From Daily Labour to CEO – The Inspiring Story of Jyothi Reddy


Life takes its toll on everyone. There are situations in every body’s lives that question humanity and make us think over about what is the real purpose of life. While it doesn’t mean that every successful man or woman was an epic failure in early life. People who have stood up from a negative condition to a positive one always reflect the way how brave actions spark light on humanity. Here is an inspiring story of a woman who proved that setbacks guide us in every walk of life.

Born in 1970 as the 5th child to a poor family in India, Jyothi was admitted into a welfare orphanage at a small age as her parents couldn’t afford to bring her up. She was admitted as a ‘motherless child’ which could otherwise make her admission into the orphan home difficult.

All she could think of while in the orphanage was about her mother. At times, there was no one to share her happiness or sorrow and she couldn’t see her mother for the time she was in orphanage. But, instead of brooding over her situation, she was determined to make her life better and attended a state-run school while she was in the orphanage. Additionally, she took vocational courses staying at the hostel superintendent’s house and helped them in their daily chores.

As years passed, she realized that a good job will help her in leading a decent life. While she was still working on it, life took its toll on her again and she had to marry her cousin at the tender age of 16. After giving birth to 2 children, her situation became even worse and she had to work as a labour in fields for a daily wage of Rs. 5. She used the money to take care of her children. As she had the responsibility of her kids, she was even more determined now to stand up and fight against her situation.

She worked as a volunteer in the Nehru Yuva Kendra scheme which focused on creating awareness among the youth. But still, what she was earning was very less compared to the growing needs of her family. So she started stitching petticoats during nights to make more money and also learned typing to advance her skills. She obtained B.A. from Ambedkar Open University in 1994 and subsequently got a postgraduate degree from Kakatiya University.

This helped her in getting a special teacher job at a school located in a remote area. She had to travel for 2 hours to and from school and the salary was a mere Rs. 398 per month. Obviously, she was still struggling to make ends meet. So, she utilized the commuting time to sell sarees to her co-passengers to earn some extra income.

Later, her job was regularized and she started making some decent money. However, she didn’t want to settle for less. A visit of her relative from U.S. sparked a new dream in her and she wanted to go to U.S. She soon learned some computer courses and was granted a visa. She left her two daughters in a hostel run by missionaries and went to U.S.

It was not easy surviving in the U.S. too. She had to work on and off and had to manage multiple jobs as a baby sitter, work at a gas filling station and to load and unload goods at a store. She also worked at a video shop for her survival. Later, through the aide of a close relative, she joined as a recruiter in a company called CS America and again got another opportunity with other company. But the jobs didn’t seem to last long and she had to again work as a baby sitter. However, this was the time when her entrepreneurial dreams started to bud and she was thinking of suitable businesses to start.

During her visit to Mexico for stamping, she realized that starting a consulting company would suit her best as she was familiar with all the paperwork involved. By now, she had some $40,000 in savings which she used to start her own company Keys Software Solutions (KEYSS) in Phoenix in 2001. Her two daughters later moved on to U.S. and completed their education successfully in American schools.

Her own experiences with life made Jyothi to think about doing her best in helping people who are in need. She visits orphanages, schools and old age homes whenever she visits India and always provides a helping hand. She now dreams of giving identity to every orphan in India and has joined hands with several NGOs, Welfare Societies and Community Empowerment Groups. She is also focusing on empowering women in rural areas by teaching them to improve their skills and become self-sufficient.

This inspiring story of Jyothi Reddy, who is today the proud CEO of KEYSS, truly makes everyone think that hard work, perseverance, self-confidence and a never-die approach to life’s challenges will make you the creator of your own destiny.