He is the son of veteran Telugu film actor Chalapathi Rao and is the eldest of three siblings. His primary schooling was at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan in Chennai and he later studied English Literature at the Presidency College, Chennai, also in Chennai. He graduated with an MBA from the Symbiosis International University, Pune. Ravi could have chosen a high-flying corporate job that would have given him all the perks a fresh MBA from a top university would get, but he gave that up to pursue his dream of film-making. So, he took an off-beat offer of working as a production assistant to ace advertising film-make
As an assistant to Rajiv Menon Babu had to carry lenses, cameras and boxes. Within a few months, he was promoted as an assistant director and an assistant cameraman. Six months later, Babu enrolled in an advanced cinematography course at the Film and Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine, but quit shortly. He was offered a job as a cameraman by the India Broadcasting Network in New York. On the job he picked up editing as a skill. His work caught the attention of some executives at Sony and they invited him to do a course at the Sony Institute in San Jose, California. After the course, Babu did a short stint at TV Asia as ENG producer and also doubled up as cameraman and editor.
Babu's return to India saw producer D. Ramanaidu and director E.V.V. Satyanarayana offer him films, for acting. Acting in movies out of Hyderabad and Bangalore, he kept in touch with his primary passion of film making through advertising. He was directing television commercials for production house Autmncart. In 1999 he started his own production house, Flying Frogs, initially to produce television commercials but would later become a feature film production house.
Babu's first films were Maavidakulu directed by E.V.V. Satyanarayana and Sivayya produced by D. Ramanaidu where he played a main villain in both the movies, these were major blockbusters at the box office and offers started pouring in for Ravi Babu as the bad guy. He went on to act in more than 75 films with films like Murari, Anasuya (film), Yavarum Nalam, Dochay Swamy Ra Ra and Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu fetching critical acclaim.
In 2002, Babu launched himself as a film-director. His first Tollywood film was Allari which was shot in 45 days on a shoestring budget. The film had a coming-of-age theme and a host of new faces for the cast, Babu created funny urban imagery with colourful visuals and commendable performances by many first-timers set to foot-tapping music by Paul J. Allari was released on 10 May 2002, and it was distributed by Suresh Films.
Babu started work on Ammayilu Abbayilu with more mature actors like Sonu Sood, Dharmavarapu Subramanyam, and technicians like Chakri and Marthand K. Venkatesh. The film turned out to be a musical success at the box office. Ammayilu Abbayilu was released on 30 January 2003. Soggadu is Babu’s third film starring the romantic pair Tarun and Aarthi Agarwal. Suresh Babu produced the film which brought in bigger budgets. The film got good reviews in Tollywood but received mixed success at the box office. Soggadu was later re-made into Hindi by Rajkumar Santoshi as Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.
In 2006, Babu made Party a film that revolved around ambitious corporate executives who are dreaming up billion-dollar silicon valley ventures that will become the next Microsoft and Google. The film’s release coincided with the rise of India as the new IT hub and was well received at the multiplexes. In 2007, he made Anasuya, a suspense-crime thriller with a story line of a lady journalist who is following the trail of a macabre serial killer who is stealing body organs of his victims. The film was remade in Kannada and Malayalam.
In 2009, Babu found producer Ramoji Rao Ushakiran Movies who backed him in a family-based romantic entertainer – Nachavule. The film picked up three Nandi Awards. also 2009 saw the release of another thriller Amaravathi in which Babu returned to the genre of crime and suspense with Bhumika Chawla, Sneha and Taraka Ratna.
In 2010, Babu directed Manasara, a love story set against the backdrop of Kerala with action based on the ancient martial art of Kalaripayattu. The film had writers Parachuri brothers pen dialogues and a screenplay by Satyanand. Prakash Babu Kadiyala produced the film set in the sylvan surroundings of Kerala.
In 2011, Babu made another college-oriented entertainer – Nuvvila, produced again by Ramoji Rao which released on 3 November 2011. The film introduced Yami Gowtham, a Bollywood model and a number of youngsters in roles that largely reflected the dilemmas of modern-age youth.
In 2012, Babu made another out of the box film with Avunu (Yes!). It was a spooky thriller where an unseen ghostly presence loomed large over the heroine Poorna (Junior Asin).
In 2014, Babu teamed up with Allari Naresh to create a comic story "Laddu Babu". It shows Naresh as a morbidly obese youth with a tender heart.The film won critical acclaim but got mixed response at the box office. In 2015, Ravi Babu returned with a sequel to Avunu titled Avunu 2.
Babu wrote and directed an advertising campaign with actress Tamannah for Celkon phones. He also created an advertising campaign for Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for the last election.
Ravi Babu is married to Tanuja, a school teacher. They have two children and live in Hyderabad.
Yavarum Nalam (2009) as Inspector Shiva
Durgada Huli (2000)
- Trivikraman (2016) as Trivikraman
- Eedo Rakam Aado Rakam (2016) as Aadi Narayana
- Savitri (2016)
- Dictator (2016) as Director
- Thanu Nenu (2015)
- Dohchay (2015) as CI Richard
- Avunu 2 (2015) as Captain Raju
- Alludu Seenu (2014) as Pedal Prasad
- Ra Ra... Krishnayya (2014) as Pothuraju
- Nagna Satyam (2014)
- Rowdy (2014) as Gogin Rao
- Eduru Leni Alexander (2014) as Jinnah
- Prema Oka Maikam (2013)
- Anthaka Mundu Aa Tarvatha (2013) as Sridhar
- Swamy Ra Ra (2013) as Durga Prasad
- Gundello Godari (2013) as Dora Babu
- Mr. Pellikoduku (2013)
- Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu (2013) as Goodu Raju
- Avunu (2012) as Captain Raju
- Racha (2012)
- Mayagaadu (2011)
- Anaganaga O Dheerudu (2011) as Sudigundam
- Manasara... (2010)
- Prateeroju (2010)
- Amaravathi (2009) as Venkat
- Nachchav Alludu (2009)
- Brahmanandam Drama Company (2008)
- Victory (2008) as Laxman Rao
- Kalidasu (2008) as Police Officer
- Swagatam (2008) as Padmakar
- Anasuya (2007) as "Gulabi Puvvu" Govind
- Tulasi (2007)
- Lakshyam (2007) as Pawan
- Aata (2007)
- Madhumasam (2007)
- Party (2006) as James
- Adavi Ramudu (2004)
- Naani (2004) as Satyam's son
- Nenunnanu (2004) as Waltair Ravi
- Pallakilo Pelli Kooturu (2004)
- Neeku Nenu Naaku Nuvvu (2003)
- Ammayilu Abbayilu (2003)
- Murari (2001) as Bulabbayyi
- Jayam Manadera (2000) as Ravindra Naidu
- Chala Bagundi (2000)
- Vamshoddharakudu (2000) as Ashok
- Neti Gandhi (1999)
- Sultan (1999) as Noor
- Tholi Prema (1998) as Villain
- Love Story 1999 (1998)
- Pellaadi Choopista (1998)
- Maavidaakulu (1998) as Muddu Krishna