Pratap Kondamoori is a seasoned entrepreneur, technology and business manager. He was born in India but moved to the United States at the age of 12 and began Jr High school in Norwood, Massachusetts and finally graduated from Wade Hampton High in Greenville, South Carolina. Pratap then attended Clemson University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Recently, Pratap who resided in Pleasanton, CA has been consulting to various Clean Technology Ventures such as Solar, LED lights, Fuel Cells and Electric Car charger. For over 10 years, Pratap served as a venture capitalist at Charter Ventures, Sandalwood Partners and Empire Capital Partners. He spearheaded investments in over twenty start-ups including serving in operational roles where required.
At Ramp Networks, Pratap Kondamoori served as EVP Biz Dev and Marketing. He drove various strategic partnerships including one with Checkpoint leading to Ramp’s acquisition by Nokia in late 2001. Prior to Ramp, Pratap Kondamoori co-founded Nuko which became the leader in MPEG2 digital video equipment. Nuko went public on Nasdaq and later spun out three technology start-ups; Luminous Networks (inventor of RPR), Globespan (DSL chip company) and Broadband Networks (acquired by Nortel). Bob drove the product vision and Telco strategy at Nuko.
Pratap Kondamoori also served as Director of Marketing at NEC America where he spearheaded the development of IP router product line. He started as Product Manager and promoted to a Director position. Pratap’s primarily role was new product introduction into RBOCs. Pratap drove and positioned NEC as a leading packet technology provider with Frame Relay services, SMDS and IP services.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
I started my first company with two friends, as I had always had a passion for high pace technology start-ups. So, we founded our first company in Silicon Valley and developed the first PC fax technology in the world. The company was venture funded and stayed private. I left the company in 1992.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
Innovation and energy. I meet the brightest youngest minds who want to change the world with their concepts and why they can do it. I love listening to all this enthusiasm and always encourage them they should never loose this passion. I invest in these companies as my way to support, mentor and share the dreams.
What does a typical day consist of for you?
Typical day consists of meeting one or two new companies who pitch me their concepts and companies for investment. Then I spend the rest of day focusing on one of our portfolio company and get into performance details which usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes. My objective is how I could help and add value to their venture.
What keeps you motivated?
Every day is new, and every day is fresh with new ideas. At the end of each day, it always feels like I made a difference.
How do you motivate others?
By supporting their dreams yet being extremely honest. Never disrespect and if their vision (or dreams) or too narrow, I try to expand their mind by asking select questions. Or if they are trying to boil the ocean with their concept, I focus on lowering the temperature so they can focus on one thing at a time. My goal is to focus the innovator for absolute success.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from all the successful entrepreneurs I work with every day. Sometimes, I am totally blown away with the raw genius of the entrepreneur on how he tackled the problem and how he is shaping the outcome.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
My father has been my role model even though I am nothing like him. I am neither disciplined like he was nor a career employee for one company all my life. But I respected his integrity, his sincerity and his drive and extreme hard work each day. He never gave up no matter how hard the circumstances were.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
Remember that even though you have more experience and success, don’t compete with the entrepreneur or innovator. You are only a passenger on his journey of success. So, try to add as much value as you can.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
matter how big and successful you think you are, you can buy down in a second
by the government system if they make you a target.