Dr. Varaprasad Reddy was born to an agricultural family in Papireddy Palem, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is the only child to Late Mr. Venkata Ramana Reddy and mother Mrs. Shanthamma, who was his first guru in every aspect of life. He graduated with a BS from Sri Venkateshwara University (1967), a BE in Electronics & Communications from Andhra University (1970), a PG Diploma in Computer Sciences from Biblingen University, West Germany (1971) and MBA from Osmania University in (1980).
His career path included stints as a research scientist for the Defence Electronics Research Laboratories, Hyderabad from (1972 -1977), and at Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (1977-1985). At APDIC he assisted in promoting a number of industries and helped entrepreneurs in their project implementation. To become an entrepreneur himself he left government service and joined Hyderabad Batteries Ltd. Co-promoted Sabnife Power Systems Limited, an Indo-Swedish joint venture for development and production of High Technology based batteries for Defence applications, such as submarine batteries and MiG aircraft batteries.
He founded Shantha Biotechnics Private Limited in 1991 with the objective of developing recombinant based vaccines and therapeutic proteins for human healthcare. Their stated mission is to produce cost-effective drugs to reach the common man at an affordable price, while maintaining International standards in quality. Drugs developed by Shantha Biotechnics are SHANVAC-B, SHANFERON, SHANKINASE, SHANPOIETIN, SHANTETRA, SHAN5, SHAN HIB-DPT, SHAN HIB, and SHANTT. Today, Shantha Biotechnics caters to major international markets including Asia-Pacific, Africa, CIS and Latin America in addition to international organisations like UNICEF and PAHO.