Hyderabad: Yalamanchili Satyanarayana Chowdary, who joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers Sunday, is popularly known as Sujana Chowdary. He is an industrialist and one of the richest MPs with assets of about Rs.190 crore.
Founder and chairman of Sujana Group of Companies, Chowdary hails from Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh and belongs to the powerful Kamma community like his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Born in 1961 in a well-educated family of government officers, Chowdary did his Master's in engineering.
He set up Sujana Group of Companies in 1986. With over 6,000 employees and an annual turnover of $3 billion, the diversified group was ranked as one of the top 10 expanding groups of companies in India as of July, 2011.
He came closer to Naidu when the latter was the chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh between 1995 and 2004 and was considered as one of the main fund-raisers for the party.
Naidu rewarded him with a Rajya Sabha ticket in 2010. Chowdary was one of the strong TDP voices against division of Andhra Pradesh and he drew the attention with his protest in Rajya Sabha during the debate on the state reorganisation bill. He grew stronger in the party and was made leader of TDP parliamentary wing.
Naidu also appointed him as head of the resources management committee for pooling financial resources for the state after its bifurcation.
Also a member of the panel formed to advise the government on development of new state capital, Chowdary gained prominence in the party.
No wonder then that he was the obvious choice of Naidu when Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked TDP chief to nominate a leader for the cabinet berth.