Srinath Ranga had a successful career in the IT industry with companies like Lucas TVS, Geometric and Neilsoft, both in India and in the US, before turning entrepreneur. At the age of 45, he saw many ‘kids’ half his age who were running successful companies, and decided that it was time for him to start a venture too.
Never shy of taking risks throughout his career, he partnered with Shivakumaran Malli of Ideyeah Solutions to build the first prototype, Opteamize Solutions, a company that involves resource optimisation and teamwork. Shivakumaran has now built a cloud-based platform that helps engineering and MCA students develop their final-year projects using IBM tools, and allow companies to hire smart coders based on these projects. Students can subscribe to the platform by paying `1,499 and build their projects for an additional `2,499. Companies are allowed free access to the platform to search, shortlist and select students for full-time jobs and internships.
“We are currently in a public Beta stage (external test). The ‘Corporate Connect’ solution was launched across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra on June 15, and we hope to cater to at least 10,000 students this year,” says Ranga about the current state of the venture. They have already made it to the the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program Top 30 and the NASSCOM Top 100 lists, and have been featured in Information Week and CII Starpreneur.
Born in Mysore, Karnataka, Ranga did his Mechanical Engineering at SIT Tumkur, Karnataka, where his exploits in quizzing earned him the sobriquet ‘Basu’, after Siddhartha Basu, the popular quizmaster of the 80s. Ranga’s love for reading and writing won him a number of essay writing and quizzing competitions at college, and he also got to write for the Star of Mysore evening daily in the 90s. He has also authored and self published a book on Amazon, I Married My Cousin, based on his early childhood, life in the US, spiritualism and political events.
“I have been fascinated by Ratan Tata and how he put the Tata Group on the global map. My own grandfather, Sriman Narasimhachariar, started the ‘Chary Stores’ in Pondy Bazaar, Chennai, at the age of 50. My wife, Priya, has been an incredible source of strength for me by managing the family and the household,” says Ranga about his role models. He adds, “Everyone cannot become an entrepreneur, but there is no harm in trying to live your dreams at least once.”