Jyothi Reddy: How do you build a 5 million dollar business?

Building Millions from a Meager 5 Rupees

The story of Jyothi Reddy seems straight out of a fiction novel. As the fiction stories normally go with the suffering of a protagonist to making him/her a winner all the way. This story of Jyothi is not of destiny, but her very own efforts that made ‘rags to riches’ story true.

Jyothi Reddy was born in a rural village in Andhra Pradesh and faced absolute poverty. She managed to rebuild her life from an orphanage to the establishment of a software company in the US. She built her fortune brick by brick with dedication, determination, and perseverance.

Jyothi was the second among 5 of her siblings. They were sent to an orphanage by the father. He lied to them telling them that they had no mother and he was unable to look after them.

Jyothi lived in the orphanage from class 5 to class 10 only due to her strength.

Married off Early:

Jyothi was married off at the young age of 16 years by her parents. She had two kids by the time she was 18 years of age. She was married to a farmer who had not even completed his high school. From the year 1985 to the year, 1990 Jyothi worked as a daily wage worker and earned only Rs.5 per day.

She recollects that there was never money to buy toys or even medicines for her kids. She had to admit her children in a Telugu medium school for the lack of money. The fees in this school were only Rs.25.

Besides the lack of funds, Jyothi was also abused by her in-laws and her husband.

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Survival of the Fittest:

Jyothi could write and read and this helped her get some additional money by teaching in a night school. She also started stitching petticoats for additional income. She took a bold step and sold her mangalsutra to invest in saris and petticoats and sold these on a train. She was only 22 years old at this time.

Some Hope:

She managed her BA degree from an open university and her salary rose to 398 rupees.

It was during this time that she met a distant relative from America who encouraged her to try her luck there.

The American Dream:

Jyothi had no support when she reached America and took odd jobs to survive. She worked as a babysitter, in-room service in a Motel, a salesgirl, and a lot more during the initial stay here.

Jyothi could join CS America as a recruiter. This was in 1998. After saving enough money, she could start a company for visa processing. Key Software Solutions rose the ladder of success and last year made around $23 million.

After getting stable, she took her spouse and her children to America. Both her daughters are now software engineers. Jyothi owns 2 houses in India and 6 in America.

She has not forgotten her struggles and makes it a point to ensure help to the needy. She supports a lot of orphanages and old age homes in India and also works with government and non-government organizations.

Jyothi’s life was definitely smooth sailing but her resilience and strength helped her in turning this around.