January - 2014 issue > Cover Story
Sri Rao Boddapu: Born Leader and Visionary of The Present Era
Sagaya Christuraj
Thursday, January 16, 2014
"The problems with this world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities," said one of the most influential leaders in world history, John F. Kennedy. He went on to say "We need people who can dream of things that never were." True to his words only a few people can be found across the globe that would dare to take up the challenge of becoming a leader and only a handful amongst them, are born with these leadership traits. This is a tale of one such name, Sri Rao Boddapu, "Entrepreneur Extraordinaire".

A true fighter, in every sense of the word, Sri who currently resides in Austin, Texas has delivered success in building and managing multimillion-dollar enterprises. Being an accomplished entrepreneur, Sri has guided five companies which include Esolvit, Voice of Big Data, Cloudsolvit, Technozant and Inforide Technologies to become multi-million dollar ventures. Today he is often invited to offer guest lectures in universities and to motivate aspiring entrepreneurs but during his school days Sri had to resort to the cabin next to the railway lines in his hometown, Tadepalligudem which is located in Andhra Pradesh, as only those rooms housed a light.

Getting into Sri's Shoes
After looking into his impressive career one is left wondering about the inspiration behind the man's success. The answer, lies in Sri's past. Born into a middle class family, Sri lost his father when young. His mom was left alone with two kids. Hence at a very young age, he faced a dilemma, to study or to set up a small business. A pessimist would have probably opted for the latter.

Even the greatest of minds risked failure, but success comes to only those who risk it. Sri in that young age weighed his options and decided to continue studying and hence took up the rocky road which has eventually led to his success. They say everyone has their own battles; Sri's was a titanic struggle. Sri persevered all the way and overcame the odds and graduated with top marks in his school. He then moved to Hyderabad, the city of his dreams and pursued his higher studies there. It was during this time that he could not accomplish his dream for a seat in IIT(Indian Institute of Technology), one of the most prestigious institutions in India due to financial crisis. This was another major jolt in his career. He did not lose heart and admitted himself in a regular university and vowed to one day hire IIT graduates in his company and today he has accomplished it.

Although Sri struggled in the beginning he did make it to the top by the third year and this played a major role in him getting his first job at a software development firm named Sriven as a BMD offshore. This was the gateway for Sri to realize the "American Dream". He climbed up the ladder and moved on to bigger companies like Caterpillar, IBM, Nationwide Insurance, CSX, Security Life and Paradigm corporation in the US. Sri always had the urge to become an entrepreneur and so in 1998 started to study the market scenario. He soon realized that the internet revolution was on the rise and moved to Austin, Texas, the epicentre of it. To make a move to "Silicon Hills", Sri intentionally joined as the Lead Manager at Computer Sciences Corporation. It was at this time Sri met his better half, Usha Boddapu, a gold medallist, having M.S and B.S in computer science which is Sri's area of interest and both of them tied the knot in 1998.

Usha is the CEO of Esolvit, Inc. and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Business Administration. She is a forward thinker who is committed to supporting the long-range vision with strategic business operations, analytics, detailed financial planning, and fiscal management.

A Marriage and Three Ventures
After marriage, Sri took his first step towards visualizing his ideas and started of his first company. Its instant success prompted him to get back to U.S. and start his firm, Inforide Technologies, which he moulded into a global services company. Sri did not rest until Inforide became a million dollar entity. To accomplish it, Sri personally took the initiative to guide employees to provide quality solutions to customers. He made sure no stone was left unturned and made clear the strategy and direction of the company's goals to them.

His strength in the fields of talent acquisition and management, competitive marketplace intelligence and benchmarking, financial operations and HR operations played a big role in achieving the goals of the company. He helped to develop successful strategies for boosting the company's sales and growth and regularly analyzed company, product, services and market strategies to remain a step ahead of the competition.

Finding immense success in his first venture Sri started planning for his next, Technozant. Officially initiated in 2003 Sri intended it to provide outsourced software and support services to a variety of organizations. Sri did not stop there, but started yet another venture in 2006, Esolvit, which he helped to bring to the position it is poised in today, the global leader in consulting, technology, application development, outsourcing and staffing solutions. He modeled it to provide software development solutions with services such as outsourcing software development overseas, web development, e-strategy consulting, web enablement designing, offshore software/application development, and multimedia and design solutions. The company has come a long way since its inception and Sri has been there through the firm's ups and downs. To make sure the company found only success and nothing less, Sri took charge of Business development and marketing strategy, planning and implementation of business goals, financial planning and management. He also headed the negotiations team and devised strategy to capture new and existing markets to improve sale and performance.

Adapting is a Game of Singles, Not Home Runs
Firms must be proactive in adapting; it will not happen if executives do not make it happen. Snoozing your way to complacency is not a recipe for a competitive, high-performance enterprise. Adapting involves change, and most people resist change as if it were a plague. Put adapting at the top of the agenda. Harp on it. The need to adapt is one message that can and should become a broken record. And Sri had heard that record enough to understand it. Seeing the rise of the cloud, Sri immediately pounced on the opportunity and set up CloudSolvit, a company which provides cloud platform for designing, deploying and migrating applications into cloud and also helps the customer's cloud strategy and security with in-depth understanding of cloud trends and issue.

At the same time Big data was creating a buzz, Sri hence started Voice of Big data Solutions, which provides crunch, analysis and visualization to both structured and unstructured data and provides big data solutions to open up a third dimension to the businesses for better business decisions.

Voice of Big Data has been awarded Top 10 promising technology startups chosen by Nasscom's Emerge in the country for its flagship product "Facial Signature".

Voice of Big Data's new revolutionary product "Facial Signature" is what Sri claims is a new way to handle identity of a person. "Facial Signature is built on top of the three dimensional face recognition techniques, a newly emerging trend that uses 3D sensors to capture three dimensional information about the shape of the face. Capturing a real-time 3D image of a person's facial surface Facial Signature can be used at many business domains and especially retail industry to track shoplifters in the stores, track the assembly line productivity, track employees, track and monitor attendance. It can also be used by many departments in lot of use cases" says Sri.

The Other Life of Sri
After accomplishing so much in the business industry Sri has still not called it quits and is currently working on his dream venture WorkfromCloud.com. He claims that this is a product that will revolutionize the employment industry. Moreover Sri wishes that the Charities set up by him must continue to serve millions of people over decades through CharityCatch.com.

Not only is Sri an accomplished businessman but a true humanitarian as well. He plays a key role in the Austin community. He has been actively involved in providing meals for the homeless in Austin, Texas. Even in India Sri provides meals for thousands of homeless in Red Hills, Chennai with the help of various nonprofit organizations. He is called the Father of Shirdi Sai momentum in Austin because he initiated the Shirdi Mai Group in 1998, which led to two Shirdi Sai temples being built in Austin. He has inspired lots of Sai devotees, which has paved way for more temples in Omaha, and Denver.

Sri has provided innovative jobs to graduates in his home town along with free laptops. Moreover, he has also started offering scholarships in his mother's name "Chinna Ammulu Boddapu" for deserving college students. Sri also from time to time adopts senior citizens and sends grants for their monthly expenditures. He mentors a lot of students who are not from well off families and provides jobs for the differently abled in his blind brother's name. Sri has mentored a lot of CEO's with his vision. He has also delivered lectures around the world including numerous Engineering College students.

Yet, the man who has accomplished so much in life can be found sitting in his office and chatting with his staff with utmost modesty. Sri is truly one of the unsung heroes of the modern world, a rare species whose services the industry requires for it to flourish.


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