Everyone who knows me well, knows that if there was one place I wanted to die for, it was PCL. But it was not to be. We started the company together, six friends in 1983/84 and took it to the pinnacle of name, fame, glory. And then it started cracking, then it became brittle and finally broke, and broke real bad. For many, there were tears in their eyes when it happened. For many, PCL was not just a company to work for, but it was their very existence, their life, their energy, their motivation to live better and do better.
But today, it’s been almost 26 years that company has closed down. 1983-1994, PCL was a song to sing. I used to say in those days, that if you cut my hand, instead of blood, PCL will come out. Such was my passion in running the enterprise. But today, I have not sat down to tell you the PCL story. We will do it some other day, and it will be big. But today, I sit here to tell all of you about an evening which happened just 72 hours back, on the 16th October ’21, when some 20 middle aged guys, in their 50s met in Dubai, to have a drink together, have some good food and to say “cheers” to this one name, all of them were wedded to……..PCL.
They all worked in different parts of India for PCL, their PASSION, ENERGY, ATTACHMENT, BONDAGE, more for the name PCL, than its people, was so strong, that after 26 years of its closure it was bringing them together, outside their motherland India, where they happen to be today. More interestingly, this is their second get together in as many months. First was on 26th June, and then about 100 days later, at the same venue, ATELIER M, in Pier7, Dubai Marina, they met again. This time the number of spouses has gone up from 2 to 4 and this in itself is an indication how it is growing.
The entire evening was spent in fun and laughter, talking about old times, how they beat competition in their own game and how they were completely fearless in their approach to business in particular, and life in general. Mind you, PCL was just an 11-year-story. From Video games to Electronic Typewriters to Personal Computers, they travelled with the only ONE aim they all had in their lives, that they have to be number one PC Company in India. They did become that, in their 10th year and it meant everything to them. Their existence was just to be number 1 in PCs one day. They took their company to public limited. They were oversubscribed 26 times. They got the largest export order of all times, for manufacture of motherboards from Dell Computers, set up global subsidiaries, diversified into Software and then, they CRASHED.
CRASH,WAS PERHAPS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. They fell flat on the ground. People worked without salaries for almost a year in the hope that they would get out of it soon, and they waited…..Senior people in the company including some co-founders left the company, as they did not agree with the way the company ran and all of them who left, did exceedingly well in their lives and grew manifold. Then why did PCL crash?
We still need to figure that out, but the end for the Company was very sad and full of difficult times, which some felt they did not deserve. But it did happen. Maybe someday, in these columns only, we will discover the real reason why. May be!!
Till then, let us enjoy the party and the spirit of fearless entrepreneurship.
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