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Srikanth Bolla : The blind CEO of a 50 crore company


He is the CEO of Hyderabad-based Bollant Industries, an organisation that employs uneducated and disabled employees to manufacture eco-friendly, disposable consumer packaging solutions, which is worth Rs 50 crores. Sounds nothing great right? Here comes the twist in the tail. He was born blind into an agricultural family in Sitaramapuram village in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, India. After his birth villagers in his family advised his mother and father to let him die.
"Many questions bothered me. Why should a disabled child be pushed to the back row in the class? Why should the 10 percent of the disabled population of India be left out of the Indian economy?"

In school, he was pushed to the back bench and was not allowed to play. He excelled in studies and scored above 90 percent in his class 10 examinations. Indian Institute of Technology and BITS Pilani has closed its doors citing his disability. He applied to the top Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and now he is all set to finish his studies in Computer Science and Business Management, and started a computer-training centre for visually challenged students. The centre now trains 30 blind high school students each year, but with more funding, he hopes to add more computers and more students. Bolla was quoted in MIT journal, where he said, “I want to dedicate my life to community and social service. I want a place in society where people look up to me as a role model and great leader”. He wants to pursue an MBA in an institute like Harvard and become India's president.

Srikanth with late President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
Today, Srikanth has four production plants, one each in Hubli (Karnataka) and Nizamabad (Telangana), and two in Hyderabad (Telangana). Another plant, which will be one hundred percent solar operated, is coming up in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Angel investor Ravi Mantha was impressed with his business acumen and vision for his company that he not only decided to mentor him but also invested in Srikanth’s company.They are raising $2-million (around Rs 13 crores) in funding and have already raised Rs 9 crores. His vision is to build a sustainable company with a workforce comprising 70 percent people with disability.