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7 Questions on Leadership with Shivasai Adepu

Name: Shivasai Adepu



At the young age of 20, I embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship, establishing myself as the founder of my own company. I wear multiple hats as an accomplished author of "A Boy Who Finds Himself," a versatile podcaster, and a skilled article writer. Beyond my creative pursuits, I've delved into the dynamic world of technology, teaching myself front-end development and developing a keen interest in blockchain technology.

Currently serving as the Chief Technology Officer at SVAPPS Soft Solutions Pvt Ltd, I bring a blend of creative flair and technical expertise to the forefront. My passion for exploring the intersection of literature, technology, and podcasting has shaped my unique professional profile, reflecting a commitment to continuous learning and innovation.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Shivasai Adepu's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

As the young CEO of VisionVX at the age of 20, my mission is clear: tackle the real-world issue of engineering students graduating without the essential skills needed for their dream jobs. Instead of blaming the educational system, VisionVX is here to bridge the gap.

Our focus is threefold:

1. Engineers: We're dedicated to supporting engineers who find themselves struggling to secure their dream jobs. VisionVX provides the resources and training needed to enhance their skills and make them job-ready.

2. Companies: For businesses grappling with the challenge of finding skilled individuals for their positions, VisionVX is the solution. We connect companies with the right talent, ensuring they get skilled professionals who contribute effectively to their teams.

3. Startups: We understand that many startups have brilliant ideas but lack the know-how to implement them. VisionVX steps in to guide and support these startups, helping them turn their ideas into successful ventures.

In addition to these three pillars, we also extend our expertise to investors. VisionVX assists investors in making informed decisions by providing strategies to invest in the right startups, ultimately maximizing returns.

At VisionVX, we're not just addressing problems; we're providing comprehensive solutions that benefit engineers, companies, startups, and investors alike. Together, we're building a bridge to success in the dynamic world of technology and innovation.

After closing down my own venture, I joined SVApps Soft Solutions as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to enhance my skills and learn from experienced founders. My focus is on boosting team building, refining tools, advancing technology, and reinforcing the team's collaborative spirit. I'm committed to leveraging this opportunity to grow personally and contribute to the success of SVApps Soft Solutions.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

All I did was tackle a real-world problem and learn from people, and that turned me into a leader. In my previous venture, VisionVX, I aimed to address the issue of engineering students struggling to land jobs due to a lack of practical skills.

The idea sparked when I noticed my relative, who excelled in studies, struggling in job interviews because she had theoretical knowledge but lacked practical skills. Initially, I had no clue how to solve this, but I persevered, constantly figuring things out.

I started by visiting colleges and explaining VisionVX's services, but I faced challenges. Undeterred, I began with my classmates, received valuable feedback, and fine-tuned our approach. In just three months, we made significant progress, reaching many students and witnessing positive outcomes. It was a journey of learning, adapting, and ultimately making a difference in the lives of those seeking practical skills for their careers.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

My day kicks off with a cup of coffee, and I stay updated on the latest news with the help of Google Assistant. My calendar keeps me on track with meetings, and I use Notion to manage leads. LinkedIn is my go-to for expanding my professional network.

I make time for my loved ones and parents and enjoy playing the Boom Beach game. If my team faces challenges, I step in to help, and I interact with various teams—Sales, Development, Marketing, and Designing. I also connect with new interns to foster a collaborative environment.

Wrapping up the day, I spend quality time with loved ones and parents. It's a balanced routine that blends work, personal life, and a bit of leisure for a well-rounded day.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

A recent lesson I've learned, especially as a Chief Technology Officer at SVApps Soft Solutions, is that age doesn't define leadership. At 22, I initially faced challenges in assigning tasks to a team of experienced individuals during new projects. Additionally, my limited experience in marketing led to the loss of some international projects.

The key takeaway for me was realizing that taking initiative and being proactive with the team are crucial aspects of leadership. Age is just a number; what matters most is being ready to step up, offer help when needed, and foster a collaborative environment. As a leader, I've come to understand that continuous learning and a willingness to support the team are essential for overcoming challenges and driving success.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

One book that has profoundly influenced my leadership is "The CEO Factory: Management Lessons from Hindustan Unilever." This insightful book delves into the remarkable success story of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) over the past sixty years. Authored by a seasoned director of the company, it uncovers the inner workings of this highly successful business.

The book raises thought-provoking questions about why many CEOs in India emerge from Unilever's ranks, the effectiveness of the company's management training, the crucial role of marketing in every business, and the strategic advantages of creating new markets over capturing existing ones. It also provides insights into the smart approach to stocking products in stores and challenges the conventional wisdom that lowering prices is always the key to attracting more customers.

In a sharp, insightful, and entertaining manner, "The CEO Factory" essentially condenses an MBA course, offering valuable lessons from HUL's enduring success. This book has significantly impacted my leadership by providing practical insights into effective management, strategic decision-making, and the importance of marketing in achieving long-term success. It serves as a guidepost for navigating challenges and making informed decisions in the dynamic world of business.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

"Welcome to the rat race of the corporate world; it's a valuable teacher. Believe in yourself—you're capable of achieving great things, so don't let self-doubt hold you back. Learn from failures, don't hesitate to ask for help, surround yourself with positive influences, keep learning, follow your passion, take care of yourself, and above all, trust your crazy ideas. Embrace these lessons, and you'll navigate the corporate journey with resilience and success."

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

One meaningful story that resonates with me is my dad's journey as an entrepreneur. When I was a child, he started his own photography shop, but after facing challenges, he had to shut it down. Undeterred, he ventured into various businesses, facing failures along the way. Despite the setbacks, he didn't give up. Later on, he found success with Amway, where he started as a learner and eventually became an Amway executive, reaching the prestigious bronze level.

From his real-life story, I learned the importance of patience and waiting for the right time. My dad's resilience showed me that success often takes time and perseverance. Additionally, when you have everything, it's crucial to control your words, and as you climb the ladder, listening becomes key. This story has shaped my perspective as a leader, reminding me of the value of patience, resilience, and attentive communication.

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