Washington, 20 April: Recipient of this year's prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honour, Indian American business leader Rao S. Anumolu believes the Indian community, doing an 'A+ job' professionally and economically, is now catching on in politics too.
'Indians here are mostly professionals - doctors, engineers and in finance field, etc,' says Anumolu, president and CEO of Long Island (New York)-based ASR International Corporation, who would be presented the medal recognising those making outstanding contributions to their communities, their nation and the world, on May 8.
'In these professions, there is ample opportunity to prove themselves professionally and economically, and they are doing A+ job,' he told.
'In politics, the second generation is catching on and they are much more in tune as participants, be it (Louisiana governor) Bobby Jindal or others, but not to the extent you expect,' he said.
Asked what makes Indians excel, Anumolu said: 'My take on that is: Talent has always been there in India. The question is of providing sufficient resources to support the basic human talent for growth.'
'Now, in India too they are flooded with the resources, knowledge, know-how, equipment, and whatever is needed to succeed. Indians are excelling worldwide. Anywhere they can excel because they inherently have good talent and they work hard,' Anumolu said.
With the Indian economy now booming, Anumolu's ASR is 'supporting companies here which are going to India and setting up big ventures there'.
'With our support, they are able to go there with full force and implement them with these resources and know-how. So, indirectly we are helping everyone,' he said when asked about his plans to venture out to India.
Both the US House of Representatives and the Senate have officially recognised the Ellis Island Medals of Honour and the recipients are read into the Congressional Record. Anumolu is the only Asian Indian to have been also cited by the US Congress in 2003 for the contributions made by him and ASR International Corporation towards homeland security in the US.
He came to Chicago for higher studies in 1969 and went on to turn ASR into a trailblazer in developing innovative systems and leveraging technology to provide cost-effective, high quality services to Fortune 500 companies like BP, Rolls-Royce, Exxon, Textron and government agencies.
'They work with us because we serve them well in a cost-effective manner,' he said. 'We support Fortune 500 companies and provide services worldwide. Of course most of our work is right here in the US.'
Anumolu, who has also been honoured by national Telugu organisations such as TANA and ATA, has consistently 'supported many associations of Indian origin. In turn, they send out aid when and where needed in India'.
'They are better than me in channelling the resources...so we give it to them,' he said.
Anumolu has no political favourites, be it in India or the US. 'We stand neutral on the political spectrum. I have friends on both sides of the aisle. We keep away from politics,' he said.
'Our mission is clear - we are focused to achieve a few things. And we believe that this is a major contributor to societal growth, whether it is here or anywhere in the world,' Anumolu said when asked what he believed brought him the honour.
His formula for success: 'Anything you take, work at it, focus on it, try to learn from it, and then move forward with total determination and you will succeed beyond your imagination.'
His two sons, Praveen and Naveen too are now fully involved in the family business, yet Anumolu who keeps fit and at peace by not getting 'involved in unnecessary activities' and doing 'interesting things all the time', has no retirement plans.