Introducing industrialist Srikanth Bolla
First blind student to graduate from MIT
Srikanth Bolla, the first blind student to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is Chief Executive Office (CEO) and founder of Bollant Industries, which manufactures packaging materials and actively provides employment opportunities for disabled people. But his story is the stuff of best-sellers – an individual who defies the odds. And now his story is to be turned into a Bollywood film.
He is featured in an article today on the BBC News website (follow this link to read the original article by Arundhati Nath).
The 29 year old Chief Executive has built a company worth £48 million – but it nearly did not happen. Born into a farming family, his parents were advised to leave him in an orphanage. As a child he was ignored by teachers. As a teenager, he was told it was illegal for him to study maths and science because of his blindness – so he sued the state to make it possible! He scored 98% in his board exams, but was still rejected by local colleges. But as he explained: “Having faced challenges at every stage during my education, I always had the urge to do something differently.” Which he did by applying – successfully – to the prestigious MIT, USA’s top technology university.
After completing his studies, instead of building a comfortable life for himself in the USA, he returned to his native country to found his company Bollant Industries in 2012. Now his business has 5 manufacturing plants and employs more than 650 people, nearly 50% of whom are disabled.
As a student in 2006, he attended an address by India’s former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. During his speech he asked the audience ‘What do you want to become in life?’ – Srikanth’s answer: “I want to be the first visually challenged President of India”. With the determination he has shown throughout his life, it is just a matter of when.
Srikanth provided a TED talk at TEDx Hyderabad “What is Vision?” – follow this link to view his talk on You Tube.
External news article – all publishing rights and copyright remain with the original publisher and author.