AI will disrupt outsourcing services companies in a very big way. We talk to Sanjay on how he plans to prepare.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s go back to the very beginning of your personal journey. Tell me where you’re from, where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background. Since this is a co-founder story, it would be great if you could also bring a little bit of Prasanna’s story.
Sanjay Jupudi: I’m from India.
Sramana Mitra: What part of India?
Sanjay Jupudi: I come from Hyderabad in South India, from where Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also hails. I’m a fourth-generation business family. By the time I joined my family business, the whole business got disrupted and my dad shut it down.
Sramana Mitra: What was the family business?
Sanjay Jupudi: In the early 90’s, cable TV came to India. Before that, it was a state-run TV channel that ran for three hours a day. The only entertainment people had was to go to the movies. My great-grandfather started a movie theater, which was one of the first theatres in the town. It was a thriving business. All of a sudden, the Indian government made it a free market. Everything got disrupted. All of a sudden, people preferred watching TV at home rather than going to a movie theater.
I had an engineering degree. I started my career as a software intern for a company called Amdocs. My first job was with an Israeli company. I extensively worked and lived across Europe. I went further west to the US. Within a week, I became a Founding Member of another company responsible for turning the company into a managed services and independent software testing company. When I joined, there were hardly 10 people with less than $200,000.
By the time I left, it was at $100 million in revenue with 2,000 people. It became the world’s biggest independent testing services company. After nine years, I sold my part of my equity and I started Qentelli in October 2015. We’ve just turned three but our revenues we are growing very fast.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s go a little bit in steps. This company is three years old. By the time you started this company, did you already have an exit?
Sanjay Jupudi: I was the only guy who came out of that team. It was a big team. Since it’s a publicly-traded company, I sold my stock. I had close to a million dollar exit from that.
Sramana Mitra: What is Prasanna’s journey?
Sanjay Jupudi: Prasanna had joined me in the previous company. He had a similar path. He came to the US and got his Masters. He joined Cisco. He worked there for around three years. I recruited Prasanna as a Solutions Architect. Prasanna was instrumental in our growth.
Sramana Mitra: You had worked together, that’s how you met.
Sanjay Jupudi: We were the two people who were in the trenches in the previous company. After five years for him and nine years for me, I quit. I didn’t expect him to quit. I was expecting him to take my role. We both sat together and started thinking about what we should do next. We sat in my home and created the business plan.
Sramana Mitra: Where are you located?
Sanjay Jupudi: Dallas.