Business Lifestyle Offbeat

Not so common rags to riches success stories from India

Rags-to-riches stories not only motivate us to keep working towards our goal, but they often turn out to be a great source of inspiration for buddy entrepreneurs. They teach us that the pitfalls and problems faced along the way are just stepping stones, and sooner or later, the hard work will pay and it will lead us to success. We bring you here some simple and exciting stories that will help you to keep your spirits high.

Prem Ganapathy

Mr Prem Ganapathy comes from a poor family in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin. Due to his family’s financial condition, he couldn’t study after 10th and at the age of 17, started supporting the family by doing odd jobs in Chennai. With hope of a better job, an acquaintance took him to Mumbai, but soon left him at Bandra station after taking money. With no money and knowledge of Hindi or English, a Taxi driver dropped him to a nearest temple. Some people came forward and arranged some money so that he can go back. He had made up his mind to not go back and started cleaning utensils in a local bakery at a meager pay of Rs. 150 a month.

For next two years, he did odd jobs and tried to save as much as possible. Out of his savings, he rented a handcart and started selling Idli and Dosa on the street opposite Vashi Train Station. His Dosa attracted a lot of customers mainly college goers and soon he was making good profits. He rented out a small place and named it Dosa Plaza, and there was no looking back. His mantra was to offer better Dosa and provide the best customer service. It quickly became popular, and he went on adding new flavors to his recipe by introducing 26 innovative Dosas. Soon it was boomed into a franchise and Dosa House is now a multi-crore business with multiple outlets in India and abroad.

Ramesh Babu

Born to a poor family from Bangalore, Mr Ramesh Babu has a difficult childhood. He and his mother often survived on Rs. 5 a day, after his father passed away in 1979 and left a saloon that his uncle started to run. To make ends meet and to support his studies, he started delivering newspapers and milk bottles. After an altercation with his uncle, he slowly started working on the saloon to understand the nitty gritty of business life. In 1993, he arranged a loan and purchased a used Maruti Van out of sheer pride that his uncle got a car. Soon, he started renting it out and realized an opportunity in car renting business. That was his breakthrough moment.

As the competition of car rentals was high, he thought of entering into luxury car rentals business and none of the rental companies has luxury cars. He took a risk and purchased his first luxury car in 2004. That risk paid off and he started getting good returns from the rental business. Over next few years, he was able to add luxury cars like Rolls Royce and Limousines to his fleet of cars, and he is often called as “The Billionaire Barber who owns Rolls Royce and other luxury cars. “

PC Mustafa

Hailing from a remote village in Wayanad, Kerala, PC Mustafa often had low expectations about everything. His family lived on the meagre earnings of his father who slogged as a daily wager. He failed in class 6th that turned out to be a big shocker. That was the needed shock and he gave himself a second chance towards education. This time he succeeded and managed to get admission to engineering course at National Institute of Technology, Calicut. After graduation, he worked for Motorola and spent sometime in UK. Homesick, he went ahead and worked in Gulf countries, before returning to India and pursued an executive management program from IIMB.

His cousins worked on a kirana store where he realized an opportunity of processed food business. After passing out from IIMB, he joined hands with his cousins and started selling Idli and Dosa batter business. That turned out to be fruitful and the business was profitable from day 1, and there was no going back. He named his business iD Fresh that soon started flourishing. iD Fresh Food which achieved a turnover of Rs 100 crore in 2015-16 aims to finish at Rs 160 crore in 2016-17.

Kalpana Saroj

Born to a dalit family in Vidharbha, Kalpana’s childhood was not a normal one. Due to her caste, people won’t allow their children to play with her, and in school she was forced to sit apart from other children and was not allowed to take part in any extra curricular activities. Furthermore Kalpana was married at the age of 12 and lived in a slum in Mumbai with her husband’s family. After suffering physical abuse at the hands of her husband’s family members, she was rescued by her father, left her husband and returned to her village to live with her parents. She attempted suicide after being ostracized by the villagers. At the age of 16, she moved back to Mumbai to live with her uncle.

She started working in a garment factory to support her family. Using government loans for scheduled caste people, she successfully started a tailoring business and then a furniture store. Her real breakthrough came when she got on the board of Kamani Tubes while it went into liquidation in 2001, and after taking over the company, restructured it and brought it back to profit.  For her services, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Govt. of India for Trade and Industry in 2013.

Ravi Kumar Narra

Born to slum dweller parents, his father worked as a daily wage mason and mother as a maid servant, Ravi struggled his way to seek education and become a qualified professional in Law, with a Post graduate degree, besides completing Post Graduate Diplomas in Journalism and Public Relations. His emphasis on these academic pursuits led to his evolvement as a person with varied interests and objectives.

With the aim to attain success foremost, Ravi ventured into the domains of business, very unlikely amongst Dalits. He today spearheads a fledgling business agglomerate into big group in the process breaking the barriers of casteism, social inequality and discrimination. Going beyond, he has spearheaded several initiatives concerning the business community, Dalit empowerment and entrepreneurship; social causes etc., exhibiting his commitment to serve the society at large. For his services to society, he was awarded the Padma Shri from the Govt. of India.

Disclaimer:- All the individuals and stories mentioned here are for information purposes only. Use of these names and brands does not imply endorsement of any kind. If you find any inappropriate content, please write to info@hooptale.com. Image credits – Prem Ganapathy – YouTube , Ramesh Babu –  rediff , PC Mustafa – YouTube

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