Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Employee Spotlight: Madhavi Samudrala

Part 1 of a Special Employee Spotlight Blog Series celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021.

As a certified Asian American Business with USPAACC, we mark Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) this May by celebrating all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout our country.

We recognize the value of diversity as a catalyst for equality and expression. We embrace it, because when we hold hands in appreciation and acceptance, we can overcome barriers that limit our ability to capitalize on the unique fabric of our organization.

Observing this is vital in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the prevalent and devastating anti-Asian racism and hate crimes throughout the pandemic. It’s past time to reckon with the history of anti-Asian xenophobia, racism and discrimination throughout the United States.

As a proud, diverse and inclusive organization, we resolve to ensure safety and respect for our Asian and Pacific colleagues and communities touched by System Soft and highlight and emphasize their generations of contributions to the technology industry, as well as other major fields and professions.

We want to especially revere trailblazers within our local communities and industry and recognize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders making a difference at System Soft. Join us as we celebrate APAHM and the impact those have made across our industry.

madhav apaham

Madhavi Samudrala

Our first employee spotlight is on Madhavi Samudrala. Maddy, as she likes to be called, is the Lead Immigration Attorney at System Soft, where she manages a team of immigration attorneys, paralegals and case managers. Overseeing the immigration work for System Soft’s foreign employees during the past four years, her team files immigration cases, including H-1B, E-3, TN, L-1 and Green Cards on their behalf.

Maddy, who’s originally from India, graciously answered four questions about her career, life and heritage for us. So, here’s a bit more about her in her own words.

Tell us something unique about your heritage.

“Diversity,” which is the true essence of India. Each state has its own customs, traditional beliefs and rituals.

Though Hindi is the most commonly used language in India, each state has its own language, due to which most Indians are bilingual or sometimes multilingual. I speak and understand four Indian languages.

Each state in India has its own movie industry, although the Hindi film industry in Mumbai is the biggest. Each state has its own unique art form (of) dance and music, as well as its own festivals, which differs considerably from that of its neighboring states. The dressing style and attire also differs from state to state.

This difference can be seen, not only among different states, but also among various communities within the same state. India is perhaps one of the most diverse countries in the world, and I am proud to be from a country that reflects its diversity and varied heritage.

What’s a misconception about your heritage you would like to educate others about?

India is a “third world country.” This is no longer true. India has a booming economy, and its GDP is among the top five countries in the world.

The IT boom started in India, and it is no surprise that the CEOs of companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, Mastercard, to name a few, are all Indians. Even the Biden administration has several Indian-Americans occupying important positions in the (U.S.) government.

Another misconception is “Indians don’t know how to speak English.” When I first came to the U.S., people were surprised that I could speak “good” English. I guess they still thought India was a land of snake charmers, and we did not have a good education system. Education is important for Indians, and our parents believed that having a good higher education led to a better life and upliftment of the family, as a whole.

One person who comes to my mind is our CEO, Mr. Sreedhar Veeramachaneni, who has successfully built and is running a $140-plus million company. Mr. Sreedhar has been instrumental in the upliftment and betterment of his community by providing opportunities in his company.

What does it mean to you that System Soft is celebrating APAHM?

This is a wonderful opportunity to share information about my country and to learn about other countries and their cultures from individuals who are part of the System Soft family. It is an honor to be part of the APAHM celebrations at System Soft.

What’s a fun fact about you—personal and/or professional—most people at System Soft don’t know?

Personally, I initially came to the U.S. on J-1 visa. Thereafter, I have been in the U.S. on H-1B, L-2, H-4, H-1B (part-time) before getting my Green Card and ultimately my U.S. citizenship. It has been an amazing journey, and I am proud of it.

As part of my professional career, I filed and obtained O-1/O-2 visas for movie shoots and P-3 visas for concerts on behalf of Indian actors, such as Shah Rukh Khan, John Abraham, Sridevi, Katrina Kaif, Salman Khan, Sunny Deol, (and many others). We were invited to movie shoots and also given tickets to attend concerts in the U.S.

One of my biggest achievements was securing approval of the O-1 visa petition filed on behalf of Oscar and Grammy awards winner, A.R. Rahman, after an extensive RFE. Can you imagine USCIS issuing an RFE for someone like Jennifer Lopez or Mariah Carey?