KOCHI: A college dropout and son of a head-load worker is scripting a startup success story in Kerala, in the rural settings of Pathanapuram in Kollam district. Within three years of founding Corporate360, a big data software company with just five persons, Varun Chandran’s company now employs 50 people with revenues nearing double-digit million dollars. Importantly, Corporate360’s client profile includes 17 names from the Fortune 500 list such as Dell, HP and Oracle.
What makes Corporate360’s journey so far very significant is the story of its founder, 34-year-old Chandran, whose dream was to make a career in football. Things, in fact, were moving in that direction.
Varun Chandran represented the Kerala football team in sub-junior, junior and the university football team from 1997 to 2000, during his days at MG College, Thiruvanthapuram, thanks to Kerala government’s scholarship.
However, destiny had different plans. He injured himself on the field, and had little money to pursue his studies or a career in football. Chandran then left for Bengaluru in search of a job.
“Between 2002 and 2004, I worked in call centres of HP and Dell. I went to private English and software training institutes in Bengaluru,” Chandran recollects. Later, he got a job at NTT Data, and went to the US. There, he joined SAP and Oracle, where he was bitten by the entrepreneur bug. “I was born and brought up in the rural surroundings of Pathanapuram and I wanted to build a startup in my village, provide jobs to the people,” he said.
The startup plans to expand operations and increase the headcount to 100 people. The company’s new facility is ready. “Efforts are on to bring Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to inaugurate the new building,” says Chandran.
To scale up the startup, Corporate360 is also looking for funds to the tune of $3 million. “We are in talks with several big names, including the Singapore government. We have only one condition, we will not shift our operations from Pathanapuram. It’s my commitment to my home town,” he said.