An M.Sc. in Physics (Electronics) from Andhra University (1975-1977), with a National Scholarship, Appa Rao did his Ph.D. in Computational Crystallography in the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1977-1982); and, was a Post-Doctoral Computer Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1983- 1985). His work experience began in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, where he was a programmer (1982-1986); then, for nine years he was a consultant in Tata Consultancy Services; and for 17 years, he served Cognizant Technology Solutions. Based at CTS Chennai, Appa Rao was responsible for building competency in leading edge technologies; and, as head of the Research and Development Group (Global Technology Office), he was actively involved in building technology skills, executing projects, providing consultancy, and creating awareness in emerging technologies. Currently, Appa Rao provides strategic IT and technology consulting to industry, in addition to devoting time for academic activities covering teaching and research.