Interview with Youth Icon

Up close with Mr. Amit Kumar

The interviewee is Mr. Amit Kumar, a freelance software developer. Hailing from Jaunpur, a remote village of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Amit has done his BCA from KDS college, CCS University, UP and is currently residing in Delhi.

A 2009 graduate pass out, Mr. Amit is currently self-employed as a freelance provider of software projects.

His life has been an inspirational story of a less-privileged but a talented youth making himself-reliant, despite of all odds heavily stacked him. He further nurtures dreams of striking it big in the vast world of self-employed entrepreneurs.

The Interview:

1.Tell us about your background and your family

I am a native of Jaunpur, a little-known village of eastern UP.I don’t come from an elite family, can say a typical middle class rural family of rural India.

I am the eldest of the 3 siblings. My father is a farmer, my mother a house-wife, while my two younger brothers are pursuing their academic studies.

2. Hmm…It seems your journey from a individual of an agricultural family to a software developer and a freelance entrepreneur in the metro city, is driven by self-motivation.

Tell us when you first hear about terms like ‘software’, ‘software development’, ‘projects’ etc?

The journey is not as sudden as it seems. Like in most parts of rural UP in our village too, there has been a growing fascination towards studying in metro cities. I think, it’s the charm, luxury and aura associated with the metro cities that is driving the rural crowd, especially the students. I too was caught in the craze and decided to pursue higher studies in the field of Computer Applications and software development. Everything linked with software caught my attention while I was doing my BCA.

3. Did you try working somewhere? Tell us about campus placements?

I did try to get a reputable job in software domain and attended several interviews.  I even worked as a software trainer in a training institute in Delhi for about 3-4 months… but I soon realized that working as a hired, salaried employee wasn’t my interest.

4. So, what exactly led to your dis-interest as a salaried employee?

‘The lack of freedom’

There we had to work under timelines…time constraints, deadlines were too hectic to handle .I do not shy away from work-pressure and responsibilities but I think that once one is bounded within any sort of constraints, his freedom of expression and his performance deteriorates. This implies to software development too. My best product can be developed only when I am left free of all bondages.

5. Ok, so that must be the reason that drove you towards freelance project development. When did this idea first strike?

Yes, it is the primary reason. My liking for software development and project handling and my disliking for working as salaried employee left me with this option only. I had heard about freelance workers in online media and had even got to interact with a few during my student life.

6. Take us through the initial stages of your freelance working experience. And what exactly is involved with freelance project development.

A freelance software developer and project handler is basically an individual or a small group who are aware of the finer nuisances of software development. They take orders from various clients…the client expresses his personal, customized needs and we prepare the software accordingly.

I had networked with some of my peers and college seniors, some of whom are working as System Engineers in leading MNC’s. By selectively networking with individuals with different specialists in different domains, I managed to create a loosely integrated software team… some of them were front end programmers, some database administrators, some specialized in networking ,and some managed the marketing, client handling and representation work.

7. How do you find clients? How do team-members collaborate?

Majority of us collaborate online…but we do meet on occasional meetings. These mostly remain informal.

Clients are not easy to find. We have to constantly advertise our business where-ever possible, among school and college students, small business firms etc. We make use of all free resources to publicize our business- social contacts, contacts with our juniors, alumni and faculty members, software training institutes, on internet and sometimes even through pamphlets.

8. Few years down the line, where do you see yourself?

I aspire to create my own software firm. Instead of virtual business, I wish to establish my company and arrange funds to constantly increase its value.

9. And the major hurdles you see?

Finance is the biggest hurdle

10.Who do you see as an inspiration?

All of the current big players of the corporate world who started as the common man-The Ambanis, The Tatas …

11. A message you would like to convey to the aspiring youths?

We live only once. Pursue our very own ambitions, what we like internally

Thanks  a lot sir,

It was pleasure interacting with you.

Interviewer: Rohit Kumar Singh