Challenges are Opportunities in Disguise

Date:   Thursday , September 05, 2013

People often spend all their lives in a uni-dimensional existence. But there are few who manage to break the bonds and live beyond the conventional way of life. Rao Tallapragada, Co-Founder and President, Infoyogi is one of them. Do not be surprised if you see him on a stage reciting a poem or singing in various languages after working all day as the President of one of the fastest growing private companies in the Silicon Valley. He is a singer, poet, editor, promoter, investor and an entrepreneur. He has enormous inter-continental experience in managing public companies, managing corporate acquisitions, joint ventures/collaborations and floating new ventures. Tallapragada has nearly 20 years of experience in building global companies that became leaders in their industries. He has managed companies like Netguru, R-Cube, Pentafour, Satyam, and Tatas at very senior levels, before founding Infoyogi.

The dotcom bubble burst of 2000 saw several companies ran out of capital. Ultimately they were either acquired or liquidated. At the time when a lot of companies were bringing their curtains down, Tallapragada decided to start his own company. Having worked for multi-national companies worldwide and helping them in diversifying their businesses by starting new companies for them, encouraged Tallapragada to make a fresh start against all odds. Tallapragada had a good exposure to software services market in U.S. which gave him confidence to boldly venture into the IT services domain. He saw the challenges as opportunities and steered the company through the storm. After two years of struggle, the company was well-poised in the market and has been growing since. The revenue of Infoyogi group for the year 2012 was $ 9 Million.

Optimistic outlook

After completing his B.S in Engineering from Karnataka University, his MBA from Bombay University, and SCPM from Stanford University, Tallapragada worked for various organizations and held important positions. He was asked by various companies to expand their businesses to different parts of the world. This is why he had an optimistic outlook about the market in the aftermath of bubble burst and he decided to turn the challenges into opportunities.

There were thousands of technical experts who were laid off and talent was available to hire. One could not hire those people in a good market. Also, it is difficult for a new company to attract talent. So the best time to do it is when the market is down. The situation also provided enough breathing time to the startups and holding on to the plans and waiting for the implementations to pay off was not being seen as irrational. Tallapragada started recruiting people and enriched the human resource of the company. He felt that the company needed to have a niche market for itself as it was difficult to survive and compete with the big players of the industry. So, he concentrated on some specializations. Initially the company focused on ASIC design verification and embedded software. These were the segments which were not tapped by the dominant organizations in the industry. This smart orientation combined with a lot of perseverance by Tallapragada, enabled the company to gain traction in the market and in a time of two to three years Infoyogi stabilized completely. CISCO happened to be their first client and continues to be one of their largest clients.

Habit of Succeeding

Under the leadership of Tallapragada, the company was ranked among the top 100 consulting companies in U.S. by CRN magazine (in 2008 and 2009); ranked among the top 5000 US companies (in 2008, 2009 and 2013) and ranked among the top 70 companies by Silicon Valley Business Journal (in 2008 and 2009). The company is known for its high quality of IT services and resources specializing in the areas of embedded applications, Systems programming, ASIC design/verification, Internet Technologies and ERP solutions. Speaking on the occasion, Tallapragada said "It is really a very satisfying experience to receive these honors for repeatedly. Especially getting such recognition for growth rates during the recession years was even more gratifying". Tallapragada believes that success is mainly about growth. An entrepreneur should always try to anticipate and explore the possibility of diversification in future. "Visionary leaders are required for any business to prosper. Entrepreneurs need to sense the opportunities and make sure that the goals are being met. They should make operational plans at macro level and an action plan for each of the operational plans" says Tallapragada.

Tallapragada also invested in other successful ventures like Explore trip, a that eventually attracted $400 million investments . He had invested in a Nu Therapeutics in India, that became the first company in Asia to manufacture " dispersible film strips".
Rao Tallapragada also spends time on various social activities. He is member of San Jose's EUHS district's CBOC that oversees expenses of the school district. Tallapragada is a multi-talented person and he lives life to the fullest. He invests in education and promotes literature; is an editor of a literary magazine, Sujanaranjani; is a singer and a poet; gives live performances and even has two Guinness World records to his name. He is also one of the founder of an SiliconAndhra, a non-profit organization with goals to perpetuate the Telugu Culture worldwide. It is this zest for experiencing various things in a single life time that makes him not just an inspirational entrepreneur but a very inspirational human being.