Vijay Oddiraju, CEO and co-founder, Volante Technologies
Vijay Oddiraju freely admits to dreaming of living a king-sized life and has never shied away from thinking big, especially when it comes to growth ambitions for Volante Technologies, the company he co-founded in 2001 along with Venkat Malla and Uday Thakur.
After school, Vijay embarked on a masters in computer science, joining Oracle shortly after graduation. It was at Oracle that Vijay met Larry Ellison, one of his earliest role models who served to fuel Vijay’s desire to ‘think big, remember to give something back and never shy away from risk.’ Vijay also maintains relationships with very senior political leaders in US, UK, and India and tries to influence them to create policies that help improve the quality of life of people.
In 1995, Vijay left Oracle to set up a consulting firm specializing in Oracle database products implementation and within a year revenue reached around $4 million. However, Vijay quickly realized that making money by selling consultancy services wasn’t enough for him; there needed to be a product, he wanted to focus on building IP.
Vijay therefore set about building a business in response to Sun Microsystems anticipated J2EE launch. In the late 1990s, Java standards-based middleware product company GlueBeans was born.
After successfully merging GlueBeans with another middleware company, for Vijay, Venkat, and Uday their next venture, TPlus Systems, was born in California. Taking the principles learned from GlueBeans, TPlus Systems focused on providing what their research had told them was needed in the data industry - an integration layer with data transformation capabilities for middleware products. After twelve months of market research, prototyping and with the first sale, TPlus was re-named as Volante Technologies in 2001.
With a firm focus on fulfilling the needs of the financial services industry and on reducing the time it takes to integrate products and services with existing systems, Volante’s raison d’etre has never changed. The company's number one aim remains – to save their customer’s time and money and simplify the complexity of it all by eradicating wherever possible, human intervention and the ensuing costs from such processes.
Vijay has major growth ambitions for Volante Technologies and sees any growth challenges thrown at him in a truly positive light.
Uday Thakur, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Volante Technologies
Uday’s initial goal to educate himself in California can be acknowledged as the trigger that set him on track to co-found Volante Technologies.
Moving to California to further his education - Uday has a masters in computer science, and bachelors in mechanical engineering – Uday worked for a couple of start-ups in order to expand his existing knowledge before he was quickly snapped up by Sun Microsystems.
Uday first met Vijay Oddiraju when he co-founded Calisys. Moving to join Vijay at Calisys, Uday and Vijay then set about forming GlueBeans with the then to be Volante’s third co-founder, Venkat Malla. In the late 1990s T Plus Systems was formed and in 2001 Volante Technologies was born.
Freely admitting to suffering from start-up syndrome in terms of the combined team’s capabilities when it came to sales and marketing, the impossible thought of not taking salaries in the early days and working at times from the local library, Vijay, Venkat, Uday and Grishna set about building their business. Within a period of three months however, the four co-founders had succeeded in convincing several other talented individuals to join Volante. From there came their first office, and from there on in, their first sale.
From an initial team of four in 2001, Volante Technologies now employees close to 120 people, the vast majority of whom are product designers and developers. Indeed, its growth has become so rapid of late that 12 people were recently hired inside just over a month.
As in many successful businesses staying ahead of the competition and holding on to IP generating talent are the issues that keep Uday awake at night. Competition, Uday acknowledges, is what drives Volante to constantly re-evaluate and find better ways of helping the firm’s growing client base to solve overcome the challenges they face. As far as keeping talent is concerned, it continues to become easier. As Volante grows through success in the markets it serves, so does the solving of a wider range of customer challenges and in turn, the enthusiasm of Volante staff both in development and in other areas of the company.
A keen cook, a basketball player and confident singer well-versed at singing in front of crowds in excess of 1000 people, Uday has also been committed to a daily yoga routine for nearly twenty years.
When asked what is next for Volante, Uday’s response is clear, “we want to continue to grow the business. Simply put, we are not done yet.” Watch this space.
Venkat Malla, Co-founder and Head of Product Management, Volante Technologies
A self-confessed gadgets geek and tinkerer, Venkat Malla freely confesses that as a child he did not give too much thought about building a business; he was however interested in creating something that was functional. That functional something ended up being Volante Technologies.
Venkat’s background was founded in technology; he received his bachelor's and master’s degrees in computer science cementing a future career in the world of technology.
After his formal education, Venkat set out to join Sequent Computer Systems, pioneers in symmetric multi- processing systems.
After two years, Venkat joined Oracle where he held various technical and management positions. Venkat pioneered the development of the Oracle8i Appliance which has subsequently evolved into a broad range of Engineered Systems and most notably he was credited with two patents for new technologies that were introduced in this new product. And, it was at Oracle that Venkat met Vijay.
After nine years of progressing through the ranks at Oracle, Venkat decided to join Vijay and Uday to set up T-Plus Systems which, with the advent of the first sale, became Volante Technologies in 2001.
Amongst its 80 plus clients today, Volante now boasts the largest stock exchange in the United States as one of them. In fact, Venkat makes the point that in every sector of the financial industry, Volante serves the largest or one of the largest organizations within it. “It is immensely gratifying to seek out problems and challenges that our market place experiences and then go about creating elegant and efficient solutions for them. Our products always result in enabling increased business agility so that our clients can concentrate on being competitive in their marketplace.”
Deploying new technologies and continuing to solve the problems that financial institutions face will continue to take center stage for Venkat. As Head of Product Management, Venkat determines the company’s product strategy and ensures it aligns with, and where possible, surpasses the evolving needs of financial institutions and corporate enterprises.
As far as Venkat is concerned, the Volante product roadmap is continually driven and products invented and evolved by what we hear from clients; the best practices we find at client sites, trends and changes in the market and the basic philosophy of, “there is always a better way.”