showing up for the workshop. “Half the battle is just showing up,” observed Pradeep.

During the discussion, Pradeep focused on immigrants and the loss of their networks as they move from one country to another. He talked about how one needs to build a personal network from the ground up and what it takes.

Many in the audience shared their own observations, and agreed with the framework laid out by Pradeep. “You have to give to your network before you can ask from it. We do that in our personal lives and we should abide by that same rule in our professional lives,” remarked Pradeep. The group talked about getting involved with volunteer and charity organizations, such as IITAGH and others, as one way to build and strengthen the network.
The group also discussed the IIT 2013 Global Conference and what it took to get 94 top quality speakers and moderators to the conference, including a former president, a Nobel Laureate and others. Pratish Kanani, President of the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston, closed the formal part of the discussion with a key observation. “Pradeep has been modest about his involvement as the Program Chair for the conference. Many speakers I talked to said that all it took was one call from Pradeep for them to show up. Think about that as you think about trusted networks!”

The workshop was hosted by the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston. Upcoming events include “A Day of Coding,” on November 1, to teach coding skills to high school students, as well as the annual fall picnic event on November 9. IITAGH events are open to the entire community. Sign up at www.iitagh.org to become a member.

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