Dr. Meka Vijay Papa Rao did his schooling in the famous Rishi Valley School founded by the famous philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurthy. He passed out from I.I.T Madras in 1970 in Mechanical Engineering and went to United States and got his Ph.D. in Plasma Physics and Nuclear Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign near Chicago, USA in 1977. His thesis examiner was Prof. John Bardeen, the inventor of the transistor and the only man to win two Noble Prizes in Physics. The special feature of Dr. Rao’s thesis was discovering 2 new invariants to help study transport of fusion products in Tokamak Fusion Reactors.
He and his wife Mrs. Rajyalakshmi Rao came back to India in 1977 immediately after he got his Ph.D. and joined his father-in-law’s Company specializing in port construction. In 1982, he started his own company called Amma Lines Ltd., specializing in Port Construction. Amma Lines and its sister Companies have built nearly 70% of the new jetties and ports in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. In May, 2010 the West Bengal Government has given Amma Lines the permission to develop Rs. 6000 Crores deep-water port in West Bengal based on Dr. Rao’s design patent. He founded one of India’s main dredging companies Meka Dredging Company (P) Ltd., and the following year founded India’s leading subsea intake pipeline laying company, Meka Infrastructure (P) Ltd, which has designed and executed the first Intake Outfall Pipeline system of its size at the 100 MLD Nemmelli Desalination plant near Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu.
Dr. Rao’s design patents cover 3 deep water ports in India. Based on this, in 2002 Maharashtra Government awarded 50 years BOOST Licence to develop Rs.5200 Crores Rewas Port, the deepest port in Maharashtra. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance group has joined Rewas Port as majority shareholder. Dr. Papa Rao is the Chairman of Rewas Port.
Apart from the above business achievements, he is also the Chairman of Board of Trustees of Andhra Education Society in Wadala, Mumbai which educates 4500 poor students belonging to various castes and communities of Andhra and other states people settled in Mumbai.
He won the Dr. B.R Ambedkar award for Support and Upliftment of Scheduled Castes in 2007.