April 30, 2012
Raj Tadipatri graduated from college in India with an electronics and communications degree.Now, with 22 years of experience since then, he's expanding his business expertise through the College of Business and Economics online EMBA program.
He is a manager of process improvement and business analysis at Cabela's Inc. in Wheeling, W.Va. His job involves distribution and supply chain, process improvement, project management and change management, among other duties.
"My background is in information technology, project management, process improvement and business analysis," Tadipatri said. "My primary job is to provide the support to do things better and keep the business running without interruption. It keeps me challenged all the time to always look for technology innovations to keep up with the competition."
Cabela's began in 1961 with an ad in Sports Afield magazine. Dick Cabela wanted to sell fishing flies from his home in Chappell, Neb. He ran an advertisement in the Casper, Wyo., newspaper reading: "12 hand-tied flies for $1," to which he received one response, according the to the Cabela's web site.
That didn't stop him. He ran a national advertisement, "FREE Introductory offer! 5 hand tied Flies....25c Postage....Handling." It worked, and now the company, headquartered in Sidney, Neb., has 35 stores, 14,800 employees and $112 million in net income in 2010.
Tadipatri said the most challenging part of his job is keeping current on technology and "bringing together project management and change management (human side of the management), which is very critical to success."
With a background in engineering, Tadipatri reasoned that to be successful, an understanding of business would be useful. "I wanted to put my work experience and knowledge together with business knowledge to give it perspective. I am a strong believer in lifelong learning and the idea that knowledge is power," he said. "Now, along with my engineering background, I will have a well-rounded experience in both business and technology."
Tadipatri, who has been with Cabela's for nearly 12 years, hopes his education and efforts will lead to a position in executive management "to help the company to be competitive in the market." He would also like to start his own innovative technology service company and "to do something good to leave my mark in this beautiful world so that people can remember me for a long time."