Global Entrepreneurs & CEOs from India and Telugu States

 Satya Nadella - Microsoft CEO
" Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me."

"I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career," Nadella says.
Satya Nadella (born 1969), is the new CEO of Microsoft. He was earlier executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services.

On 4.2.2014, the board of Microsoft chose an internal candidate — 46-year-old Indian-American engineer Satya Nadella  to head the company. He's only the third CEO in Microsoft's 38-year history.

Education :Nadella holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication from the Manipal Institute of Technology (which was affiliated to the Mangalore University back then. He is also an alumnus of theHyderabad Public School, Begumpet.

Expereince:Nadella worked with Sun Microsystems as a member of the technology staff before he joined Microsoft in 1992. In Microsoft, in the beginning he worked as the senior vice president of R&D for the Online Services Division and vice president of the Microsoft Business Division. Later, he was made the president of Microsoft’s $19 billion Server and Tools Business and led the transformation of the business and technology from client-server software to cloud infrastructure and services.

Indian Roots : Nadella joins the growing list of Indian-born executives heading major global corporations. They already include PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain.
Nadella's hometown, the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, is a technology hub that is home to one of the biggest Microsoft research and development centers outside of the United States. His father, B.N. Yugandhar, still lives in Hyderabad. The senior Nadella was a member of the elite Indian Administrative Service and a member of the Planning Commission during 2004-2009 under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Those who have known the family attribute a lot of Nadella 's success to his upbringing. He grew up in an environment grounded in reality. C. Parthasarathy, Chairman, Karvy Consultants, who knows the family well, says: "This is really a proud moment, which is what all will say. But what is remarkable about this family is its high level of integrity, intellect and belief in hard work."
"He has grown up in an environment where these attributes would have been re-emphasised from time to time," adds Parthasarathy. "I think that helped him in his career. Parthasarthy is also closely associated with Hyderabad Public School and has been on its governing board

Family :Much before he fell in love with Microsoft, Satyanarayana Nadella fell for Anupama, his junior in Hyderabad Public School and the daughter of his father's IAS batchmate. Love blossomed on the campus of Manipal University, from where both graduated as engineers. In India, Manipal is seen as a poor cousin of the IITs, but Nadella's elevation should significantly boost its profile. 

Satya and Anupama married 22 years ago, which is also when Satya joined Microsoft. They have three children. The coincidences don't end there: both his father and father-in-law K R Venugopal worked under P V Narasimha Rao when he was Prime Minister.

While Yugandhar, who was known as a 'jholawala with an NGO mindset' went on to become a Planning Commission member, Venugopal is best known as the man who conceptualized then Andhra Pradesh chief minister N T Rama Rao's Rs 2 per kg rice scheme. Both are known for their interest in the social sector and in the underprivileged. So is Satya, say his friends. 

For hundreds of students at HPS, Nadella is an inspiration because of a Project Microsoft launched for schoolchildren to train them in robotics.  HPS was the first school to be chosen for MS' outreach programme Ispark. As part of the project, students build robots using the simplest of circuits with resources, including software and technical support, from Microsoft.

Satya Nadella himself had come for the launch of the project in 2011. "He interacted with each of the students. It's great to see a figure like him and learn from him. His down-to-earth attitude was very impressive and students were really comfortable interacting with him and learning from him," said Khan.

The same year, Nadella also had big software plans for the state and in an informal 20-minute meeting with chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy -- also an HPS alumnus -- had spoken about furthering the cause of IT education in schools. 

Hobbies :"I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career," Nadella says.

"There was this one particular incident in a match where my school captain noticed I was bowling some really ordinary stuff. He took over the next over himself, got our team the much-needed breakthrough and then threw the ball back to me in the next over! I will never forget that. What made him do that? Is this what they call leadership? These are the kind of questions I have since reflected on as I approach many of the things I do today leading teams."

He also enjoys watching Test cricket. "This is the longest form of any sport in the world. I love it. There's so many sub-plots in it, it's like reading a Russian novel," he said.

Nadella also finds reading poetry of Indian and American poets relaxing."It's like a code. You are trying to take something that can be described in many, many sentences and pages of prose, but you can convert it into a couple lines of poetry and you still get the essence, so it's that compression," he said.

India is the ideal training ground for global businesses and TIME Magazine terms CEOs as the country's leading "export". Here is an inspiring list of five executives of Indian origin who are heading major companies around the world: Oct 2015

Entreprenuers from Andhra and Telangana

Telugu Tejam : Phanindra sama and charan padmaraju ( )

Tickets used to be booked through the traditional brick-and-mortar agents till 2005. That is when BITS Pilani alumni Phanindra Sama, Sudhakar Pasupunuri and Charan Padmaraju started Redbus, to sell bus tickets online.
The idea emanated from an experience that Phanindra had in the winter of 2005 in Bangalore, when he struggled to book bus tickets to make it home for Diwali and spend the vacations with his family. Diwali is one of the peak times in the year and every single bus agent in the city seemed to be booked and he could not make it to home in time. Phanindra realised the need for a convenient, hassle-free portal where customers could book their tickets from the comforts of their home. An additional benefit of RedBus was the fact that you could book your ticket for the return journey in advance without having to travel to the destination with the uncertainty of securing a ticket looming over your head. RedBus would provide the same convenience that customers enjoyed while booking tickets for trains or flights to the bus transport business. Phanindra took the idea to his college friends and colleagues and that was the beginning of RedBus.
 Phani explains, "Your travel agent may say that the last bus for Cochin today is at 8pm, because that's the last bus of the operator he works with. That doesn't mean there isn't a bus for 10 or 11 pm from another operator. Also, the return ticket is something you'll get only from the place where you visit.RedBus solves these problems by allowing consumers to look at availability across all the operators and book in advance, even across state lines. "We even give a layout of the bus seating, and if you want a return ticket from the present destination, we update our inventory online at the final destination and you can get your ticket,"
Phani and his two co-founders undertook extensive market surveys to understand the market and the aspirations of the customers. Once they felt they understood the business, they developed a plan for the business and submitted it to a TiE (the Indus Entrepreneurs) mentorship competition - where they were among the three winners. The portal was created with the help of the initial seed funding and mentoring that was provided by the competition.
RedBus also sells two cloud based software, called BOSS and Seat Seller which it developed in-house, to bus operators (for managing their operations), and travel agents (to aggregate and sell tickets across multiple operators)
In June 2013, Phanindra Sama and Charan Padmaraju, the engineers from Andhra Pradesh who created the bus ticketing service redBus, sold their stake in the venture to the Ibibo Group, a subsidiary of South Africa's Naspers.

Other investors in the company - SeedFund, Kanwal Rekhi's Inventus, and Helion Ventures  also exited for what is said to be an enterprise value of Rs 600-700 crore, making it the biggest overseas strategic acquisition of an Indian internet asset. Estimated value of the deal was said to be Rs 800 crore

Sri Chaitanya Educational Group
New Silk Route, a leading private equity firm with USD 1.4 bn of AUM, has invested up to $ 25 mn in Hyderabad-based Sri Chaitanya Educational Group, which claims to be the country’s largest network of private schools and junior colleges.
It is learnt that the money will be infused into the comany in various tranches for a 35%-40% stake in the group, which seems to have been valued at somewhere between Rs 2800 to Rs 3500 crores.
Sri Chaitanya runs around 160 institutions, mostly in Andhra Pradesh, including 116 schools and junior colleges. Started with a small junior college in Vijayawada in 1986, the group has expanded into 7 states and has become the most trusted education brand in Andhra Pradesh.

K12 Techno Services (Gowtham Model Schools)

K12 Techno Services Pvt Ltd, runs 70 Gowtham Model School units in Andhra Pradesh.

PE  investment of Rs 75 crore made in July 2010, has been jointly put by Sequoia and SONG Investment Advisors in an 80:20 ratio. Second round funding of Rs 25 crore was made in March 2011.With this, Sequoia-SONG hold 49 percent in K12 Techno Services while the rest is with the promoters.

K12 Techno Services managing director M Venkatnarayana said the funds would be used to open 25 new schools, upgrade infrastructure and invest in teacher training this year. It is in talks to open 30-40 schools in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka next year. It has tied up with Brilliant Tutorials for partnership in IIT-JEE preparatory courses, with CfBT Education Trust (UK) for teacher training and the Indian School of Business for training school principals in business management.
Sequoia has invested in two other education ventures, TutorVista and Brainvisa, apart from K12 Techno Services.
According to its managing director GV Ravishankar Sequoia Capital India Advisors Pvt Ltd. the education sector is worth $40 billion, but it was a tough-to-execute market.

Brahmanandam (tirumala milk)
Lactalis World’s largest dairy player agreed to buy Indian dairy producer Tirumala Milk Products Pvt. from  private equity firm Carlyle Group and its promoters, in its first acquisition in the South Asian nation.

Lactalis will take over 100 percent of the Indian company and retain the existing management. Carlyle, the world’s second-biggest buyout firm, invested $22 million in the Indian company in 2010.

Shankar Narayanan, Managing Director, Carlyle India, said that Carlyle’s investment in Tirumala exemplifies its ability to partner with entrepreneurs to create value for all stakeholders. During Carlyle’s investment, he added that the company’s revenues grew two-and-a-half times and profits more than quadrupled.
We are extremely happy to have partnered with Carlyle, who provided numerous value creation activities and acted as a catalyst in the growth of the company over the past few years. 

The deal will help Lactalis reduce its reliance on Europe, where it gets 60 percent of its revenue.
Foreign companies announced $15.6 billion of acquisitions in India last year, up from $11 billion in 2012, according to data Bloomberg compiled.
“India is an important place of opportunity for the development of the group worldwide,” Nalet said. “With the size of Tirumala today we think we have a good opportunity for the development of the Indian dairy market.”

India was the No. 3 producer of liquid, or non-powdered, cow’s milk in the world in 2013, behind the European Union and U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hyderabad-based Tirumala’s sales for the year ended March 2013 was 14.24 billion rupees ($229 million), according to its website. It had net income of 700 million rupees in the year. The company has seven plants across south India, and Lactalis will help expand the company in both north and South India, said Danda Brahmanandam, Tirumala’s founder and managing director.

Tirumala is the second-largest private sector dairy producer in southern India, Brahmanandam said.

Carlyle had invested around $1.1 billion in India as of Sept. 30, according to a December statement. Carlyle will invest in strong owner driven companies in sectors including consumer, health-care, technology and engineering services, said Carlyle India Managing Director Shankar Narayanan said in a phone interview from Mumbai today.

Meenakshi Group
Meenakshi group has companies in the various fields of infrastructure as listed below:

  • Meenakshi Infrastructure Pvt.Ltd
  • Meenakshi Power Limited.
  • Meenakshi Energy Pvt. Ltd.
  • SDE Engineers Limited.
Meenakshi Vision :1000 kms of Roads ,  1000 MW power projects , 1000 acres of layouts ,  10000000 sft  area buildings…….(and immeasurable customer pleasure)  in the next 5 years……

Its Power vertical  has attracted private equity investment. The news coverage on the same is as below:

GDF to pick up 74% stake i n Meenakshi Energy in 2013-14.
Will end up investing up to $400 million

Marking its debut in the domestic power sector, French energy major GDF Suez is spending up to $400 million to acquire 74 per cent stake in Meenakshi Energy and for investments in the city-based company’s 700 MW project, which is expected to complete by March, 2015.

“GDF will end up investing $300-400 million by the time the project is completed. This includes the amount spent for picking up equity,” D. Suresh, Chairman and Managing Director, Meenakshi Energy, told PTI.

Meenakshi Energy and Infrastructure Holdings Pvt. Ltd. is setting up a 1,000 MW coal-based project in Krishnapatnam in Nellore district along the east coast of Andhra Pradesh. The first phase — 300 MW — of the plant has already been commissioned, while 700 MW is under construction.

The project, with a debt-equity funding of 75:25, would cost Rs.6,000 crore, and was estimated to be completed by March, 2015, Mr. Suresh added.
In a statement, GDF Suez, on Tuesday, said it picked up 74 per cent stake in Meenakshi Energy without disclosing financial details.
“This initial project in India is in line with the group’s strategy of investing in fast growing markets, and gives the group an entry point into the Indian power sector through an economically attractive State. India has a growing demand for energy and a significant power supply deficit, Suez said in the statement.

Before the deal, Meenakshi Energy promoters were holding around 58 per cent while, PTC Financial Services Ltd. (PFS) and IIFCL held 16.76 per cent and 25 per cent stake, respectively, in the company.
Post-deal, Meenakshi Energy will retain 26 per cent.
KPMG India acted as exclusive financial advisors for the Meenakshi group on the transaction. Separately, PFS — a non-banking finance company, promoted by PTC India — said it had divested its entire 16.76 per cent stake in Meenakshi for Rs.209.73 crore.

“... we have successfully exited from one of our equity investments — Meenakshi Energy Private Ltd. We planned this exit keeping in view, the right opportunity and a robust return which will augment company’s net worth,” PFS Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer R. M. Malla said.
Infrastructure companies from Hyderabad
Cluster theory is well known in management. But rarely has it been seen in the form apparent in the State

Andhra Pradesh's infrastructure entrepreneurs, not content with dominating India's infrastructure sector, are going global now. They have started acquiring assets in emerging markets.
GVK and Lanco acquired mining assets in Australia while NCC has more than 10 per cent of its revenue coming from West Asia.
In India, Andhra Pradesh-based firms span irrigation projects, roads, airports and power, having outbid established players and outpaced them in growth. In fact, India's four best airports — Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi — are all managed by AP entrepreneurs.
Most of these entrepreneurs come from agricultural backgrounds and are rooted in contract engineering. They are familiar with taking up their own work for agriculture requirements be it local borewell or a canal.
The other important aspect is the drought-prone parts of the State such as Mahaboobnagar, Nalgonda and Ongole. These have traditionally provided a very robust migrant labour pool to back infrastructure works.


The real trigger for entrepreneurship came when large multi-purpose dams such as Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam, and projects such as Vizag Steel Plant and NTPC Ramagundam were developed in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
The strong political strength of Andhra Pradesh also gave a big push to the growth of infrastructure companies. Both during the time of Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party was a key player in the United Front and later NDA Government at the Centre, as well as Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's Congress Government, this entrepreneurship flourished.
Several companies like IVRCL, GMR, GVK, NCC and Ramki Infra have grown to a size, some of them past the billion-dollar mark, bagging huge contracts across the country in roads, bridges and airports. On the home turf, mega projects such as Jalayagnam, Indiramma Housing (irrigation and housing), gave the initial contracts to go bigger for some of these companies.
The close links can be seen in the form of some of the promoters either being politicians like Mr T. Subbarami Reddy or later turned politicians like Mr Nama Nageswara Rao and Mr Lagadapati Rajagopal. How this linkage helped in their growth is anybody's guess.
Mr L. Madhusudhan Rao, Executive Chairman of Lanco Infratech, said the turning point for AP was in 1980s when the local pride was triggered due to a changed political scenario. This also coincided with the opening up of the economy providing new opportunities for entrepreneurship.
“This is just a tip of the iceberg. If the XI Plan estimation for infrastructure spends was about $500 billion, it has now been pegged at $1 trillion for the XII Plan. This only shows that the scope for infra companies is unlimited. All construction companies have transformed themselves to infrastructure companies as a logical extension,” Mr Rao said.
Mr E. Sudhir Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director of IVRCL, said that the construction of the country's largest masonry dam (Nagarjunasagar) was a major trigger for contractors coming into play. It needed thousands of workers and scores of contractors. To execute projects of such large proportions, a large migrant work force was deployed.
“Several of the infra company owners now started as small contractors. Sensing opportunity they diversified and stepped up their presence. This is one area which did not require much upfront investments as they were based on cash contracts,” Mr Reddy said.
Mr A. Ayodhya Rami Reddy, Chairman of Ramky Group, said that the irrigation works on Krishna, Godavari river system and their deltas triggered a major wave for construction players in the State. Most of the entrepreneurs are agriculturists-turned contractor-entrepreneurs.
“Most of them started small with cash contracts, scaled up to EPC deals and graduated into asset building. This was a natural transition. With the Government presenting opportunities to work on build, operate and transfer (BOT) projects through public-private partnership (PPP) mode, the opportunities are unlimited,” Mr Rami Reddy explained.
Mr Nama Nageswara Rao, Member of Parliament and Founder-Chairman of Madhucon Projects, said AP companies began playing a role in infrastructure development in the last 30 years, taking up large projects as sub-contractors and graduating to be big players.
Their stamp could be seen even in the country's prestigious Konkan Railways project, where more than 50 per cent work was handled by AP entrepreneurs.


Local companies have grown in size and stature bagging projects from across the country. An analysis of road contracts awarded thus far shows nearly 30 per cent of the projects have been bagged by AP infrastructure companies. “I believe this is also because of the inherent risk taking appetite which has made a difference,” Mr Nageswara Rao explained.
While there are about half a dozen well-known infra companies such as the GVK, GMR, Lanco, IVRCL, NCC, Ramky Group, and scam-hit Maytas Infra, now IL&FS Engineering, there are few other privately-held ones with significant presence. Some of the entities such as Navayuga Engineering are bigger than some listed ones.
Mr Madhusudhan Rao said, “Opportunities abound in infra sector. It is now a matter of consolidation on the platform most of the companies have created over the years. We now have several companies who are over 25-years-old. Significantly, they are all looking at opportunities in emerging markets.”
Gayatri Projects, a company promoted by Congress leader Mr T. Subbarami Reddy and now managed by his son Mr T.V.Sandeep Reddy, was founded in 1962. From taking up irrigation projects, it has diversified into roads, railways, and lately into power projects. It is executing three power projects through joint ventures.
Of late, infrastructure firms have diversified into new areas carving out a niche for themselves . “We have taken to environment management, an uncharted path in India and developing walk-to-work integrated townships. Both of them hold promise. We entered the road sector relatively late consciously as we wanted various issues in the sector to settle down,” Mr Rami Reddy said.
.(This article was published on April 22, 2012)
Corporate office – Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh | Establishment – 1987 |
Business – Construction Services | Website – |
IVRCL is an ISO and OHSAS certified big construction group which is a leading construction company in Hyderabad. Company’s headquarter is located in Hyderabad although company has global presence in many countries in the world.

Corporate office – Bangalore, Karnataka | Establishment – 1978 |
Business – Construction | Website – |
GMR Group is a construction company having an expertise in Energy, Airport, highway and Infrastructure construction. GMR infra has a global footprint operating in many countries including South Africa, Indonesia and Singapore.

NCC Limited
Corporate office – Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh | Establishment – 1978 |
Business – Construction | Website – |
One of the biggest construction company in India, NCC is a leading construction company having diversified range of business including construction, Infrastructure, irrigation, water supply, power and many more. The company is based in Hyderabad.

Ramky Infrastructure Limited 
Corporate office – Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh | Establishment – 1994 |
Business – Infrastructure Development, Management & Construction | Website – |
Ramky is a public limited company having diversified range of business in many sector including construction and Infrastructure. Company’s headquarter is located in Hyderabad and among the top construction company in Hyderabad since 1994.

Madhucon Projects Private Limited
Corporate office – Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh | Establishment – 1988 |
Business – Real Estate and construction| Website – www. |
Madhucon Projects is a subsidiary of Madhucon group headed by Mr. N Seethaiah. The company started business in 1988 when they set up a granite company in Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh. It is engaged in Infrastructure, Highway and Bridge construction.

PVR Projects ltd 
Corporate office – Hyderabad, India | Establishment – 1989 |
Business – Construction | Website – |
PVR Project started the construction business in 1989, which is involved in construction work of Dam, Canal and irrigation projects.
My Home Constructions Pvt. Ltd
Corporate office – Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh | Establishment – 1981 |
Business – Construction | Website – |
My Home construction Pvt ltd was established in the year 1981 which has successfully completed many projects in Real estate sector in Hyderabad which includes My Home Fortune, My home Tycoon, My Home Hub etc.
Elite Engineering & Constructions Pvt Ltd
Corporate office – Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh | Establishment – 2007 |
Business – Construction | Website – |
Elite Engineering is a contracting company involved in construction and structure work for commercial and residential buildings. It was founded in year 2007 and it is an emerging construction company in Hyderabad.