As part of our ongoing quest to get you meaningful and powerful stories from India and around the world, we invited Mani Lakkaraju for an exclusive interview with BrilliantRead Media. He is a Serial Entrepreneur, Startup Mentor, Business Leader and Founder of Solworxs. Let’s read more about his inspiring journey, background and advice for our growing community!

Excerpts from our exclusive interview with Mani:

We are aware of your contributions to the ecosystem; talk us through your background and your journey, please;

My Journey has been lifelong learning with vibrant times of a typical Hyderabadi who always loves Briyani & Chai.

Basically, I’m a sweet person, a tutor, a software consultant, an entrepreneur, a networker, a mentor, a friend, a son, a husband and a dad. All through life, I have done several hats as a professional to deliver consulting, technical, managerial services across industry verticals including Telecom, unified communication and Startups.

My story had a cool start with graduation in chemistry, later a distinction holder with a diploma in IT systems was campus recruited to Mahindra Satyam into the Telecom vertical, which has opened the project’s delivery for major telecom providers across the world. Just the right focus on the job and continuous improvements pulled me to accomplish the MBA in International Trade from Symbiosis University.


Global travel was the trigger for key learnings about geography, diversity, culture, people, markets, economy, industry, innovations, investments actually helped me transform into a responsible, accountable and better knowledgeable person.

In the current role, I work as a Mentor to help Startup founders from the grassroots level to transform their IDEA into a Legal STARTUP by nurturing

(1) Enterprising Mindset

(2) Entrusting Business Model Innovation

(3) Enabling NoCode Automation

(4) Engaging Fundraise

My passion for startups is the real commitment to helping Ideators, founders/implementers, entrepreneurs and a great opportunity to connect with innovations and network with people.

How did you discover your passion? 

Being a hard worker from a young age I always had the quest to know what makes me a smart worker and specialist. This fueled me to keep on discovering myself on numerous occasions, the one particular thing that quenches my tryst to be the perfectionist. With the blessing of seeing the world, I started realising that knowing myself thoroughly is the only aspect which can make me the special one.

One simple phrase “Give a Chance” explained the world to me from a different perspective and from that moment I was 100% clear and it’s all about giving yourself a Chance and indeed the best one.


The entrepreneurial start was a kickback as the original idea and the later business prospects was a failure and which pulled me down emotionally, financially with a lot of grief had to come out of the situation and the only mantra as I haven’t been given the best chance for me to select the right idea. From this stoned truth, I created 2 startups by bootstrapping, funding and successful exits.

The generalist knowledge of global networks, travel & culture, people and being a perfectionist of Startup lifecycle 360 eventually transpired into my passion to give the best chance for an IDEA to be a great business. That’s what makes me the MENTOR!!

How do you manage to keep going despite the challenges? What drives you?

The beauty of a Tree-like the branches, fruits, flowers, etc.. is visible from far beyond and the only reason is the trunk which holds the upper part and it actually gains invisible strength from the roots. The trunk is only one large part, looks very rough on the outside but it is the only channel for energy flow inside of a TREE which makes it survive, blossom, grow on the resources from the ground and through the roots.

The same analogy can be applied to challenges which act like the bridges that connect our success to our strengths and the missing factor is discovering the one hard part of the challenge mostly a worry or fear or reason or belief or assumption or blind corner or mistake or human error is the limitation which must be pushed outside of the mind to enable the seamless energy flows inside.

This can also be summarised as “Thinking Inside Out” and I believe in this 100% and this keeps me driving to identifying only the hard part that stops me from taking the best chance and pushing it outside the influence sphere of my brain enables me to work totally charged. Definitely, this has to be put to practice which makes it easier over a period of time.

Who do you believe has been the biggest source of motivation in your daily life?

My Family has been a great source of motivation starting with my Mother, Rama Devi is my GOD for hard work from my childhood and my Father, Satyanarayana has been my inspiration to be responsible irrespective of situations but as a young professional it was a very absolute form of motivation.

After my marriage, my new guru turned out to be my wife, Snehalatha, the real curator of sculpting the raw motivation into finesse and adding the best chances which are my core belief system. My daughter has been the true question bank and instrumental to learn the unanswered.


I also get motivated by meeting people who are humble, have great talents, know about innovations, connect spirituality, being selfless and practising minimalist living.

I’m a strong believer in Mahatma Gandhi and inspired by Vivekananda, Bhagat Singh and few successful entrepreneurs, Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Mohandas Pai, SAM Pitroda, Azim Premji, Nandan Nilakani.

What are some of the strategies that you believe have helped you grow as a person?

There are a few:

1) Focus only on doing Good

2) Everyone is Equal, our only thinking is unequal

3) Think of how it Ends before you start it

4) Universe is always a chance, you need to discover it

5) Lifelong learning is the only strength to grow

Please share with us a unique challenge you faced in your early career?

I have numerous experiences as every trip taught me one great lesson to be pragmatic about work and enjoy life more.

Riots were terrifying during my project stay at Ahmedabad, the stressful situations taught me to be true to myself and focus on doing GOOD only for the rest of my life. But it took a long 3 months to come out of the shock wave and act normal and travel on the projects.

During our stay in Melbourne and our travels in and around various cities of Australia, we came across various rational abuses that were tough to take in a foreign land. But with my learning about the country’s history by talking to various friends, people at the office, public gatherings help me learn the cultural insights which have given me the clarity to focus on my stay plus learn from the locals.

My first trip to ISRAEL on a project was a surprise as there was some local disturbance on the same day I landed in the country. But with the support of office colleagues, I was able to understand the situations and followed the instructions to be safe and enjoyed the stay for the rest of the project time.

Another interesting experience was working in Mexico where most of the project team used to talk in Spanish language and I had a tough time during my early days on the project. But with the support of my friends, translations I was able to connect back to the team with 40% communication in Spanish.

Post a few close encounters with earthquakes during my work in Nepal and it was a fearful stay for the first few days. But again the locals, friends, office colleagues helped me understand the geography and the instructions for always being ready to reach a safe point.

I enjoyed the rest of my project looking at the Himalayas every day.

You are always positive and motivated, what keeps you going?

The best part of the current times is we only need to work on one thing, our mindset and it opens the universe for you, so the abundance of positivity is just to take care of mindset and rest all taken care of.


My mentees also inspire me a lot by posing the challenges and listening to the success they achieved by following simple things learnt from my sessions.

My typical positivity recharge is by Listening to music, playing a good shuttle game with friends, long drive with nature and having tasty food.

In your opinion, what are the keys to success?

I would say the 10 commandments:

– Keep Smiling irrespective of worries

– Create the relaxed calendar

– Meet & Talk to a lot of People

– Review your weekly progress and restart

– Learn new skills and reinvent yourself

– Take up challenges and stand for it

– Play at least one game regularly

– Do Travel the World don’t miss it

– Share your knowledge

– Focus to be ready for tomorrow


What advice would you give students and young professionals who want to have a successful career?

Today’s world is a luxury to young professionals as everything is in the power of your thumb. Both in the real and digital worlds, Thumb is the representation of the drive, willpower and logic, which is the true definition of mindset.

Just the mindset of the individual has to be ready to give themselves a great chance and rest anything after that it will lead to success.


Follow the points to control your thumb:

~ Identify & Nurture primary, secondary skills for making a living

~ Don’t equate your fortune as a multiple of earnings based on your skills

~ You want to be rich, you need work for it and try to be the richest

~ Work hard until you don’t need to introduce yourself

~ Build your network and actively participate

The best example is even in this pandemic situation just to kill the virus is to have the mindset to take caution and get vaccinated.

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