Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Appa Rao, 1978 Mech.

Apparao (Rao) V Mallavarapu founded Centum Electronics in the year 1993. Under his able leadership Centum has grown to become one of the largest electronics companies in India. He has initiated and successfully managed joint ventures with several MULTI-NATIONAL COMPANIES. Prior to founding Centum, he served at Wipro and Rao Insulating Company (RIC). He was a recipient of the Ford foundation scholarship and Engineering research Scholarship toward his academic pursuits in Canada.

Team Sampada: The most memorable memories from your college days that you reminisce even today.

Appa Rao Sir: The most memorable memories that I reminisce and cherish are the friendships I built in those 5 years. Some of us still meet often and of course the bonds have become stronger but what is amazing is when I meet some of my batch-mates after 20 or 30 years, it feels like it was just yesterday when we were all together, sitting under the tree near the canteen, joking and having fun. There are too many memories and the wonderful thing is all of them are beautiful and I long for those days to come back, knowing very well they never will.

Team Sampada: How was the faculty who taught you? Any favourites that you had?

Appa Rao Sir: The faculty that taught us were amazing. There are so many professors that come to my mind who moulded us not just to be the engineers we are but the citizens and people that we have turned out to be today. One of my favourite professors was Prof Dhakishna Murthy, who was the guide for my project in the final year as was Prof Govindraju.

Team Sampada: How was your journey as an engineer when compared to the times now where there are more industry opportunities and technological advancements?

Appa Rao Sir: The opportunities we had back then as compared to now were obviously very limited but that is progress. Today, there are so many avenues for young graduates to show their skills, knowledge and passion and it is important that they use all these opportunities for their own progress and for the progress of our society and country.

Team Sampada: Share your thoughts and advice on how can students following their engineering passion mould their learning journey?

Appa Rao Sir: One big difference between the world we live in today compared to the past is how the technologies have developed. Everything today is interdisciplinary. The interaction of various branches of engineering to produce a product or technology is very intense and so the lines between various branches of engineering gets blurred and the engineers today have to be more versatile than in the past.

I actually do not worry about the students as I know they will change and adapt very quickly. My concern and worry centres about how fast and quickly will the Indian universities bring the change required such that the programs are interdisciplinary, flexible and such that syllabi are current while being in step with the fast-changing real world.

UVCE has produced some of the greatest engineers, scientists, academicians, business leaders, industrialists of this country. I hope and wish that this trend continues. For this to happen, I urge the students, professors and staff to work hard and I am sure with their commitment and passion they will take UVCE to even greater heights in the years to come.
Good luck & God bless.

– Appa Rao, Sampada-112

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