Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hawker to hacker-cracker, Haryana boy’s tech dreams soar high

Microsoft offers Virender Raika, son of a labourer, Rs 4.85-crore annual package for his extraordinary anti-hacking skills. He is a golden boy who never had a silver spoon in his mouth. He had dreams, but no wings. Yet he flies high. Twenty-one-year-old Virender Raika, who worked as a hawker to fund his studies, has developed an extraordinary anti-hacking software which has earned him a plum job at Microsoft.

The whopping Rs 4.85 crore annual package offered by the software giant comes as an add-on for a lad who couldn’t go to the IIT — despite getting through the entrance — as he had no money.

Born in Pehowa village in Kurukshetra, Virender says the going was always tough for him. “After my father who works as a labourer fell sick, I had to take up the job of a hawker. I soon realised that the money won't suffice. So, I started giving Physics tuitions,” says the boy who was in Panchkula to interact with students.

A class X topper, Virender did part-time jobs to fund his Class 12 education. He qualified a scholarship entrance to study further and even got through the IIT, but couldn’t pursue it due to lack of funds.

Quiz him on his anti-hacking project and his eyes light up. “The idea to develop an anti-hacking system struck me while I was watching a movie. I saw a girl hacking into a system and then I thought why not develop a system that has a foolproof security. There are ways to hack into a system but no permanent way to secure it. So by working on various cyber theories, I made an anti-hacking system,” says the tech-wizard.

Virender gave a demo of his project through video-conferencing to a group of expert hackers at Microsoft’s office in Hyderabad. The Chief Financial officer of the Microsoft, Peter Klein, who was keenly observing the demo online, was so impressed by Virender’s skills that he offered him a job straightaway. The Haryana boy, who is pursing his BTech from IGNOU, has been told to join in November.

On his future plans, Virender says he wants to open his own company in India. “I want to do something for my country. We are so dependent on the US for technology. I want to turn the tide,” he says. Virender’s father Gyan Chand and mother Shinder still don’t know what exactly their son has developed. “We both are illiterate. We just know that Virender has got a job of 4.85 crore and companies from China and Japan are pursuing him,” says Gyan Chand.

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