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RASAGNA BREWS JOY

What has a girl from Srikakulam in common with one of the world’s richest trade tycoons Amancioortega? Yes, the alma mater, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). She is the first Indian to get an MBA degree from this Spanish University, whose portals many stalwarts walked. Everything about her appears to be unique, starting from her name. “The credit goes to my mother. Rasagna (Joyful) is picked from Lalitha Sahasranamam,” says the happy looking Rasgna as she settles down for a tete-e-tete at her talk-of the town brewery MYZ-UNO.

EXCERPTS
Reminiscences
My father Mr.Dharmana Rama Rao is a retired bank manger. Mother Mrs.Padma Praveena, though qualified, chose to be a home-maker. As the only child, I monopolize their lives and attention. After schooling in Gayathri Vidya Parishad, Srikakulam, I came to GITAM University for engineering and later went to pursue my MBA in UCM. I started a Smart City and Strategy consulting firm Vossoa along with my husband in Madrid and started its subsidiary in India, naming it Motherland Infra P.Ltd. I also entered brewery/hospitality industry at home. To burn the stress and restore my energy levels, I practise the Spanish Baile – Flamenco and participate in community events. On the spiritual front, I am passionate about astrology as it is a combination of Astro-Physics and Planetary Mathematics.

The new brew
I am a passionate traveler and visited more than 40 countries to understand varied cultures, business dynamics and livelihoods. My take away included the prerequisites of Smart City. There is a particular stress on the ‘family dining’ culture in Europe. People find it convenient to meet their kith and kin at brew pubs, which cater to all ages. Bringing it to India, I invested in a Bangalore-based microbrewery, which gave me an insight of metro markets. Family dining contributes significantly to the city on the move. Following my roots, I set up a microbrewery in Vizag.

Hiccups
Before executing any project, I go for an exhaustive planning. I did face hurdles in terms of finalising the place, paper work, bureaucratic permits, import of equipment. One must be resolute to introduce a new concept in our evolving society.

Brewery in Vizag a dichotomy?
Certainly not. I call the city Barcelona of India as it is endowed with multi-cultural denizens, beach life and tourism and is comparable to any metro. Initially, there was a mixed response. Now the project is up and running, they say, “The city was waiting for a place like this and MYZ-UNO has nailed it”.



Women entrepreneur- advantages & disadvantages
Women entrepreneurship begins from home. Every mother, who sends out responsible children, is an entrepreneur. The number of women entrepreneurs is growing in the new favourable ecosystem. Moreover, we have a competitive advantage over men as we possess emotional intelligence. We can build a women-safe corporate and work-life balance culture. Our women are stepping out to establish their credentials. This empowerment also leads to successful families. Having said that, I admit that Family, Finances and Faith are the major barriers. Cross them & we are invincible.

Independence
It is about grabbing & not giving. Anyone with confidence, ethics and courage can grab power and survive effectively. Our mythology revolves around the power of woman. Yet, till recently, women were treated like support-rending machines at home. Thanks to education & change in people’s mindset, women are leaving their footprints in all fields - be it space science or NGO or IT industry.

Problems peculiar to women
They are country-specific. Here any woman who enters the hospitality sector is given free advices- “Don’t. You can’t manage.” It takes a lot more for a woman to turn a deaf ear to these spirit-dampening remarks. Well, I overcome them as I draw a clear line between my personal and professional environments.

Time management
Inspired by my husband, I follow a triple 8 rule (8-8-8). Out of 24 hours, 8 hours are for sound sleep, 8 hours for professional activities and the rest 8 are strictly for personal life. Any project planning includes 10% deviation as we strive to live perfectly in an imperfect world. So one must be ready for that.

Measures against injustice
To fight injustice, women should be independent in thought and logical in living. Generally, a woman’s life revolves around parents, siblings, husband and children. Especially, mothers have all their focus on their children. It demolishes the ‘You’ in ‘You’. We should be nice in personal and wise in professional fronts. Women should be given equal opportunities in education and employment and mothers should be empowered.

Financial freedom
It holds good only in a capitalistic society and makes woman a money-minting machine. It can never empower women. Self-confidence, talent, capability to convince, rational thinking and finance are the key pillars to gain independence.

Memorable moments
My wedding in personal life. Professionally, the launch of my first firm-Vossoa, that too when I was barely 23 years old.

Gratifying moments
The day I was awarded MBA by the Spanish University. It was remarkable for two reasons. One - I could finish the entire course in Spanish with merit. Two - got it from the oldest university. Tips to aspiring entrepreneurs Look for opportunities, not ideas. Ideas may be important but opportunity builds the empire.

CSR activities
a) At international level: Incubation in India and Spain is specially focused on women empowerment in the digital arena. So we sponsor trade ideas from women across the globe until the solution enters the market. We mentor the future entrepreneurs to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions for the challenging world.
b) At local level: Our company has taken up comprehensive activities providing electricity (Installation of Renewable Energy plants), education and sanitation. Gopalapenta, our ancestors’ village, has renewable energy programmes- a comprehensive hybrid energy unit to generate power to ensure 24X7 supply for the few houses in the village. We work with women, building awareness and strengthening the women empowerment programmes.

Future plans
We are in the process of franchising “MYZ-UNO” brand in other cities of AP. The AP government has chosen us as the finalists for an innovative application. This mega project can be a major breakthrough. There are a few more plans and projects in the pipeline.

AWARDS AND REWARDS

  • Cities Summit London 14: LLGA Awards finalist: Using technology to enhance commerce.
  • Madrid Smart Lab Program (Innovators under 35) Winners for Improving information access and quality of life for citizens.
  • Best Technology Entrepreneur at the Smart Cities Awards 2015 by the Spanish Socinfo Foundation.
  • Smart City App SCAH-FIWARE Competition 2015 finalists (just 18 apps worldwide were selected).
  • Seal of Excellence (for women entrepreneur) by the European Commission for its success as an innovative project 2016.
  • Finalists for an innovative application for the Happy Cities Summit-2018-Amaravathi

OFF THE CUFF
If not an entrprenuer…
No other option
You in 3 words
Confident, passionate and prudent
Inspiration
Angela Markel
Role models-
Oprah Winfrey, Indira Nooyi, Indira Gandhi
Definition of success
Perform to deliver astounding results
To relax
Travel to nomadic places
The best compliment you got You make the impossible to be possible with your smile- my husband (laughs)
Hobbies
Travel, debates & dance
Regret
Could not establish the firm at 21.
Health regimen
Intake and exhaust within limits.
Spots of holiday
Vienna & Bolivia
One thing you like to change
about yourself
Balance of focus and thought diversification are needed.

BHARATH ANE NENU
Bharath Kamma holds an Engineering degree from BITS-Pilani, MBA degree from IE Business School, Madrid and yet another MBA (Leadership) degree from Harvard. Ambidextrous as he is, he can balance work & personal schedules. The architect of Rasgna’s business world, he plays the role of “Director-Technology and Operations” for various businesses, besides Vossoa, Motherland & Myz-Uno.
Full of honest praise for his wife, he says, "My mom chose her and gave me the best gift of my life. Our families knew each other for years. Yet, it all happened in no-time. We did exchange thoughts before we tied the knot and then it is all like a fairy tale. She remains positive in every situation. This most admirable trait of her keeps me rejuvenated.

At work
Disputes are inevitable in professional life. But the discussions don’t go beyond our office walls. During the tiff, it is like having your best (personally) and worst(professionally) attitude. Being management professionals and engineers, we look for data driven results rather than subjective analysis. We don’t bring emotions into our professional life."

 
 
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