Sameer Penakalapati

Chief Executive Officer, Indotronix Avani


Beyond Borders: Recruiting and Managing Top Tech Talent in a Hybrid/Remote Workforce

Sameer Penakalapati was born and educated in India, with most of his high school and undergraduate education taking place in rural areas. Through merit, he was admitted to a prestigious engineering school for graduation. Sameer's mother instilled in him the belief that education was the gateway to achieving his dreams, and with hard work and determination, he excelled after graduation.

In 1999, Sameer came to the United States with only a bag of clothes, $100, and a lot of hope. Despite being in a new country with a different culture, Sameer's confidence in his skills and education helped him adapt. He had grown up in situations that had toughened him, which proved useful when he started his new life in the US. Sameer worked for various consulting firms, including Arthur Anderson and ABM Corporation, before moving to Rochester to work at Eastman Kodak in 2002. Sameer and his wife arrived in Rochester while his wife was pregnant, and they immediately went searching for a gynecologist and an apartment.

After working at Kodak for eight years, Sameer decided to start his own business. In 2011, he founded 'Avani Technology Solutions Inc', an IT consulting firm. Despite having only enough cash to survive for a few months, Sameer was confident in his skills and believed he could always find work. His hard work and determination paid off, and he grew the business to $20 million in just six years. In 2006, Sameer acquired 'Indotronix International Corporation', a staffing company with clients such as IBM, Verizon, and General Dynamics. Since then, Sameer has grown the consulting business to $110 million in revenue, with a presence in the US, India, Canada, and the UK. He also founded an HR Tech SaaS software company with clients worldwide and investments from leading PE firms with over $100 million enterprise value. During this time, Sameer also acquired Zoniac Software and Accelerate Media, a digital marketing agency out of Rochester, and invested in a few other startups.

Despite his success, Sameer hasn't forgotten his roots. He knows that not everyone has the same opportunities he did, so he has campaigned to provide opportunities for children to do better. Sameer has supported numerous causes in the US, such as Dale Carnegie soft-skills training camp for Edison Tech school kids, YMCA youth programs, Khan Academy, Covenant House in NYC, Red Cross, Breast Cancer Foundation, Sri Vidya Temple Society for Arts & Culture, and many others. Sameer has also supported social and political causes for various deserving candidates from Senators, Gubernatorial, and State Senators. In India, Sameer started the Nigama Foundation to help children in need. He has supported over 500 kids' school fees, annual supplies, and school dresses, so they can continue their education without dropping out due to financial constraints. Sameer has distributed over $200,000 in the last four years supporting various causes, from elderly care facilities with air coolers to donating over 50 computers to three schools (Vishakapatnam, Guntakal, and Hyderabad) and setting up digital teaching facilities for kids and many other programs.

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