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R Ramaraj quits as Sify CEO, may turn venture capitalist

20-July-2006
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R Ramaraj quits as Sify CEO, may turn venture capitalist

R Ramaraj, Co-founder and CEO of Sify Ltd, has called it a day at the company. Speaking to exchange4media, Ramaraj said, “I have not yet decided about my future course of action. A lot of opportunities are available in the Internet space with the market being what it is today. Yesterday (July 18, 2006), was my last day and I will take some time off before I decide about my next venture.”

“Technology and telecom are the areas that excite me,” said Ramaraj.

According to a press statement, “Ramaraj’s pioneering experience, ability to build teams, understanding of technology and ability to foster innovation make him uniquely suited to shepherd start-up organisations to success. Many start-ups need help in developing a sustainable business model, and effective management teams to build value for stakeholders.”

“One area Ramaraj will work on in future is with select start-ups and early stage companies to grow their businesses successfully, including ensuring adequate funding to enable their development. He will also be associated with leading venture capital firms to identify, fund and mentor select start-ups to commercial success,” it added.

“Another area of interest lies in enabling socio-economic development through empowering small businesses through micro-credit. He is currently a board member of Microcredit Foundation of India, a not-for-profit organisation that has benefited over a half a million women entrepreneurs through micro-credit. He is also working with snooker champion Geet Sethi and former badminton champion Prakash Padukone and the Gold Quest Foundation to nurture promising young athletes and players to win an Olympic Gold for India,” it further added.

Ramaraj had pioneered retail marketing of computers in India as far back as 1984-85 by setting up the ‘Computer Point’ retail chain for sale of computers like consumer durables. This was just a year or so after the personal computer revolution in the US. Later, he co-founded Microland, a pioneering company in networking.

At Sterling Cellular, he successfully bid for the Delhi circle license when mobile telephony was first introduced in India. His focus has always been the launch of businesses using new technologies, innovative products and services, and in building and mentoring highly effective teams to build successful businesses.

At Sify, Ramaraj used his ability to build teams, motivate and lead them to develop market leading products, new standards of technology and innovative services. He also nurtured an entrepreneurial culture where team members ‘owned’ the company and were achievement oriented, resulting in a learning organization that is highly competitive. Good governance and ethical business practices and values were part of this culture as enshrined in ‘The Sify Way’ – the company’s credo.

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