Hyderabad: Indian school’s nor the prestigious IIT had a place for this ‘special one’ but the world’s prestigious MIT(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) had the very perfect place for him.
He was forced to sit on the last bench in his class, sit out during the PT period while his school asked him to opt for arts not because he was too tall for other students in the class or because he could not play well unlike other kids, or if he was too bad in science or maths but because he was he was not unlike those normal kids but this young boy who was shunned at every step of his life has emerged out to be just a ‘blessed one’, TOI reported.
But Srikanth was a born fighter, ignored PT class and went on to play Chess and cricket for India. When he was refused by the then State government, he filed a lawsuit against the AP government after they refused him admission into MPC group and guess what he won and pursued MPC and then there was no looking back.
When IIT refused him to admit because of its ‘blind policy’ he was most welcomed by the MIT.
“When the educational system in India rejected me because of my disability, MIT welcomed me with open arms. I will always be grateful to the institution,” says Srikanth Bolla who spurned corporate offers in the US only to be a catalyst in India.
Srikanth Bolla further went on to establish the Bollant Industries which is a bio-degradables and sustainable packaging company.
“Working for someone else is not in my DNA. Disabled is indicative of an attitude of the mind, not the body. Our brains are hardwired to produce our best efforts only when there is hardship. I faced so much of hardship in my life that it has become an addiction to me,” says the CEO of the Bollant Industries.
In his candid interview with TOI, as he browses the Internet on his Apple laptop with a built-in assistive technology that translates on-screen information into speech, he excuses himself to receive a calls for which he says: “The first hour is hectic. Our operations head is on a vacation. I am doing his job.”
And then there is another call to which the 27-year-old CEO responds with “The first row of the load is ours, check the papers and confirm. Unloading should happen in the next 10 minutes and should be delivered to the party. How will you execute it? What is your plan of action?”
And then the third call: “Check your WhatsApp, there is a compliant from a party. This is not the way it is done.” The tone is firm, the voice unwavering.
“So, yeah, the idea to set up Bollant Industries was mainly to fight three major challenges in India. First, to create employment opportunities for millions of differently-abled people. An estimated 100 million plus uneducated and unskilled people with varied disabilities desperately need employment. The second big challenge was Indian farmers hardly have structured means to turn agricultural waste into cash. Third, large quantities of toxic and plastic waste are endangering the environment,” he explains the idea behind Bollant Industries.
He started his business with a small investment and now his small Bollant enterprises have grown into Rs 413 crore worth company with Rs 10 crore a month income in sales with seven factories and a very long chain of stores.
Angel investors like Ravi Mantha and S P Reddy believed in Srikanth Bolla’s vision while the rest of the world could only see his blindness.
The company’s CEO hopes to a achieve the valuation of the company around Rs 1,200 crore in the near-term.
Not only those two angel investors walked into his vision but other investors like Srini Raju of Peepul Capital, Satish Reddy of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Kiran of VFDCL, Anil Chalamalasetty of Greenko and not the last or the least the famous big name in India’s corporate world Mr. Ratan Tata has now become part of his vision.