Start-up Mentor, Advisor & Investor
As a mother of two young kids, Renuka Bodla has achieved something commendable. After two decades of leading a corporate career in Innovation and Digital Transformation, she’s also turned a successful Start-up Mentor, Advisor and Investor.
Renuka worked in various MNCs including Oracle, Cisco and GE, in India & USA. Currently she is the head of digital innovation at a leading pharma company whose vision is to foster digital transformation through driving innovation in AI/Data science in partnership with the external Start-up and Tech ecosystems.
Renuka’s expertise in market research, idea valuation and business model innovation made her tailor-made for this role. What also helped was her degree in Pharmacy. “I had a childhood infatuation to get into healthcare and joined Bachelor’s in Pharmacy,” reveals Renuka.
Her parents supported her every step of the way. Progressive and liberal, they were adamant to educate Renuka and her two sisters equally with her brother. “I was always a topper in school and I remember holding first rank in 10th grade, intermediate as well as my undergrad. I received five gold medals from the then Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Krishnakant, and I cherish those for life,” shares Renuka.
Her favorite subjects were Mathematics and Science as she was always analytical and had a strong hold on the concepts. Even while studying Pharmacy, she had a course in Computer Science where she became fascinated with the whole concept of computing power. Soon she joined a Diploma in Programming and learnt various computer applications and programming languages. Following her Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Studies, she went to the US to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems.
Renuka began her professional career in a start-up and then worked for various multinational companies. Today, she has more than 21 years of industry experience with technical expertise in enterprise data management programs and software design and development. She also completed her executive program in business management from IIM Kolkata and realized that she was ready to pursue her dreams in the start-up ecosystem.
In 2015, Renuka became the Founder/CEO of start-up Earlypad in Hyderabad. She played a key role in building platforms to facilitate growth and grew the company from scratch to enable multiple functions. She was also the Start-up Mentor and Investor at IIIT Hyderabad Seed Fund and also in Hyderabad Angels investment groups.
Renuka strongly believes in building the next gen leaders and works extensively with student entrepreneurs. She is also very passionate about growing as a person – knowledge wise, emotionally and spiritually: “I believe in all-round development of a person. I hope for a day when people give equal importance to EI (Emotional Intelligence). On that note, I had a trademark registered called “emotionalligent” to drive awareness on EQ. I am a Yoga buff, I do Pranayama, and devote time for my Sadhana to grow as a person from the spiritual aspect as well.”
Renuka is so quiet and introvert, that sometimes people miss the impact she can make at first impression, only to be astounded with her true potential after seeing her at work. Speaking about her work style, she says, “I am an inclusive person and open to inputs from the team. I am also action oriented and always look for value generation and outcome based strategy.”
Renuka has well demonstrated Leadership skills in driving large teams and initiatives in digital transformation and innovation space for corporates and Start-ups. What is her success mantra? “Success is not a destination at all. Most of the time, people either spend their life aiming into the future or thinking about regrets from the past. Developing the flow to live in the present moment is success in life, attaining a balance is the mantra of life, and having a higher purpose is the aim in life,” answers Renuka, going on to add: “Never stop learning and sharing your knowledge. If and when you are low, don’t lose hope, get help and support, and find ways to overcome. If you have the intention to fight, you will find the way out. Alternately, when things are going great – have gratitude, stay grounded, and contribute to the society.”