Fairing well in academics is something that every parent wants for their child. It gives them the assurity that it would bring them a comfortable life ahead but here’s a story of a man who was an absolute nightmare for his parents when little but today heads an empire with its turnover running in millions.
Harash Talwar, youngest of four siblings, was a quick learner and a curious chap but only outside the classroom. His falling grades were a big concern for his father who was an ace lawyer in Pakistan back then. Harash was only four when the India-Pakistan Partition took place and this young boy with his entire family was smuggled into a truck filled with dozens of people covered with hay and vegetables. After spending some time in Amritsar they made Lucknow their home where Harash was again pushed into education despite his sheer unwillingness.
Disinterested in books, Harash began his first stint with business at the age of 14 when he would assist his uncle in doing small jobs at his textile mill which was the largest in the country at that time. On days when Harash did well his uncle would buy him a new cricket bat. Given the fact that the entire family was full of doctors and lawyers, his parents expected him at least to be a graduate so that he could become employable and earn a meager salary.
Bowing down to the pressure he took admission in Kirori Mal College, New Delhi which literally became his ticket to time pass and do business on the side. He failed every year in college and finally gave up. He used his charm and strong networking skills for hobnobbing with diplomats and doing side jobs to make money. His other multiple businesses included running a shipping company and working for European conglomerates. This finally led him to embark upon a new journey which took him to Germany.
With nothing more than $50, Harash settled for the lowest class in the ship and undertook all sorts of jobs on the vessel itself to keep him going. The real struggle began when he landed in Munich. Without any support or acquaintance, he would loiter around at -5 degrees hoping to find a job. He worked from selling wine to being a delivery boy and doing all sorts of odd jobs to support himself. The good thing was that his sharpness and wit would get him paid much more than his counterparts.
He finally ended up getting a part-time job at a rug store where he lifted and showed carpets to customers. Impressed with his skills to sell almost anything, his boss promoted him to a senior salesman in one of Europe’s biggest carpet store called “Selesia”. Ten years had passed by now and Harash thought it was time to return to India.
With a saving of $300 he started his own business of carpets. His friends and relatives laughed at his attempt and some even offered him jobs but only to be turned down. He persistent efforts and marketing skills yielded and he established a handmade carpet showroom called Yak Carpet in 1976. As a result of his perseverance and hard work, Yak Carpet became a mecca of handmade carpets and people from all over the world would not leave India without visiting his showroom.
His success mantra is to be sincere in your work, keep trying and never give up. “Also, do not listen to others and do what your heart says to do so,” he says.
The business grew by leaps and bounds with orders flowing in like free champagne. Harash’s success story was no magic but was a result of an indomitable never give up attitude. Yak Carpet has sold tens of thousands of carpets to clients worldwide and his client list includes Former President of USA Bill Clinton. With maintaining highest focus on quality, Yak Carpet has now become synonymous with honesty, reliability and dependability.
From being a young boy who had absolute no interest in academics and failed multiple times in school and college to becoming one of India’s most successful businessman in the Indian Carpet Industry and building a carpet empire from scratch is truly marvelous. It truly has been one big magic carpet ride.