Upasana Kamineni was born in an Apollo hospital, 31 years ago. It was her destiny to one day be part of the leadership team of Apollo Group, which was established by her maternal grandfather – the legendary cardiologist Dr. Prathap Reddy.
“I used to sit on my grandfather’s lap during important meetings. He would count everyone at Apollo as family. The CEOs have seen me grow up; they are family to me too,” Upasana recollects, while speaking to MAKERS India over a Zoom call.
Today, as the Managing Director of Apollo Life and Vice Chairperson of Apollo Foundation (the CSR arm of the Apollo Group), Upasana hopes to promote healthy living.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Upasana has also launched UR Life, a wellness platform that uses technology to promote healthy lifestyle. Upasana has handpicked the platform's team of medical professionals, fitness experts, and holistic nutritionists to provide access to health tips, nutrition, expert videos, diet plans, etc.
Speaking to MAKERS India, she also shared her thoughts on living healthy, fighting the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, and being a woman in the middle of media glare as a corporate leader and the wife of popular Telugu actor Ram Charan.
Filling Big Shoes
Upasana comes from a family of individuals famous for their career accomplishments. Her maternal grandfather is a recipient of Padma Vibhushan, and her paternal grandfather was an IAS officer. Being the daughter of CII’s first woman President, Shobana Akkineni, and the niece of FICCI President Sangita Reddy, Upasana had big shoes to fill in.
“I was brought up with no gender-based discrimination at home; girls were treated as equal to boys,” says Upasana, adding that she was not like the kids brought up with a platinum spoon.
“When I went abroad to study, my parents put me on a budget. My dad sat with me before leaving me in college, and calculated how much every minute of me studying in the US was worth. And he said, “This is hard earned money by your parents. So value it.” And that was a complete reality check for me,” she recollects.
After a while, however, Upasana left the US and moved to London, where her cousins were studying, to be closer to family. “I was brought up by my grandparents; I need my family to thrive. Nuclear family is not me. Joint family is being there for each other during highs and lows. Even after marriage, we prefer living with the in-laws,” she adds.
While enjoying her family time, Upasana also remains dedicated to her work, balancing both with ease. Currently, she is on a mission to bring more attention to the medical-drugs addiction in India. Watch the video to learn more.
(Edited and produced by Athira Nair)