Srikanth Bolla’s incredible journey from being born blind to build a 50 crore company
‘He is a useless baby without eyes… being born blind is a sin’. Some suggested his parents to suffocate him to death. But, his parents defied everyone and raised him with utmost love and affection and for which Srikanth Bolla, now a millionaire, considers his parents as the richest people on earth. He considers himself the luckiest man since his parents didn’t pay attention to all those suggestion.
Srikanth Bolla is the CEO of Hyderabad-based Bollant Industries, worth Rs 50 crores that employs uneducated disabled employees to manufacture eco-friendly, disposable consumer packaging solutions.
For Srikanth, being born blind is just a part of the story. But he had seen many hardships in life, because he was born in a poor family. Srikanth pushed to the back bench and not allowed to play in school. He was even denied to take up science stream after class X for his disability. But, Srikanth fought with the system for his rights and secured 98 percent in the XII board exams.
I sued the government and fought for six months. In the end, I got a government order that said I could take the science subjects, but at my ‘own risk’, said Srikanth Bolla.
But, that was not the end!! He applied for IIT, BITSPilani, and other top engineering colleges, but did not get a hall ticket. Instead, he got a letter saying ‘you are blind; hence you are not allowed to apply for competitive exams. He then decided to apply to the schools in the US and got into the top four – MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon. Srikanth went to MIT (with a scholarship) and became the first international blind student in the school’s history.
When his bachelor’s course was ending, few questions hindered Srikanth. He decided to give up the ‘golden’ opportunity in corporate America and came back to India in search of answers to his questions.
Many questions bothered me. Why should a disabled child be pushed to the back row in the class? Why should the 10 percent of the disabled population of India be left out of the Indian economy?
Srikanth Bolla set up a support service platform to rehabilitate, nurture and integrate differently-abled people in society. Srikanth helped about 3000 students in acquiring education and vocational rehabilitation. Later, when he thought about their employment, he built this company which now employs 150 differently-abled people. Srikanth’s 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. Srikanth Bolla, the guy who was born blind is now a new ray of hope for many people.
Image credit: spectrum