Venkatram Sureddy hails from Nalgonda district, adjoining Hyderabad. He completed his BTech in electronics and communication from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, after taking a merit-based transfer from JNTU Anantpur, before joining Computer Sciences Corporation at their NOIDA office. As a software engineer, Sureddy interacted with customers for project requirements, and ensured that the delivery met their requirements. This helped him understand the MNC culture and the importance of doing quality work and customer satisfaction.
Sureddy changed track after a few years in the IT services industry to pursue his love for writing, and to do something more challenging. He did a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Indian Institute of Mass Comunication, New Delhi, where he got The Hindu Award for Academic
Excellence, after which he joined Business Standard as a sub editor in the news desk. He also worked with Asian Age as a freelance journalist, before joining IIM-Kozhikode in 2006.
He remained focused on a career in the media, and did his summer internship at Sony Entertainment Television, where he won the Best Summer Intern award. As the gold medallist of his batch, he went to Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris, Paris, for the student exchange programme in his second year. He was also an elected member of the institute’s media cell.
Sureddy got a pre placement offer from SONY, and joined in the production control team, where he was involved in shows like Indian Idol 4, Jhalak Dikhla Ja 3 and Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao. He then moved into business development and planning at SONY. “Sony Mix and Sony Six are channels that I was involved in right from the planning stage,” he reminisces. He went back to Hyderabad in 2010 to be closer to his family.
Having explored options in the media space and not finding a viable business plan for a low investment model, he decided to leverage his education to set up aKademy in Hyderabad, a test preparation centre for IELTS and GRE. “Given my background, I felt that we could offer a better product and pedagogy compared to what was then available. The biggest challenge was to build trust in our products and service, which took much longer than expected. We have grown mostly through word of mouth, and our results now speak for itself,” says Sureddy about the venture that he has built over the last three years.
The writer is an entrepreneur in the e-learning domain