The strength and power a woman’s mind can hold is without limits. Women are exceptional multi-taskers and are born to perform well when given responsibility. If given the opportunity, women can surpass men in many ways. From the 17-year-old Greta Thunberg to the first black female billionaire, Oprah Winfrey, women excel at leadership roles across the globe. These women help create a better world for those who do not have the power to advocate for themselves.
One such example is that of a 55-year-old Telugu businesswoman, Jhansi Reddy. She is the CEO of Raj Properties, founder of Women Empowerment Telugu Association (WETA), and co-founder of Hanumandla Rajender and Jhansi Reddy Foundation. While working as a full-time entrepreneur, she is dedicates her time and efforts to community service and the empowerment of Telugu women.
Jhansi’s Remarkable Journey
Jhansi Reddy was born in Choppakatlapalem (Khammam District) in Telangana, India, on November 18th, 1965 in the home of Seelam Ram Mohan Reddy and Saraswathi Reddy.
In 1977, Jhansi and her mother settled in the United States after the death of her father. Jhansi was not afraid of the challenges in her life; instead, she viewed them as opportunities to work hard and succeed. On August 8th, 1982, she married a young physician from India named Dr. Hanumandla Rajender Reddy. After marriage, Jhansi and Rajender moved to New Jersey for Rajender’s internal medicine residency and subsequent cardiology fellowship.
Jhansi started her first job in 1983 as a pharmacy technician at Medi Mart in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, where she worked for 1 year. In 1985, Jhansi entered the banking sector and started working as a teller at Savings and Loans Bank. She was later promoted to the IRA department at Trenton Bank in Trenton, New Jersey. After moving to Phoenix, Arizona in 1987, she worked as an associate in the wire department at Arizona Bank.
A few years later, Jhansi realized that her heart was set on becoming an entrepreneur. In 1992, she and her husband set up a real estate firm called Raj Properties. Their first investment was a 32-unit apartment building in Berkeley, California. Initially, Jhansi dedicated all her attention to taking care of her home and three children, and the apartment building was managed by an outside company called Reddy Realty. In 1996, Jhansi and Rajender parted with Reddy Realty and began managing their own property. They rapidly expanded their business, eventually acquiring over 1000 residential and commercial rental units. Raj Properties now operates across California, including Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, San Leandro, and the Central Valley.
While working tirelessly as a successful entrepreneur, Jhansi Reddy has been a phenomenal partner to her husband and loving mother to her children. As the CEO of Raj Properties, she maintained a perfect balance between her entrepreneurial and personal life. She redefined the concept of a strong woman, and proved that women are indeed excellent multi-taskers.
Working on the Front Line to Serve The Telugu Community
With the goal of providing the best opportunities to Telugu men and women in the United States as well as India, Jhansi joined the Board of Directors of the American Telugu Association (ATA) in 2007. She dedicated significant time and effort to promoting cultural and service activities among the Telugu diaspora in America. After being part of ATA for two years, Jhansi joined the North American Telugu Association, NATA, in 2010 and served on the Board of Directors. From 2015 to 2018, she served as President of Telangana American Telugu Association (TATA). Her efforts did not stop there.
Leading the Telugu Women Empowerment Movement Across the United States
As a strong advocate for women’s rights, Jhansi set up a non-profit organization for this cause in 2019. This was different from the other Telugu organizations that she had been a part of, which served to the Telugu community as a whole. With her Women Empowerment Telugu Association (WETA), she wanted to serve the community at large while focusing specifically on the empowerment of Telugu Women. She is the Founder, Advisory Chair, and President of WETA.
The organization was inaugurated in March 2019, and was officially launched in Milipitas, California, on September 29th, 2019. It is the first organization that has been established specifically for the empowerment of Telugu women. This non-profit organization recruits women from all across America who are dedicated to women’s empowerment. She believes in the power of women and wants to promote gender equality across the globe. Through her organization, Jhansi wants to fight all forms of discrimination against women at home and in the workplace.
Taking Community Service, a Step Further
Jhansi Reddy is an active participant in community service. She and her husband Dr. Rajender Reddy co-founded Hanumandla Rajender and Jhansi Reddy Foundation in 2018. The efforts of this non-profit organization extend to both America and India. In 2006, Jhansi and Rajender donated $1 million to the University of California, Merced to build a student health center. Over the years, they have spent more than $1 million on various philanthropic projects in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India. These projects include building much-needed facilities for villages in India, including schools, hospitals, libraries, and women’s welfare centers. Jhansi and Rajender have also done much to bring high-quality educational opportunities to rural Indian students by awarding scholarships.
From being the CEO of Raj Properties and founder of WETA to being a mother and a wife, Jhansi Reddy fulfills all her roles with pure dedication. Jhansi Reddy has truly redefined the concept of an empowered woman. While managing a successful real estate business and serving on the Board of Directors at the University of California-Merced, she constantly strives to strengthen the community. She is leading the movement to improve people’s lives in her community and empower Telugu women. Jhansi has inspired and motivated countless people, and hopes that together, we can all make this world a better place.