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Alumni Profile: Sunny Dronawat

November 7, 2019 - -
Sunny Dronawat in his home with three international students.

Not all opportunities reside at the end of our neighborhood. More often than not, our aspirations to excel mean reaching an escape velocity greater than the gravity of hometowns. Amplify this risk/reward when you count a chance to change not in miles but time zones; not in states and rivers, but continents and oceans. Trade the thought of taking everything with you in for the thought of leaving everything (and perhaps everyone) behind—think suitcase instead of Uhaul. Chance is just that, a space where there is no guarantee to effort and sacrifice but the potential payoff is a dramatic paradigm shift in your way of life.

MBA Entrepreneurship alum Sunny Dronawat, PhD. understands the challenges international students face coming to Louisville to advance their educational pursuits. “When I came to this country, I knew no one, and the international center was an immense help. They sent someone to pick me up from the airport and helped me adjust to the new environment with limited resources I had.” As an alum with two degrees from the University of Louisville, Sunny’s rise from aspiring engineering student (at Speed School) to cofounder and CEO of POS on Cloud has been inexorably linked to the doors his time at the University helped him open.

While his degree in chemical engineering gave him the technical grounding, Sunny’s MBA was an ideal complement to the degree. “Engineering teaches you problem-solving and MBA teaches you the language of business and combination of both is an easy path for leadership.” Sunny’s journey includes a prolific path across a variety of businesses—from Samiteion IT Services to West Wind Power to business partnerships Bellweather Software and Guari Hospitality Group. “My time at College of Business was a great learning experience about networking, teamwork, and using financial models,” says Dronawat. In many ways, the MBA in Entrepreneurship was tailor-made for this serial entrepreneur, providing him with the tools to build his business needs. “I could raise money for startups, effectively market and sell products and while building an organization with great culture.”

Building great organizational culture has led Sunny to serve on the board of directors for several organizations including the National Small Business Association, Louisville Water Company, and Jefferson Community and Technical College. Recently, Sunny has added the College of Business Board Advisors to this impressive list.

“The Board is amazing, there is so much experience there and we want to make our business school a top school in the country. I am new to the board and I am still learning from other board members.” Sunny was invited to join the board by Dean Mooradian. “[The Dean] is amazing and felt like I could contribute to the Board from my experiences as a student; especially as an international student.”

Sunny’s interests and endeavors are numerous, but one area that has always been at the forefront — a desire to help those who find themselves where he and his family did when they came stateside in 1992. To this effect, Sunny has opened his home (both figuratively and literally) to the College of Business’ international population, serving as a de facto welcome wagon, and providing opportunities for these students to meet fellow classmates, faculty, and network with the larger business community. 

 “I want the international students to feel that they are welcome here in Louisville not only in the University but in the community itself.”

Entrepreneur. Mentor. Ambassador of goodwill. Sunny Dronawat is truly “of Louisville” and embodies the College of Business’ points of distinction and its capacity to change lives with ocean-size ripples.