Today, when the spirit of entrepreneurship is celebrated and start-ups encouraged, his life and times showcase a leadership journey that began 47 years ago, ensured the newly founded company faced up to all hurdles and eventually got to carve out a niche for itself.
Reddy, 77, who passed away on Thursday evening, was the face of MTAR, which manufactured rocket engines that powered Mangalyaan, the first successful Indian mission to Mars. MTAR's engines are used in PSLV and GSLV launches. It also makes some of the key components that go into nuclear power reactors apart from a multitude of components for defence, aerospace, oil & energy, green power systems, among others.
Today, it is a company valued at Rs 1,000 crore with around Rs 150 crore revenues (most of it is in the nature of job work. Had that not been the case, the turnover would be much larger).
According to company officials, today around 40 to 45 per cent of its total revenues come from nuclear energy, 30 per cent from space, 25 per cent from defence and the balance small share from exports.
Reddy along with two other professionals - Satyanarayana Reddy and P. Jayaprakash Reddy - started it all as a small machine shop in Bala Nagar in Hyderabad in 1969. The three, with a seed capital of Rs 3 lakh, set up this precision engineering company making precision-machined parts for nuclear power reactors, and engine & structural components for aerospace and defence applications.
As is apparent, government entities are its key customers. Ravindra Reddy was known within the industry for his engineering acumen. He was also elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineers, served on the Board of Antrix Corporation and was the Chairman of the Rs 1,500-crore Samuha Aerospace Park that is being set up in Hyderabad.
Reddy, who had not been keeping well, recently also had a fall and did not quite recover.