Dr. Lalitesh Katragadda
B.Tech., 1990, Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Lalitesh Katragadda is the Founder of Indihood.com (Hyperlocal crowdsourcing activating communities), Founder – Swaja Labs (Affordable Smart Devices for internet access); CPO of Avanti Finance (Improving Credit Access for the neediest); and Advisor to the Ministry of Electronics & IT MEITY, Ministry of Finance and the Department of Telecommunication (DOT). He is also the Investor/ Advisor in startups impacting India with transformative technology.

Dr. Katragadda obtained his B.Tech. degree in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1990, M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Design Division – Mechanical Engineering and School of Computer Science from Iowa State University, Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon, respectively. He obtained his Ph.D. from Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon. He was a Project Lead, CMU-NASA Lunar Rover Initiative.

His contribution to his field as Creator and Engineering Lead, Google Map Maker, has helped create a platform that crowdsourced maps for 187 countries – which had no maps before – even on paper. This brought maps to 3 Billion more, which the UN used in more than 200 disasters, saving about half a million lives, helping governments of all emerging countries plan better and sparking thousands of map-based startups in emerging regions like Ola, 108 Ambulance Service and Ushahidi.

He has helped design parts of Digital India such as authoring Open API policy, UPI 2.0, GSTN, India Stack, Data Protection and Consent architecture (MEITY). He helped nudge GSTN to empower Small and Micro Enterprise (Department of Finance, Fintech Working Group) and formulate technical and business architecture to bring 50 MBPS to every Indian and every home (DOT). He conceived and designed a detailed architecture for the world’s largest greenfield public optical network to bring broadband (15 Mbps) for less than Rs 150 to 13 Million homes (Advisor to CM of Andhra Pradesh).

Special Memories

I do things not because I know how, I do because no one else does and because the world needs it. And when the world needs it, the universe will help us get there!