Payments Only Consulting and Technology Services
Sambi Reddy Eada, is the Head of the Americas for Attra, an Australian-based end-to-end technology services and solutions provider in the payments domain, with over 2000 payments experts across the globe. As a niche payments specialist company, with close to 25 years of experience, we have a deep interest in making an impact in Atlanta, which is the payments hub of the US.
Attra is happy to announce that we will be setting up a development center in Atlanta within the next 12 to 18 months, with over 100 payment professionals. Our goal is to grow in the US and Atlanta as a base makes a lot of sense to us, as it is the nexus of payment processing. The warm and friendly people in Atlanta are an added bonus.
Sambi has been with Attra for nearly six years. He was born and raised in Guntur, India, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In school, he displayed a high aptitude for math and physics, but also reserved time for baseball and cricket. “Cricket became my game,” he says, “it’s a team sport but also a game where a single individual can have a major impact. Sometimes, one player can win the game for the whole team.” He even played for his college cricket team, evolving from a bowler, to an all-rounder and finally to a top order batsman.
Growing up, Sambi’s role model was Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India. “Gandhi was persistent and never gave up,” he says, “and he displayed amazing leadership in building consensus across very diverse groups of people.”
While highly involved in technology today, Sambi was at first primarily interested in physics. It was when attending the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, named for the first Prime Minister of India, that Sambi was first introduced to microprocessors and software programing. “I majored in Electronics and Electrical Engineering, but became fascinated by computers,” he says. So great was his interest that after graduating he decided to immediately pursue a master’s degree in computer science and engineering from Anna University,Chennai
Sambi’s first job after receiving his master’s degree was for TCS or Tata Consulting Services, based in Mumbai, India, where he started his career in 2002. He had been selected to work on a large project from Nortel Networks, but the project was dropped and he was asked if he was interested in working on a newer, smaller industry called payments processing. Sambi was soon working with a large team of people for ICICI, one of the largest private banks in India, to connect the bank’s backend to the Siebel frontend. “I learned a lot,” says Sambi, “and the project lasted two years."
Soon becoming an expert in payment processing, Sambi began to lead projects related to security, ATMs, and the point of sale for payment processors and banks. One of the largest projects that he worked on involved getting banks and merchants ready for smart card or chip technology. “There was a lot of work involved in moving from the card magnetic stripe,” he says, “and it was the most difficult work that I did up to that point in my career.”
Sambi credits his career success to great mentors and his understanding of customer needs. “I have never been afraid to ask for advice or to inquire very deeply to make sure of what the customer really, really wants,” he says.
Working next as an extremely reliable delivery manager for Capgemini in the US and India for a number of years, Sambi felt that for his career to expand he needed to do more work for clients in Europe and the US. In 2014, he met the founders of Attra, who were interested in bringing him on board as a senior leader. “They really made an impression on me when they said that they wanted me to ‘practice my art,’” he says. “I interpreted this to mean that they expected me to work whole and not be afraid to make use of my own judgement and experience. I liked that.”
Starting right away, Sambi helped set up Attra’s Payments Practice located in Bangalore, and has been instrumental in the company’s growth. “I feel at home in the company and have a great relationship with the founders and my colleagues,” he says.
Sambi believes that the greatest strength of the company is that they focus an inch wide and a mile deep in only one vertical – payment processing. “By only doing consulting, application development, technology transformation, testing, and integration for payment processing for over 25 years, we have built up a lot of expertise,” he says. This allows the company to develop firm partnerships – even friendships - with their customers because, they know that we truly understand what they are asking us to do and that they don’t need to waste valuable time bringing us up to speed.”
Working with First Data around the world for 20+ years has all been satisfying for Attra, but the most exciting accomplishment has been the most rewarding for the customer. When payment processor Network International went public on the London Stock Exchange in early 2019, it was the exchange’s largest IPO of the year. “We felt that we had played a big role in their success since a major portion of their technology was developed by us,” says Sambi. Others sought to capitalize on this success as well. A major reason for the Lord Mayor of London’s visit to Atlanta in July of 2019 was to meet with payment processing executives to encourage them to consider making use of the London Stock Exchange. The company is very confident that it will do well in the US and already have some large American companies as clients. “Our confidence stems from the fact that we have never lost a customer,” Sambi says, “We believe it can be done, so make it happen.”
His trips to Atlanta have not only been to meet with customers. “We have started the process of selecting a location for our first US development center, here in Atlanta,” says Sambi. “Right now, it’s a lot of analysis and projections”.
While current plans are to open two more 100 seater development centers in the Midwest and Northeast of the US, the company could be persuaded to keep everything in Atlanta. “We’ll have to see how everything goes, but I have to admit, the welcome that we have received from Atlanta has been amazing,” he says.
“Whatever happens, the US is a very strategic market for us. We will be making major investments here in order to grow with our customers and partners.”