An incredible leader and enthusiastic game-changer, Ravi Nekkalapu, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Information Technology at Drive Shack, is this week’s featured 2018 Outlier Award Nominee. For those not yet familiar, Drive Shack is a premier golf entertainment center based in Orlando, Florida catering to all ages and levels of play. But it’s far more than just a driving range. It’s a fully immersive VR golfing experience powered by an advanced technology infrastructure.
As an extraordinary innovator and leader, Nekkalapu had a vision to reinvigorate and reimagine the golfing experience. A one-of-a-kind experience taking the traditional concept of a golf course through a blend of industry-leading technology, design, entertainment, and quality service.
We were thrilled to honor Ravi as a 2018 Outlier Award nominee.
- Belief Goes Both Ways: Nekkalapu manages a diverse team with a wide range of skill sets and talents that contribute to Drive Shack’s success. The team has implemented golf ball tracking for golf hitting bays, a chic arcade-style games lounge, and a menu of delicious food options to further enhance the Drive Shack experience. “You need to have the right team that you can trust in, and the right team that also believes in you.” This mutual belief in each other’s abilities is a critical component to his team’s success and a driver of innovation creating a unique customer experience for Drive Shack’s guests.
- Believe in Your Mission and Run with It: When Nekkalapu began working with Drive Shack, their technology development was in its infancy. His entrepreneurial attitude and optimistic approach to teamwork and collaboration enabled him to quickly implement the entire IT infrastructure which included network, security, hyperconverged compute, IPTVs, POS systems, wireless guest access, an app for ordering and interacting with the business, along with building apps for interactive gaming at the hitting bays. “When I started this job, nothing was there. All I had was our mission and vision as a business from our executive team. I had to start identifying the partners, technology, and solutions, then determine a final approach and execute it.” Throughout the process, he incorporated feedback from partners to consistently work in alignment with the company’s mission and core values.
- Engage with Everyone: Nekkalapu is the quintessential team player, working with cross functional teams and disciplines for optimum results. “I try to balance both sides,” he says. Every interaction, with both the tech team and others, is done with the intent to build confidence and trust in Drive Shack’s IT program. And the results are clear. Drive Shack is set to expand into multiple upcoming locations.
Trace3 is honored to annually present the Outlier Award to an individual who consistently delivers dynamic innovation and outstanding leadership in the field of information technology. And we are excited and proud to have Ravi Nekkalapu as a member of the prestigious group of finalists for 2018. Each year the Outlier Award winner is selected by a non-biased third-party group of judges bringing their own expertise, knowledge and experience to the technology sector. Through detailed briefs, video, and face-to-face interviews, the Outlier judges determine the Outlier Award winner from the group of esteemed finalists.
Nominate an individual for the 2019 Outlier Award – Trace3 Outlier Award
Watch Ravi’s 2018 Nomination Video – Ravi Nekkalapu