Life is unfair to all of us in many different ways but making it fair and get something is completely in one’s own hands. Today’s story will make you believe more in this. From dropping out from college because of financial issues, to making a company worth millions, this young entrepreneur Sharath Somanna‘s journey is an exceptional one.
Sharath was born in a middle-class family in Coorg, Karnataka. His father worked for the Indian Army and had hard time making ends meet. “My father was also a hockey player. I started playing hockey and represented the state at the age of 14. I then moved to the sports hostel in Bangalore in Class 7. Sports built my leadership foundation. I have seen financial struggles from childhood, which always motivated me to do something in life,” says Sharath.
After retirement, his father set up a business for which he sold off everything. Sadly, his business failed and the family had a very hard time surviving. Sharath dropped out of college to sustain his family financially and help his father out. He was also passionate about entrepreneurship. “I had to do something about it, as there was so much chaos at home and I did not want to see my family struggle. I started searching for opportunities, seeing what I can do. I was ready to do anything, which could help me survive,” he says.
“I feel that people who do not have food on the plate can do anything. Many people who come from a middle class family do not know what their passion is because they just have to survive in life. I had to do that. I was constantly going here and there, meeting people and asking them for contracts.”
One day when he was traveling in search of job, he came across a half-done project. “When you are hungry, you see anything as an opportunity. I called those people up and went for a meeting. I told them I can do it but they were doubtful, as I was just 21 and project was worth Rs 3-4 crore. Somehow, I convinced them, as my communication skills were good and I was honest about my situation. Fortunately, they trusted me and gave the contract,” Sharath tells. Things became better for him after the project was completed successfully. “That was when I got some money and I survived.”
Sharath’s life took a turn after the project. He started Blue Oaks Construction Private Limited, an interior and construction company with a mere amount of Rs 47,000. “I needed to hire civil engineers so I started contacting my classmates. I hired my friend Girish as my first employee who is still a part of the company.”
However, things were not easy for Sharath, as the construction industry is very different. “We mis-managed a little bit in the first year. We could not pay the salary for 3-4 months and the employees left the project. I was in loss of Rs 42 lakh and had nothing. The vendors started giving police complains,” he tells. Despite of all the hardships, Sharath never quit. “To recover the loss, we were looking for a project and fortunately got another one. Finally, hard work payed off in the first year and from the second year we started getting good projects. We worked for Nestle and many other national and international clients.”
Today, Blue Oaks employs 23 people and 180 site workers. The company made a turnover of whopping Rs 12 crore is 2016. They are working on projects worth Rs 3 million. About the company he says, “We have lost many chances in the first year of the company and failed miserably. However, we learnt from the mistakes. I believe that mistakes and success has to go hand in hand.”
Sharath’s message to the readers is very simple. “Never give up. Never regret that you do not have the sources. Money is for everyone, be it rich or poor. Mastering the foundation is very important. The foundation is your personal life- your family, company, and friends. People work too much but fail in their personal life. If you build your personal life strong, you can build anything with the support of your loved ones.”
Sharath’s journey is very unbelievable. Despite of so many challenges and hardships, he has managed to reach heights.