CM Revanth Reddy bets on a tech-savvy strategist to lead Telangana IT Ministry to next level

The appointment of Sridhar Babu has put to rest heated debates about the next IT minister.

ByDeepthi Nandan

Published Dec 09, 2023 | 3:49 PMUpdatedDec 09, 2023 | 10:06 PM

IT Minister Duddilla Sridhar Babu

Duddilla Sridhar Babu is set to lead the growth of the IT and ITeS sectors in the youngest Indian state, Telangana as its Minister of IT.

The appointment of Sridhar Babu, a 54-year-old, five-time MLA from Manthani, has quelled the heated debates — especially on social media — about the next IT minister.

As soon as the BRS was trounced by a resurgent Congress with a comfortable majority, the discussion in political circles — especially among Hyderabadis and the IT professionals in the city — centred around who will replace the outgoing IT Minister KT Rama Rao, who created a niche for himself with his tech-savvy image and impeccable communication skills.

The discussion around the future IT minister was so intense that social media was flooded with memes and viral posts.

While several names did the rounds, with even first-time MLAs like K Madanmohan Rao’s name being bandied about, Chief Minister Revanth Reddy picked Sridhar Babu to lead the ministry, which plays an important role in not just generating revenues but also in building the image of Hyderabad globally.

Experts opine

Ramesh Loganathan, a professor at IIIT Hyderabad, opined, “Successive governments have been very supportive of the IT sector in Telangana, and we are sure the new government will toe the same line.”

“While there was initial debate over who would be the next IT minister among techies and Hyderabadis, they have been assured that the new government will be responsive and swift towards IT companies, start-ups, and other stakeholders, after observing their fast and decisive actions in the past three days,” he told South First.

Srinivas Kollipara, the co-founder of T Hub, said that Hyderabad is getting global recognition as an IT hub, and the growth of the IT sector needs to be sustained.

On sustaining the growth, Srinivas Kollipara said that while the earlier government focused on developing infrastructure, the new IT minister needs to continue it and focus on positioning Hyderabad as the destination for Emerging Technologies (ET).

He told South First, “Attracting investments in areas like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, and others should be the priority as these are the segments where new jobs will be created.”

Also Read: CM Revanth Reddy allocates portfolios to his 11 Cabinet colleagues

Favourable candidate for the IT Ministry?

Sridhar babu, seen as a new-age politician, was almost a natural choice for Revanth Reddy to be the face of the IT ministry in Telangana.

With an LLB from the University of Delhi and a PG in Political Science from the University of Hyderabad, Sridhar Babu has a good academic background.

Being a meticulous leader with an eye for detail, Sridhar Babu also played the role of strategist in the Karnataka Assembly elections held in May this year.

Buoyed by its victory in Karnataka, the Congress high command entrusted him with the key responsibilities of planning and executing the campaign, including social media strategy, for the Telangana Assembly elections.

Buzz on social media 

People from various backgrounds on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) expressed their views on the new IT minister of Telangana.

While a few felt that it would be a tough task to outdo the former IT Minister KTR, they hoped Sridhar Babu would take the IT industry to the next level.

Speaking of the new IT Minister, Ramesh Loganatan, who is also the former president of Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA), welcomed the government’s decision.

“With an educated and experienced leader who is capable of understanding the issues and trends in the tech space like Sridhar Babu taking over IT and Industry portfolios, the IT and ITeS sector is positive about its future,” he said.

Srinivas Kollipara commented that it would be easy for IT companies to work with a person with experience.

“It is good to see an educated and experienced legislator like D Sridhar Babu taking over the IT Ministry, as IT companies will find it easy to reach out to a minister who can understand technology trends well.”

Also Read: BRS elects KCR unanimously as its legislative party leader

Political career

Sridhar Babu with Revanth Reddy

Sridhar Babu with Revanth Reddy. (X)

Duddilla Sridhar Babu, born in 1969, is the son of the late Duddilla Sripada Rao, who served as the Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly from 1990 to 1994.

Sridhar Babu entered politics after his father was assassinated by Naxals. He entered the Assembly for the first time in 1999 and has since stayed loyal to the Congress and the Gandhis.

Sridhar Babu contested and won the Manthani seat at the young age of 29. He later repeated the win three times.

From 2009 to 2014, he served as a minister, overseeing portfolios such as Higher Education & NRI Affairs (2009-2010) and later Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs, and Legal Meteorology (2010-2014).

Additionally, he served as the Legislative Affairs Minister from 2010 to 2014, playing a crucial role in introducing the AP Reorganisation Bill in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, leading to the formation of the new state of Telangana.

Over the years, he has held various government positions, including membership on the TTD Board and the role of government whip in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

Currently, Sridhar Babu is the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) vice-president, and secretary of the Coordination Committee.

He is married to Shailaja Ramaiyer, an IAS officer of the Telangana Cadre, and the couple has two children — a son, and a daughter.