Beyond the confines of a wheelchair - Appavu Karunakar, Information security professional


It is time for networking at the TiE event on social entrepreneurship, and everybody is busy making eye-level contact and exchanging cards, but there is one person in a wheelchair, in the last row, definitely not at the eye level. I pull a chair next to him, shake hands, and get him to tell me his story, in about a minute or so.IT career

My name is Appavu Karunakar. I did my studies in IIT Madras. After that, I struggled to get a job, because of being disabled. It took one year to find the right job, and I started my career in Laser Soft. After 7-8 years, I moved to Standard Chartered Bank as information security global officer.

Entrepreneurial interest

Having gone through many difficulties, it was always there in my mind that I don’t want to be yet another person who went for an employment till the end. I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and started investing here and there in small companies, buying small companies and running them.

Bought and sold

For instance, I bought an IT training institute and ran for 3-4 years. Then, with a few friends, I started a funding company, where we can go and fund the startups, or buy a company or run a company ourselves, turn around a sick company. We bought a mosquito coil company in 2009, ran it for 3 years, and sold it in April 2012.

End to 9-6

I noticed while doing all this activity that it was not easy to be an entrepreneur and also be employed. So, last month, I put a full-stop to that pain, by quitting my 9-6 job, and starting to do something on my own.


I am just looking for opportunities where I can start a business. My interest is in information security or education side, some social entrepreneurship activity.


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