Typically, the age of 40 is when many individuals are just starting to build their careers and financial stability. However, Sudheer Koneru, an alumnus of IIT Madras, decided that it was time to retire. After a successful career spanning nearly two decades, which included a lengthy tenure at Microsoft and founding two companies, Koneru felt he was ready to hang up his boots.

Sudheer Koneru pursued a degree in Computer Science from the renowned Indian Institute of Technology Madras, followed by a Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in the United States. He launched his career at Microsoft and worked his way up to the position of Director. Later, he left Microsoft to establish his own company, Intelliprep Technologies, where he served as CEO. The company eventually merged with Click2learn, a firm co-founded by Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft.

Sudheer Koneru’s subsequent company, SumTotal, experienced significant growth and generated revenue in the range of $100 million before he made the decision to step down in 2007. Koneru, who had started his career around 16 years prior with a job at the technology giant founded by the legendary Bill Gates, initially decided to retire in 2008. However, he didn’t stay away from entrepreneurship for long. Before long, he returned with what may have been his most powerful business idea yet.

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During his break from the technology industry, Sudheer Koneru recognized a gap in the wellness industry in Hyderabad and saw the immense potential it held. After two years of retirement, Koneru launched a business venture catering to the wellness, salon, and spa industry. His product, ManageMySpa, was a software designed to streamline business operations. In 2015, Koneru rebranded his company as Zenoti.

In 2020, Sudheer Koneru’s company, Zenoti, achieved unicorn status as its valuation surpassed $1 billion following a Series D funding round that raised $160 million. Zenoti became the first startup in the beauty and wellness industry to achieve this billion-dollar valuation. Today, Zenoti’s software is used by over 12,000 businesses in 50 countries worldwide. Koneru has previously announced plans to take Zenoti public in the coming years. According to VentureIntelligence, Koneru is valued at over Rs 12,000 crore ($1.5 billion).