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'I'll make India an IT superpower'

The first recipient of Overseas Citizenship of India ? Nivruti Rai ? talks to Vibhuti Agarwal.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 13:45 IST
Vibhuti Agarwal (
Vibhuti Agarwal (

"I want to transform India into something it has been struggling hard to become- an IT superpower."

These are the words of Nivruti Rai, the recipient of the first Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the inaugural ceremony of the fourth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Hyderadad.

Rai, a UP Brahmin by birth is presently based in Bangalore where she is working as senior manager with the Chipset Group of Intel India. In a candid interview to, this IT professional spoke about her long journey to the present destination and the honour she felt after receiving the first OCI card.

Amongst the numerous contenders, how do you think you managed to lay your hands on the prestigious OCI document?

Frankly speaking, this is a very complex bureaucratic process, which is difficult to spell out. But I stood a strong chance as I've accomplished a lot in the field of IT, developed as a strong tech professional, written innumerable conference papers related to information technology. Since India is following a rapid IT growth, I knew I stood a fair chance. I applied for the document last December. Besides, being a woman, I represent minority community as well, which turned out be a boon for me.

What are the benefits an OCI cardholder gets?

The OCI card bestows a strong sense of connectivity with the motherland. I feel very strongly for India, but used to feel uprooted. The OCI document has reconnected me to the Indian roots. Besides, there are a lot of logistical advantages, which we will get. Earlier, there used to be a lot of foreign restrictions on initiating new projects. But the card would enable Intel India to work on any project in the near future.

What would be your primary areas of focus?

As part of Intel India, our primary focus is on tapping knowledge. We encash on bright students coming from IITs. We also intend to highlight on areas other than knowledge like building infrastructure, planning and showcasing Indian talent.

You have lived in the US for 15 years and even managed to get the US citizenship. Say something about your earlier/struggling years?

United States, for me, is a home away from home. The first year we moved to US, I missed playing Holi in India. We just couldn't play Holi there. So in the coming years, the small Indian community took a solemn pledge to religiously play Holi with water colours. My roots are in India, but I've professionally acquired knowledge in US. I would at this stage feel obliged to deliver to both India and the US.

What is India to you?

India is a jamboree of culture. The nation is rapidly moving towards the path of victory, but there is no end to development. My aim is to cultivate Indian culture everywhere, starting at home. My children love the dosa-chutney and Bollywood hearth throb Shahrukh Khan is my daughter's favourite. I aspire to become a role model not for any prestigious group, but for my children.

First Published: Jan 07, 2006 16:11 IST