When he was born, neighbours in the village suggested that his parents smother him. It was better than the pain they would have to go through their lifetime, some said. He is a “useless” baby without eyes… being born blind is a sin, others added.
After being rejected by IIT due to his disability, he applied to schools in the US and got into the top four — MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon. He went to MIT (with a scholarship) as the first international blind student in the school’s history.
Today, Srikanth Bolla is standing tall living by his conviction that if “the world looks at me and says, ‘Srikanth, you can do nothing,’ I look back at the world and say ‘I can do anything’”
Bollant Industries, an organisation that employs uneducated disabled employees to manufacture eco- friendly, disposable consumer packaging solutions, is worth Rs 50 crores. His personal goal is to “take the company to IPO.”
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
Angel investor Ravi Mantha, who met Srikanth about two years ago, was so impressed with his business acumen and vision for his company that he not only decided to mentor him but also invested in Srikanth’s company. “It was a small, tin-roof shack in an industrial area near Hyderabad. There were eight employees and three machines under the shed. I expected him to talk about how he wanted to make a social impact, but was surprised by the business clarity and technical knowhow in someone so young,” Ravi says.
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