Kailas J. Rao came with his family from India, settling in
San Angelo. He earned his bachelor's degree from Angelo
State University, and was encouraged to apply to attend
graduate school at Sam Houston State.
Almost immediately he met two people whom he credits
with having an immense impact on his success--Jean Neal,
who headed the business department and who gave him
a teaching fellowship, and Becky Lott, now Becky Rao.
Becky was a reporter for the campus newspaper, The Houstonian,
and contacted him about doing a story on his being the
first Sam Houston State student from India.
He earned his master's degree from Sam Houston State
University in 1970 and his doctorate from the University
of Oklahoma in 1974. While working as an assistant professor
of accounting and accounting systems at the University
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee he foresaw the business opportunities
of personal computers.
He taught until 1980, forming his own company and working
as a consultant with small to medium-sized Midwestern
companies. In 1981 he founded Computer Bay, a Wisconsin
company that over 11 years grew into a franchised network
of 350 stores in 44 states and Canada with annual network
revenues of $500 million.
In 1993, with four partners, he established the boutique
investment-banking firm of GS2, specializing in asset
management, brokerage, mergers and acquisitions and
investment banking for small-to medium-sized businesses.
In 1995 he sold his ownership in GS2, which had grown
to more than 60 employees and managed assets of more
than $500 million.
In 1995 he founded Indus, Inc., a digital wireless
communications company serving two million customers
in southeastern Wisconsin. That company merged with
AT&T Wireless and their affiliate, TeleCorp, and
Rao became chairman of Wisconsin operations for TeleCorp.
He is also founder and president of the KJR, L. L. C.
consulting company of Milwaukee.
Kailas and Becky Rao have created four tuition and
fee scholarships at Sam Houston State University in
honor of professors and administrators who were instrumental
in their education. These include Albert Kidd, Bobby
Marks, Ferol Robinson and Jean Neal.
"Dr. Rao symbolizes the epitome of a Sam Houston
State University graduate," said Neal. "His
excellence and success in the business world did not
obscure his memory and appreciation for Sam Houston
and the faculty that provided inspiration, guidance
and motivation to continue to grow after receiving his
Rao's philanthropy has also included Angelo State University,
the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Symphony
Orchestra, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee,
Milwaukee Public Museum, Junior Achievement, American
Diabetes Association, and the Wisconsin Humane Society.
He has won numerous industry awards, including the
Universal Wireless Communication
Consortium Advocacy Award in
1999, three "Entrepreneur
of the Year" awards by
Ernst & Young and INC Magazine,
in 1989, 1991 and 1992, and
was recognized by several organizations
for the growth rate and size
of his companies.
at the November 9, 2001 Distinguished