What is it about stories like Srikanth that inspire us so much and fill anyone with hope? Could it be the multiple zeroes after digit one or the belief that both you and I can achieve the similar success if we dedicate our minds and hearts into it? Stories like these touch our nerves and force us to think about it again and again. Everyone in the world faces adversity at some point in time, but they dream, and through work hard and dedication, they made them achievable.
Whereas there are particularly norms set by the society, within then also, there are very few people who break those taboos and set a benchmark in the society. And Mr. Srikanth is one of them who through his dedication and passion and even after the rejections, continues to perform better and better in his life.
Mr. Srikanth Bolla was born as blind, many of the neighbors, suggests his parents disown him as he is blind and cannot do anything in the life. But his parents didn’t listen to anybody and choose to take care of him. They provide Srikanth with everything that every normal kid get, to the best of their abilities and even give him education too.
The boy who was born blind is today an inspiration for everyone. He says his three most important life lessons are:
“Show compassion and make people rich. Include people in your life and remove loneliness, and lastly, do something good; it will come back to you.”
Although he had always topped his class and also played chess and cricket but also right from his school days, he had faced a constant challenge and that was “Rejection”, like the Andhra Pradesh Education Board refused to grant permission to opt for science. It said that Arts is only the subject for the blinds. But Srikanth didn’t stop, he filled the case and after the wait of 6 months he won the case and enrolled himself in Science batch, not even that, with the help of teachers, who supported him by converting all the lessons into audio clips, he proved himself by scoring 98% in boards.
The problems didn’t end here, the next big hurdle was to study engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), but there also on the same grounds that he was blind. He was denied an admit card to the IIT entrance examination. So that time he decides to apply to schools in the United States for an undergraduate programme and secured admission in four of the top schools – MIT(Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Stanford, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon. He eventually chooses MIT and became the school’s first international blind student.
Srikanth with his talent and dedication impressed Ratan Tata, who invested an amount in the company whereas other investors like Srini Raju of Peepul Capital, Satish Reddy of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Ravi Mantha are also the key investors in his company.
Not even this, Srikanth had also worked with the former president APJ Abdul Kalam in the project called, “the Lead India Project’. A movement to empower the youth through value-based education.
After completing his graduation from MIT, giving up corporate opportunities in America, he came back to India and started a non- profit organization in Hyderabad named ‘Samanvai’, to provide support to the students with multiple disabilities. He also promoted Braille Literacy, a digital library a Braille printing press/library to provide tutorial services for such students. Through this, he managed to guide over 3,000 students.
Srikanth is the CEO of Bollant Industries, Hyderabad, an organization that employs uneducated and disabled employees to manufacture disposable consumer packaging solutions, eco-friendly which are worth Rs 50 crores.
He considers himself the luckiest man alive, not because he is now a millionaire, but because his uneducated parents, who earned Rs 20,000 a year, did not heed any of the ‘advice’ they received and raised him with love and affection. “They are the richest people I know,” says Srikanth.
Today, Srikanth Bolla has four production plants, one in Hubli (Karnataka) and Nizamabad (Telangana), and other two in Hyderabad (Telangana). Another plant, which will be one hundred percent solar operated, is coming up in Sri City, an integrated business city in Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Srikanth Bolla is ‘exceptionally’ differently-abled person and by his talent and achievements, he has achieved his dream to change the perception of the people towards the capabilities of differently challenged people.