A student in India could easily be seen preparing for IITs right from their mid-teenage days. Most of our middle-class population lives the myth that getting into a high-repute institute will guarantee a comfortable life for their child. And if that doesn’t materialize, students are pressurized into learning management from IIMs after fours years of learning to engineer.
A high-ranking college can only set a base for you. It cannot guarantee your annual hikes, success in career, and periodical promotions as they are primarily based around your performance and worth to the organization.
Your ability to keep working despite challenges is the key.
Although it strengthens your base, gives you a brand surname and brighten your chances to enter in top firms but the encouraging factor is that it is not a must-have. Many ‘deviants’ have made it big in life and are now actually a hub of employees from IITs, IIMs.
10 successful entrepreneurs who have created their own empire without a top-notch college badge:
1. Drop out at 15, now owns $4.5 billion-empire
Subhash Chandra was born in a small village in Hisar, Haryana in 1950. Born in a baniya family, he had business acumen in his veins. His family owned a business of supplying food grains to states suffering major financial loss, around 1965. Being the eldest son in the family he had to drop out of school at the age of 15 to join his family business.
Initially, he bagged some hefty contracts from Food Corporation of India giving him enough returns to pump up family’s financial conditions. He then launched Essel Packaging for manufacturing flexible plastics packaging for toothpaste and, in 1989, he set up India’s largest amusement Park – Essel World in Mumbai.
The overwhelming response to Essel World made way for Zee TV in 1992, which became an overnight success. Today, Zee Network reaches 167 countries with more than 500 million subscribers. Some popular ventures in Essel group are Dish TV, KidZee, and Asian Sky Shop. The group’s estimated worth is around $4.5 billion. Currently, Subhash is a member of Rajya Sabha representing Haryana state.
2. Rags to riches story of a landless farmer’s son
Born in a landless farmer’s family in Tamilnadu, Arokiaswamy Velumani started working as a chemist right after completing his B.Sc from Madras University, in 1978. But the company shut down in just three years. He then joined Bhabha Atomic Research Centre as a lab assistant.
His splendid performance got him frequent leaps and he became a scientist. During his 14 years long tenure at BARC, he acquired his Master’s degree and completed Doctorate in thyroid biochemistry as well. In 1996, he decided to quit his service and founded Thyrocare along with his wife with an initial investment of Rs 2 lakh.
In just 24 month, Thyrocare tasted a turnover of Rs 2 crore and subsequently became the largest thyroid testing laboratory in the country. Today it has more than 1,200 franchise all across India with an overseas reach to the Middle East, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The company released its IPO in 2016 and has a current valuation of over $505 million (Rs 3,377 crore).
3. From repairing calculators to Rs 800 cr-firm
Kailash Katkar was born into a lower middle class Maharashtrian family in Rahimatpur, Maharashtra. The family later moved to Pune. He couldn’t afford to go to school so he dropped out after STD 10. Kailash took up job in a calculator repair shop but his interest rapidly shifted to other gadgets, and larger business aspects of a company.
In 1990, Kailash decided to start his own shop with some savings. Ever hungry to learn, he realized that computers will be the future and started learning about computers too. Hence, he stepped into computer hardware and software repair, along with younger brother Sanjay. Today, Quickheal antivirus is clocking a turnover of over Rs 800 crore with presence in over a dozen countries.
4. Making of a $3.6 billion-firm from bicycle
Karsanbhai Patel was born into a Gujarati family of farmers. After completing his B.Sc, he started working with Geology and Mining department of Gujarat State. In 1969, he started making detergents from his home and the sales team meant Karsanbhai on bicycle going from one door to another.
At a time when India only had large multinationals in detergent market, this man manufactured Nirma for Rs 3/kg and then sold the same for Rs 12/kg. Named after his late daughter, Nirma soon became a popular choice among the lower and middle-class households. This prompted him to quit his job and devote all his time to the business.
Over the next 10 years, Nirma became largest selling detergent in India. Subsequently, Nirma Group entered premium segment to cater to upper classes. Today, he has a net worth of over $3.6 billion and is counted amongst the richest Indians.
5. Making it big on budget
Odisha-born Ritesh Agarwal started coding out of interest at the age of eight. In 2009, Ritesh left for Kota to prepare for IIT entrance examinations but couldn’t deliver his best there. He would often go out and travel on his pocket money and stayed in cheap budget hotels.
In 2011, he moved to Delhi with a dream of starting up a business. He used his experiences of staying in budget hotels and came up with Oravel Stays, in 2012. Next year, he re-launched it as OYO rooms with an access to its customers to pocket-friendly stays. OYO rooms gradually expanded to nearly 230 cities in India and have now moved to Malaysia and Nepal. The company’s annual revenue is around $380 million.
6. Climbing up the ladder
Born in 1983 to a businessman father, Kunal Shah completed his Bachelors of Arts and moved to pursue MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute but dropped out of it. In 2000, he started working in a BPO and came in touch with the owner Sandeep Tondan. His work spoke and gradually he rose up in the ranks to become business head. In 2010, Kunal wanted to start his own venture and conveyed this to boss.
Sandeep offered to help him and together they founded Freecharge. It is a platform to recharge mobile phone or data cards and in return, you can get discount coupons worth the spent amount. By 2013, their company had over 2 million users and tie-ups with many renowned brands.
The company started growing fast and soon started brushing shoulders with wallet giants like MobiKwik and PayTm. In 2015, the company was acquired by Snapdeal in a deal of $450 million with Kunal holding the position of CEO of the company.
7. Affordable, necessary and now easily available
Radhakishan Damani enrolled in Mumbai University to get a bachelor’s degree in commerce but left it after his father’s death. With an unfinished degree in hand, he started working in stock broking business, along with his brother. He learned the art of brokerage fast and soon became one of the prominent names on Dalal Street.
After many years of being a stockbroker, he decided to venture into retail business. In 2001, he quit the stock market and founded D mart. D mart was established as a house that will have entire family’s needs, all under one roof. It managed to churn out better rates than general stores and offered heavy discounts on its in-house merchandise. With nearly 100 stores in 25+ cities, D mart is now worth over $10 billion.
All these businessmen valued practical knowledge and skills much more than theoretical knowledge and college certification. All of them now have a pool of employees from premier institutes like IITs and IIMs. If you never take no for an answer you will live your dreams, hands down.