In 1973, Sridhar Raju’s family of four immigrated to Chicago, IL from Vizag, India. It was there, at the early age of 13 that, that he began his first business. Although it was only a small lawn maintenance business, it soon grew large enough that he grasped the basics of costing, expense control, HR (labour scheduling, employee motivation and retention). When he was a teen, Sridhar Raju worked his way up from warehouses to a retail brokerage firm and developed a sense of responsibility and a hardworking mentality that he still possesses today.
Eager to succeed, he often took on more responsibilities than his roles entailed, and was nominated for a management program at the age of 17, but chose to go to college instead. After graduating high school, he worked for a large insurance company and earned his BBA Finance before moving to work for a super-regional Savings and Loan Bank, where he was responsible for hedging the interest rate exposure of the bank as well as the regional risk of the bank’s loan portfolio. This entailed learning the details of F&O operations, as well as buying loan pools to offset the banks regional risk, at the age of only 21. His burgeoning experience in the business and finance world encouraged him to pursue an MBA in Risk Management.
In 1994, Sridhar returned to India to be a part of a family business in Pharmaceuticals. He was involved in the company’s Marketing, API, Formulations and Biologicals, and was a part of the team that helped the company double its sales. Tangentially, he started his own small scale cement grinding business and a 50-50 joint venture company with a Japanese firm. Through these ventures, he gained valuable insights and experience regarding supply chain management, and the legal issues ventures can run into.
Today, Sridhar Raju aids star-ups in E-Education, the Agri-Business, and Real Estate Investments. His one takeaway from his years of successes and failures is that "Life is a continuous learning process. Nothing is too small that we cannot get some new insight from it for our overall good."