Whom the gods favour, they meet out of turn. At Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak temple, that is facilitated by the Aashirwad pre-paid card. The refillable cash card helps devotees pay for a VIP darshan, make a donation or buy offerings for the lord. Not only is the card transferable, you can gift one too. Talk about counting one’s blessings twice over. Launched in September 2013, the card was the result of an epiphany experienced by Ashok Nadkarni, Siddhivinayak temple’s IT advisor, when he routinely boarded a BEST bus.
The a-ha moment triggered by the use of smart cards by regular commuters has since then found its way to the Shirdi Saibaba temple; Kolhapur’s Mahalakshmi temple, too, may follow in its footsteps. More than divine intervention, it is this gradual word-of-mouth adoption that has powered the growth of Trimax IT Infrastructure & Services, the firm behind the smart card initiative. Trimax stands for ‘try maximum’ and founder Surya Prakash Madrecha, a science graduate, has been sticking to his philosophy since 1991, when he arrived from Udaipur to what was then called Bombay.
At 23, many people don’t know what to do with their lives but coming from a family that had a kirana store, money lending and wholesale sugar business, Madrecha and his four brothers always wanted to do their own thing. Even when he joined Sanghvi Electronics for his first job paying ₹800 a month, he told his boss, Suresh Sanghvi, “I want to start a business. I don’t know what business and at what level, but I am joining you to learn and start something on my own.” Sanghvi Electronics was into OEM manufacturing. In the early ’90s, almost all computer parts, be it a motherboard, RAM or hard disk, were imported from Taiwan and assembled here.
After two years, the technical partner left the company (Sanghvi was the financial partner). An exodus resulted and most people who were electronic or computer science engineers left for bigger companies or started their own. Impressed with Madrecha’s grit and diligence, Sanghvi let him run the company. Madrecha used to be in office at 8.30 am and leave at midnight. Over the next two years, Madrecha ran the company single-handedly. He recalls, “Our customers, such as Onward, Nelito etc., were system integrators like we are today. They used to supply to banking and enter