Srini Koppolu always had an eye for innovation. Immediately after completing his MS in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana, he joined Microsoft in Redmond, the software giant’s global headquarters in the US, in 1989.
Srini, as he is fondly called, worked in Redmond for nine years as an R&D leader, creating important technologies like COM, played leadership role in MS Office R&D group in developing Office 95 and Office 97, and holds several US patents.
He moved to India in 1998 to set up the Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC) in Hyderabad, the company’s largest centre outside of the US. Over the next 12 years, Srini evolved MSIDC from a ‘start-up’ to a major hub of innovation where 1,500-odd employees develop major products and technologies.
“If you do not know where you are going, how do you realise it when you get there? Industry leaders and experts alike need to keep their eyes on the target. If they want their plan to work, they must work their plan,” Srini was earlier quoted as saying.
Srini, indeed, has worked his plan. After a 21-year stint with Microsoft, he has left the company as a corporate vice-president and managing director of MSIDC to pursue his dream of contributing to the start-up ecosystem and education in India as an angel investor.
He has recently been named chairman of Setu Software Systems, a technology-focused start-up incubated in the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)-Hyderabad, in which he had bought a minority stake some time ago. A prominent angel investor in the city, Srini along with former MD of Nvidia, JA Chowdary, made his first investment of Rs 1.6 crore in Hyderabad-based mobile gaming start-up, Mojostreet.
“There is a clear alignment between my passion and Setu’s vision. The company’s strong technology foundation can lead us to many unique business opportunities and enable us to create solutions for education and social empowerment,” Srini says.