It is absolutely correct that necessity is the mother of all innovations. So when a father saw his two little children battling jaundice – an easily-preventable disease – he resolved to solve this problem but not just for his family but for everyone. His humble initiative which started in the garage of his home has now become a global brand with a massive turnover of more than Rs 800 crore.
This is an impressive story of Mahesh Gupta who left behind a well-paying, comfortable career to chase his passion for entrepreneurship. He graduated from IIT Kanpur studying mechanical engineering and then did his masters from Indian institute of Petroleum, Dehradun. Armed with high-quality education, he began his career from sales department of Indian Oils in 1978.
After working for seven years and polishing his skills, Mahesh decided to call it quits. He wanted to take on challenges and work on his own ideas. He was the first member in his family who dared to choose business over job. He had a savings of Rs 20,000 which he put into SS Engineering where he got dozens of patents.
The work went on well till two of Mahesh’s kid fell prey to jaundice that too in a posh locality of Delhi considered to provide the best of amenities. This shook him and he decided to review all the water filters available in the market then. His deep understanding of mechanics helped him evaluate every product available in the market. He realised that the ultra-violet rays technology for killing bacteria in water was not fool-proof as is did not treat the dissolved elements in the water.
One must be passionate to work instead of being fierce to earn money. – Mahesh
For the next six months he worked on several models and failed. In the end he came up with reverse osmosis technology which assured him of clean drinking water. He installed the set-up at his home and its success boosted his spirits to go commercial with it.
He started from scratch with an investment of about Rs 5 lakh that he had saved from his previous venture, and four member team. The office for KENT RO was the garage of his home. He spent the money of buying equipment and installation machines. Their products were priced at around Rs 20,000, whereas most of the other water purifier companies were selling their products at around Rs 5,000. KENT was providing a superior technology which nobody had in the market thus the difference in prize was fair.
After initial resistance, his product started selling on people’s word of mouth. The delivery of quality got more and more people to opt for his hi-tech and the sales figures began to swell. This is when KENT decided to start advertising and got the dreamgirl of Bollywood Hema Malini on board. Their aggressive marketing grew their sales by 40 percent and placed them as a major player in the market.
Today KENT owns 40% of market share in RO mineral and has a turnover of more than Rs 800 crore backed by 2,500 employees. They have forayed in many more segments like air purifier & bed cleaner and are tapping in customers because of their goodwill.
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