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Sunil Dutt knew he had to make up his mind fast. Later in the evening Anil Tripathi would be calling up, and Dutt was expected to give his final answer to Tripathi’s request for advising the large tube manufacturing complex at Indore. Dutt knew that the substantial monthly consultancy fees would provide much needed revenue for the Caltech team at Jamshedpur. By being away at Indore he would also avoid the constant clashes with his co-promoter A. Chakravarthy. But it would also mean that his absence could have a serious impact on the project implementation activities and jeopardize the basic idea with which he and his colleagues had left jobs and started their venture, Caltech. The Early Years Dutt was born in a middle class family in Jamshedpur, where his father was a doctor working with the Tatas. His father was a disciplinarian and inculcated values of hard work, integrity, family commitment and social consciousness in his children. Due to an untimely accident Dutt’s father had become incapacitated, and as the eldest child. Dutt was forced to accept partial responsibility for his younger brothers and sisters. He gave up his childhood dream of becoming an engineer, and instead started working with TISCO (now called Tata Steel) immediately after passing Intermediate Science. Dutt’s passion about technological innovations and his high commitment to action soon started being noticed by senior management in TISCO.
This case was prepared by Prof. Anjan Raichaudhuri, solely for the purpose of class discussion under a grant provided by Mr. Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman -- The case writer gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the promoters, in preparation of this case. Some of the names have been disguised for the sake of confidentiality. Not to be used or reproduced without the permission of Indian Institute of Management,...

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