TODAY -

Manipur Data Systems turns 10 today
Entrepreneurship, the way to the future

Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, February 24 2011: On February 1, 2011, the Directorate of Employment Registrar recorded close to 7 lakhs registered unemployed job seekers in Manipur.

The number could well be over the 7 lakh figure with many not bothering to register their names with the employment exchange.

There is the need to tide over the scarcity of jobs with the professed intention to engage human capital.

The answer could well lie in engaging and encouraging companies like Manipur Data Systems to pitch in with the know-how of entrepreneurial-ship in the formulation of an employment policy in the State.

At the turn of the last millennium, with information technology enabled services (ITES) increasingly becoming the mainstay of Indian economy, Pradeep Singh Meitram and Ngangbam Koireng were inspired to venture into an uncharted territory.

Aware of the naivety of the people of Manipur with regard to private sector employment and their infatuation with government jobs, Pradeep and Koireng got together to offer a noble idea of generating jobs not just to meaningfully engage educated youths of the state but also to give wings to their dreams.

Thus was born Manipur Data Systems (MDS), located in New Checkon, Imphal amidst mixed reactions from family and friends.

Today the company employs many young-and-not-so-young adults, some of whom are married but who had refused to stay within the confines of their marital constraints.

On February 25, Manipur Data Systems (MDS) is planning to commemorate the completion of one decade of its journey since its inauguration on February 25, 2001 .

Newmai News Network had a t�te-�-t�te with Pradeep Singh Meitram, chairman and managing director of MDS, and Ngangbam Koireng, Director, (Operations), MDS and learnt that the MDS is arguably one of the first private companies in the entire North East States of India engaged in Information and Technology Enabled Services (ITES), BPO, KPO .

Creation of jobs in Manipur had been stalled with recruitment in public sector registering almost nil during the decade following India's liberalization of economy.

Pradeep said launching the MDS was not easy.

"Bureaucratic red tapism and worrisome intrusion by non-state actors were hard to grapple with during the initial stage," he stated "but once it took off, the going got exciting and challenging" .

For the uninitiated, this is a field with tremendous growth potential and is well suited for skill sets available in Manipur.

Since people in Manipur are more comfortable in writing than in speech, medical transcription is poised to grow as an ideal field of investment, contended Koireng.

Unfortunately, people are yet to benefit the opportunity that it offers either because of ignorance or cynicism about the field, said Pradeep, adding that any one with a decent knowledge of English grammar is qualified to be trained as a transcription agent.

The company has trained around 100 persons now working in business centre across India.

Much more than the paucity of infrastructures, it is the undesire invasion of non-state actors that is worrisome for MDS.

Pradeep also said at times of bandhs and curfew (which has often happened), the staff would camp at the office so as to bypass all troubles.

He also said females, including married ones, form about 80 per cent of the total work force.

Given the exigency, the company introduced what may be truly the first of its kind in Manipur, a cr�che for married female employees.

Now, they are able to work freely without the burden of having to compromise their independence yet contributing meaningfully to the business of the family.

Another employee, Ranjita articulated that her hope and aspirations are tied to the company and its well being.

Barring the initial hiccups of convincing her family members, it has been a satisfying journey with the company and plans to stick around for good.

For Jagdish Ksh., also an employee of MDS, the difference between MDS and other private companies is that the knowledge and the expertise gained through working with MDS and such likes is a valuable asset applicable in real life situations.

The demand of the job to acquaint oneself of the knowledge of human physiology and structure with a dash of technical medical terms and prescriptive idea have given them an edge while confronting diseases and medical practitioner themselves, concurred Jaya, Ranjita and Jagdish emphatically.

"Doctors are sometimes baffled by the knowledge we have about diseases and their possible cure", they said.

With so much of positive energy generating within the rank and file of MDS, it is only natural to be curious as to where they see themselves into the future.

Pradeep sets his sight with a resolute ambition to sustain and scale up the growth of the company by recruiting more employees in the future.

There is a plan to set up branch offices in all the district headquarters of Manipur beginning with Churachandpur district, he forecasted.

Future plans are of course fired by achievements.

On being asked if he is satisfied with the stride the company has made, Pradeep said that he is "happy and feels accomplished" but there are room for improvement and much more remains to be done.

Koireng expressed similar sentiment while saying that he is happy with the shape the company has taken over the years.

The company has been planning on diversifying its businesses into other allied fields but the plan has been held up for want of financial and human capitals, he added.

Regardless of the shortfalls, people behind this MDS have remained committed to the idea of taking the company to newer heights of success, refusing to be dented by the push and pulls of the inevitable clash between ideas and ideals of tradition and modernity.


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