R. Ramaraj – The enabler of Satyam

Meet R Ramaraj. Known for his vision and foresight, the 44 year-old Btech from the Madras University heads the company that recently sashayed into the American stock market – the first Indian Internet firm to do so.

The early bird gets the feed, and it’s very important to be first in the Internet business,” evangelizes the infallible CEO of Satyam Infoway, the country's first private IP network operator.

Meet R Ramaraj. Known for his vision and foresight, the 44 year-old Bachelor of Technology graduate from the Madras University heads the company that recently sashayed into the American stock market – the first Indian Internet firm to do so.

Typically bold and a risk-taker, Ramaraj set up the company in the wake of uncertainty, when the fate of the proposed ISP policy was still under discussion. Without losing perspective, he and his team of dedicated enthusiasts started Internet-related services and businesses while simultaneously lobbying with the Government and the DoT for privatization of the Internet. They also set up an infrastructure across the country in an attempt to enter the Internet arena.

The efforts paid off. Satyam Infoway successfully launched its Internet access business a fortnight after the Internet Policy was announced. And all this was done whilst competing with arch-rival VSNL, India’s largest ISP.

The company now provides corporate networking and B2B services to more than 550 clients. The subsidiaries include B2B portal Satyam Webexchange and Satyam information technology unit Satyam Serwix.com.

Prior to Satyam Infoway, Ramaraj dabbled in sales and marketing with Jagajit Industries. He has also worked with varied industries and companies such as British Paints and Johnson & Johnson before entering the IT industry.

In 1984, he pioneered the retail marketing of computers in India by establishing Computer Point. Later, he co-founded Microland Ltd and was its director. Later in the same year, he joined Satyam Infoway.

Ramaraj literally started the Internet revolution in India with his acquisition of Indiaworld.

Ramaraj literally started the Internet revolution in India with his acquisition of Indiaworld. The much talked-about, Rs. 499 crore (US$10.7 million) acquisition of Indiaworld paved the way for further acquisitions. He later spearheaded the company’s main consumer site sify.com that boasts of a subscriber range that goes beyond 400,000 in number.

That Satyam Infoway still rages high speaks of Ramaraj’s skill and dexterity. His co-workers will vouch for that and also for his unique ability to motivate people to strive for more. A true entrepreneur, he encourages entrepreneurship among his employees.

In his own words, Ramaraj says the Internet has given India an “incredible opportunity to assert itself.” He’s helping the country do exactly that. - Anshul Chauhan, ZDNet India