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From IBM to BJP

Dressed in formal shirts and trousers and sporting laptops, these professionals are a far cry from the image of a typical political party worker. But politics brings them together, reports Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2008 22:59 IST
Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit

n Ravindra Pratap Singh (42), a former employee of IBM, is currently member of the senior strategy team of one of the top most software multinational companies in the world.

n Vinit Goenka (32), who has done masters in business management, last worked as a staffing partner for ASEAN countries for the business intelligence services department of IBM.

n Captain (Retd) Swaminathan (45) was a commissioned officer in the 21 Special Forces (Maratha Light Infantry). He now runs leadership workshops.

Dressed in formal shirts and trousers and sporting laptops, these professionals are a far cry from the image of a typical political party worker. But politics brings them together.

They are all members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and part of the party’s Information Technology (IT) cell.

“Politics is rough, quite unlike the corporate world,” said Singh. He joined the party in May.

Singh’s former colleague from IBM, Vinit Goenka, is from a family loyal to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for three generations.

“When I told my boss I wanted to quit to join politics, he said I had burned out and should go to the Andamans for a break,” said Goenka who devotes all his time to the party now. “I don’t understand why politics can’t be a career.”

“It is one area where I could show results immediately,” said Singh. “The idea is to develop, say, a television into a personal computer so that we can reach all those who cannot afford a personal computer.”

Swaminathan, who’s spent 10 years in the army and six in the BJP, was attracted by the novelty of an IT cell in a political party.

“We want to be part of the policy-making process in information technology,” said Swaminathan.

Goenka uses his corporate experience to understand voters. “I know why people react to politicians the way they do,” said Goenka. “I know the expectations of my clients who, in this case, are voters.”