Geethu Sivakumar’s ascent to the top office in an information technology company is a saga of true grit. The 22-year-old chief executive of PACE HiTech was always sure about starting her own venture.
Geethu, who hailed from an ordinary middle-class family in Thiruvananthapuram, was drawn to technology at an early age. As a student of Nirmala Bhavan School at Kowdiar, she was offered a fellowship in the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology when she was just 12 years old.
She built on her aptitude and made herself entitled to be selected as the best web developer in a state-level IT fest organized by the government of Kerala, the IT Mission and Technopark. She was soon selected as a brand ambassador for India for an event in Japan in 2012. The visit to the tech powerhouse made a lasting impact on the girl.
She started dreaming of her own company when she was pursuing a degree in electronics in the Government Engineering College in Thiruvananthapuram. She was the first one to launch a startup in the incubator set up in the college.
The excellence and timeliness of her work sent more projects her way. She was earning a handsome amount of money every month even as a student. She saved the money to help her come up with novel products, including India’s first campus news application. The product she invented for her college made waves.
When Geethu went to attend an intellectual property rights program organized by the Kerala State Shastra Bhavan in the final year of her college life, she was looking to patent her project. She got a break when she was introduced to Dr J Rajmohan Pillai, Beta Group’s chairman. Impressed by the bright student’s ideas, Pillai offered her a chance to work with Intelligence, one of the companies in his group.
Geethu soon realized her potential as an entrepreneur. She kept her eyes firmly on her goals even as she was offered cushy jobs in leading companies. Her startup had made such a mark in Beta group’s work that Pillai incorporated the new company into the group. PACE HiTech spread its wing with investment from the group. Pillai’s mentoring ensured that Geethu’s company did not lack the business development skills.
Geethu is currently focused on diversifying into distant markets such as Singapore, Sri Lanka and West Asia.