By Mathew DeFreitas
PEORIA — At CGN Global, we believe striving for perfection within our business and our family is the best way to accomplish greatness. While perfection is not easily attainable, keeping a strong competitive nature and constantly working toward it is the CGN way. One member of our CGN family seeks that perfection in every aspect of his life — and if he cannot have perfection, then he will always achieve continuous improvement. He is a competitor in business, a family man at home, and a man with many passions in between. He is Ravindhar Uddavolu.
If you know Ravi, you know that he is a key member of the CGN business development team. His focus is primarily in supplier collaboration and procurement, where he manages multiple CGN projects. However, what comes with the competitive business developer? Where does his drive come from?
Ravi began his career in lean manufacturing. At a young age, Ravi developed a passion for sports, specifically cricket. It was his work hard and play hard mentality that carried over to his work as he began his career.
Uddavolu explained, “I like competing. Competing means every time I go out, I strive for perfection.”
As a consistent cricket player, he understood the competitive drive necessary to play the sport. Transferring that competitive nature to his education and job became a key element assisting his success.
In fact, his passion for perfection is a key factor in his life and it turned out be an important factor in developing his relationship with CGN Global.
Before CGN — The Interview
Ravi Uddavolu began working for CGN Global in 2008. Before CGN, Ravi worked for Kimball International, in Jasper, Indiana, in lean manufacturing and later quality management. After a chance meeting with CGN Global CEO, Seshadri Guha, Ravi knew he had opportunities beyond Kimball.
Uddavolu pursued an interview with CGN, passionately. After thorough preparation, Ravi was ready, but a delay at work caused a late arrival to his interview. It was Ravi’s persistence that kept him from giving up on the interview. Finally, he met with CGN leadership.
“I met (CGN) at a conference room in Starbucks,” Uddavolu said.
After a tough start, Ravi turned the interview in a positive direction finishing on a solid note. Ravi knew he was on the right track when the company CEO asked him to call him the following weekend.
“I called him on Sunday. I asked, ‘How did I do?’ and he responded, ‘Well, you tell me if you want to join CGN.’” Uddavolu said.
Beyond an offer from CGN, Ravi was pursuing another position. It came down to two variables for him, continuing his competitive pursuit of the other position or a consistent flowing chemistry, within an organization that had exposure to multiple industries and multiple entry points for competition. This particular time, the combination of chemistry and competition won out.
Uddavolu holds a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering, and a masters degree in Industrial Engineering. He has a very rewarding career in consulting, leading CGN in business pursuits. Beyond his degrees and success in business, his family and his love of sport are most rewarding to him.
He fell in love with the sport of cricket at the age of six, and considers himself an “all-arounder,” meaning he loves to play any position. For him, the competition is everything.
No matter where he travels, he somehow finds a cricket field to play on.
“I was on the top 30 probable’s for the US (cricket team),” Ravi said.
While Ravi’s competitive attitude pushes him toward perfection, in business and the sport of cricket, he has recently found happiness in the pursuit of perfection in another area of his life, his family.
He is the father of a 2-year-old boy and has been married since May of 2013.
“Indian weddings have rituals,” Ravi explained.
Rituals can begin as early as 6 days before the wedding ceremony.
“The (groom) has some rituals,” Uddavolu explained. “Before he gets ready for the day they make him a part of the ‘groom’s day.’ (The wedding party) has the groom put a big tree in front of the house and perform a ritual, representing the groom’s day. Something similar happens for the bride. When this happens you don’t see each other until the wedding.”
The wedding day can start as early as four o’clock in the morning.
“We have to be in a temple,” Uddavolu explained. “It’s a whole day event. In our culture we tie a thread with jewels around our necks, calling it marriage.”
After going through all of the rituals during the previous days and the other usual wedding requirements: bride’s jewelry, hair, groom’s suits, etc., he was finally ready to be married. His wedding took place in the afternoon of a very hot day in India.
Working every day with people, we begin to know their rhythms and patterns. However, there is much we still do not know about them as individuals.
While Ravi spends most of his time at CGN in business development, specifically on one of the business’ key accounts, there are some interesting elements to his life that many do not get to see during 9 to 5 business hours.
During his “single days” Ravi found himself taking up salsa dancing.
“I learned ballroom dancing, contemporary, then I came to Peoria and I used to go to Peoria contemporary classes and took salsa classes,” said Ravi.
If ever given the chance, ask Ravi about his love for cooking. When he has the opportunity, he truly enjoys the complexities that go into creating elaborate dishes.
“It can be any cuisine, but not simple dishes,” Ravi explained. “I like complicated stuff.”
For him, an interesting dish is crab curry.
Cooking food for the family can sometimes involve the entire family. From that family aspect, Ravi holds a smaller secret. Many know Ravi for his work, but are unaware that he has true family ties within the walls of CGN, a brother, Raj, working as a Senior Consultant.
“Not many people know that I have a brother at CGN,” said Ravi.
Your Family is Our Family
A love for family, cricket, cooking, salsa dancing, and business pushes Ravi to live his life to the fullest, and as close to perfection as possible. While CGN is an important part of that drive, we are fortunate to see and learn about the intricacies of Ravi’s life.
Like Ravi, all CGN family members hold a special place in the heart of CGN. Through collaboration, dedication, determination and sacrifice we are grateful for the people that make up the CGN family. It is everyone’s passion for perfection that allows us to succeed. These stories bring us that much closer together as one large CGN family.