Sreekanth Lapala: Exemplifying A New Era Of Entrepreneurs | CEOInsights Vendor
Sreekanth Lapala: Exemplifying A New Era Of Entrepreneurs

Sreekanth Lapala: Exemplifying A New Era Of Entrepreneurs

Sreekanth Lapala,CEO

Sreekanth Lapala


As technology futurist Kevin Kelly would say, right now is the best time to start a new business. Paradoxically, recessions and unstable periods present the best opportunities to start new companies. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs today are quite fearful to take risks. However, that was not the case with Sreekanth Lapala. Although he did not see the pandemic triggered lockdown coming, he was not afraid to continue his strides as an entrepreneur. He established Dextara Digital, and never looked back.

Dextara Digital is a Digital Transformation Services company focused on building deep functional and technical expertise in Salesforce technologies. The key achievements of Dextara Digital are becoming a Salesforce Partner in record time and becoming one of the fastest companies to ramp up to 50+ team in less than 6 months and that too during the pandemic. The inception of Dextara Digital is exclusive and very interesting.

The formation of Dextara Digital was based on a strong foundational thought process and a framework driven approach. Few of the key elements that led to creating an Organizational Architecture for Dextara Digital are –First, it was a decision to focus on native cloud technologies only and that led to next decision point of determining between IAAS, PAAS and SAAS. After having decided to choose SAAS based product consulting and implementation partner, zeroing in on Salesforce was a relatively easy decision and Dextara Digital became a reality.

As Dextara Digital started its operations, one of the hardest milestones was to define the organizational culture and characteristics that leadership deeply believed in. This was one of the most important and hardest milestones because that would be the basis on which one has to convince the first 15- 20 employees as to why they should join Dextara Digital. One of the riskiest and unique things that Dextara did was to grow to 20 employees before they signed the first customer. This is generally very rare for a services startup and they did it because they firmly believed in what they were building. The first customer was clearly the greatest victory for this startup. Sreekanth Lapala, as the CEO of Dextara Digital, brings in the right balance of business strategy, sales excellence, operational rigor, and technical competency. It is supported by his industry experience that spans over 20+ years and being part of small, medium, and large enterprises. The benefit of that experience gives him an edge to build Dextara Digital as a fast-growing next generation digital transformation services company.

Experiences That Shaped Sreekanth’s Entrepreneurial Life
An engineering graduate from BITS Pilani, Sreekanth has come a long way as an entrepreneur.

Sreekanth credits Virtusa for his
professional growth. He joined Virtusa as an engineer in 2002 and went on to become the global delivery head running 21k global delivery organization servicing 198 clients and $1.2b in revenue.

Sreekanth started his career with Seranova in 1999 and after a brief stint there he joined Pramati Technologies -a product company. A technologist at heart, Sreekanth joined Virtusa in 2002 after a successful stint at Pramati Technologies where he was instrumental in building the world’s first J2EE 1.3 certified server by Sun Microsystems.

At Virtusa, Sreekanth grew from being an Engineer to leading the Center of 2000 people with P&L responsibility in first 9 years before opting for a 2-year sabbatical to gain the entrepreneurial experience. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded a technology startup TenXLabs, around the concept of Frugal Engineering and built USD 3M business in 24 months by winning 45+ clients.

Sreekanth credits virtusa for his professional growth. He joined virtusa as an engineer in 2002 and went on to become the global delivery head running 21k global delivery organization servicing 198 clients and $1.2b in revenue

Sreekanth rejoined Virtusa in 2013 after his sabbatical, to lead Large and complex program delivery before taking over as Global Head for Transformational Outsourcing Solutions where the focus was to increase the recurring revenue while improving the win ratio of the large deals for the company. From 2016 to early 2019, Sreekanth played the role of Global Delivery and Operations Head. As part of this role, he was leading a USD 1.2B global delivery organization. Sreekanth efficiently handled operations for 21,000 people with right levels of optimization to deliver Gross Margin goals of the company. Sreekanth was a part of the core strategic leadership team to shape and deliver 3 year rolling strategy to scale Virtusa to USD 5B by 2025.

What Entrepreneurship Means- To Never Back Down
On his journey as an entrepreneur, Sreekanth says, “According to me, Entrepreneurship is a passion to build something different. It is the ability to work with clients and solve real problems and ability to work with top notch talent and get the best out of them”. He goes on to enlist some of the key traits of an entrepreneur and also the ones which he adopted like – ability to translate business challenges into technology solutions, ability to build CXO relationships and ability to build large global teams.

For Sreekanth, the initial challenge like for many entrepreneurs was the pandemic. No sooner that Dextara was established on 7th November 2019, the pandemic stuck the entire world, putting a halt to the firm’s team building efforts as well as selling to prospective clients which are vital for a startup. “This was kind of a death blow but we didn’t come under pressure but kept connecting remotely with the prospective clients and demonstrating our abilities – our trust in our abilities helped us sail through the tough times and we now have 12+ clients that we work with, and Dextara is
now a 75+ strong company”, adds the confident CEO.

Milestones That Gave Maximum Professional Satisfaction
When Sreekanth was re-called from his sabbatical by Virtusa to run a USD 5M account which was in deep trouble because of the complexity of the solution. At the time Sreekanth’s employer was engaged with a Global P&C Insurer to replace hundreds of different claims systems across 50+ countries into One Unified Claims Platform. This was considered as one of the largest Digital Transformation Program in the world which would have saved the insurer over a billion dollars a year. Under Sreekanth’s leadership, not only was the program turned into green, but the client also witnessed successful roll out of the unified platform across 30+ countries.

The second such milestone was when he got promoted as Global Delivery Head for Virtusa leading 20K+ Global team and partnering with 198 Clients and servicing USD 1.2B revenue.

The third, and probably the most important of all the milestones was when Sreekanth could successfully establish Dextara Digital and grow the company to 75+ in less than a year.

Sreekanth thanks his team who have been continuously working on creating frameworks and components that enhances engineer’s productivity so that Dextara Digital can reduce the time to market for its clients when developing new solutions. The firm is also focused on building its own IP in the emerging technologies such as Blockchain and AI. Dextara Digital is already expanding its footprint in US, UK and Australia and he firmly believes that they should have a sizeable team in these markets by middle of 2021. The next milestone, the CEO conveys, is to build 500 people strong Salesforce consulting company by 2023.

With such high-octane leadership strides for Dextara Digital, Sreekanth finds just the right fragments in life to stay with the most important treasures he found in the form of his family. An entrepreneur is constantly thinking about the Clients, Team Members and Investors making it difficult to distinguish personal and professional time. Sreekanth cherishes the short bursts of time that he spends with his family and that is a big stress reliever, which keeps him going.

Sreekanth’s life is a message to the budding entrepreneurs. A message that suggests, entrepreneurship is not a short-term idea. Building a business has no easy answers. “There are lot of people who say exciting things about entrepreneurship which is fine. However, entrepreneurship is not so much about setting up ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’, ‘Hiring Great Talent’, or ‘Setting up Excellent Organizational Culture’. It is about ‘How to lead even when you don’t know where you are going’ and ‘Solving the paradox of ownership versus outcomes’. Entrepreneurship is a journey, and you will have to keep an open mind to learn every singleday and you can do this only when you are a great listener”, concludes Sreekanth.

Dextara Digital’s Offerings:
• Salesforce Consulting
• Salesforce Implementation
• Salesforce App Development
• Expertise In
1. Sales Cloud
2. Service Cloud
3. Marketing Cloud
4. Community Cloud
5. Platform Implementation

Trending Stories