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Blogger Indonesia of the Week (35): Carlos Patriawan

Photo: The Patriawans
A Few Indonesian Men in Silicon Valley
Rahardjo Mustadjab, a senior Indonesian diplomat and former Consul General in KJRI (Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia) Mumbai wrote in The Jakarta Post recently(16/02/2006) about why India, a developing countries, could produce an IT human resources in such a massive scale in relatively such a sort of time and why Indonesia could not:

“…India’s great leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, posed the question: What will make a future independent India free from poverty? Sir Ardeshir Dalal, a council member of the viceroy gave the answer.

First, he said, they needed to establish world-class centers of higher technical education.

Second, India had to establish equally world-class research institutes. Acting on this advice, India established its Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati and Roorkey.”

Well, with due respect to our founding fathers (Sukarno-Hatta), both elements India had done since independence in terms of education was not there in Indonesia.

Therefore, no wonder if the country still needs to learn about IT-related institution to India as was reiterated by Presiden SBY during his visit to India a few months back.

And that’s also the answer why not many Indonesian IT geeks are there in silicon valley, unlike Indians graduated from the famous IITs many of whom already got the call from some big IT companies in Silicon Valley (SV) even before they finish their last exam. Indeed, there’s a few Indonesian in SV, but many of them are not the product of Indonesia technological institution.

Among the few Indonesians in SV, there’s a man called Carlos Patriawan, graduated from University of California, he then continues working in SV uptill now.

He’s not actively updating his blog. Instead, he spend most of his spare time to interact with other Indonesian IT-geek through teknologia (googlegroups) mailing list (milis); talking about IT-related stuff.

From the on-going discussion in teknologia, he feels that his juniors need a kind of guidance and help to enable them to get a proper job abroad. And for that purpose, he creates a specific mailing list called http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/indo-svjobs. Any Indonesian with IT-related qualification and with serious intention and willingness to get a job abroad can join it. Carlos will give you a proper guidance as to what kind of program you should prepare and mostly needed based on the latest information he got from SV and, also, the latest job vacancy from there.

To me, his leadership initiative is another proof among many others, how important it’s to have our men abroad. As Rahardjo Mustadjab reiterated at the same article,

The concept of the “brain-drain” is history, and Indians are now talking about “brain gain”. Two million Indians who reside in the U.S., including 35,000 graduates of the famed IIT, earned $60,000 per person a year, nearly as much as Japanese who reside in the U.S. make. The amount that is earned by the Indian diaspora is far above the U.S. median income of $35,000.

…Many have returned to Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi to establish enterprises or teach in the new India.

For Indonesians who still cannot accept the concept of Indonesian staying abroad, you need to memorize the above figures given by Mr. Mustadjab.
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