We have come across many success stories and seen how people have achieved the unthinkable with sheer hard work and dedication. Still, there are some stories which are hard to believe and are beyond imagination. These people have converted their struggles and poverty as their strengths and firmly faced the hardship and obstacles in life. They remained focused and determined to achieve their goals which made them stand out from the crowd.
Hari Kishan Pippal is one such person who successfully passed the trials of life through hard work and vision in a way that many of us cannot even dream of. His life of becoming a successful entrepreneur from a rickshaw puller is truly a unique example of success and is very inspirational.
Hari had been a childhood victim of caste-based discrimination and exploitation in our society. However, he never let himself bend in front of these challenges. Hari was born in a very poor dalit family in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. His father used to run a small shoe repairing shop and somehow managed to provide the minimum daily needs of the family.
Given the poor financial condition of the family, Hari started working since early childhood to support the family. He soon realized the importance of education to the economic condition of his family and decided to continue education by any means from his meager earnings. He worked tirelessly the whole day and used to study at night.
I used to water the khas sheets (jute curtains) at the Agra Airport during summer. I would get Rs 60 per month for this work.
Hari continued his studies amidst all the challenges. But he had no idea that the coming days will be going to be even more challenging and difficult for him. However, he had accepted it as a part of his life. His father fell ill when he was in class X and soon he was in no position to continue working. The responsibility of the whole family came on the shoulders of Hari.
He desperately started looking for a better employment, but even after trying hard and facing a lot of humiliation, he could not find any work. The do or die situation forced him to choose the option of becoming a rickshaw puller. He took a rickshaw from his relatives and started running it without informing his family members. To hide his identity, he used to run rickshaws in the evening only and used to cover his face with a cloth.
This continued for some time. In the meantime, his father died after suffering from prolonged illness and her mother married him after his father’s death. The responsibilities of the family on Hari thus increased and eventually, he got a job of a daily wage laborer in a factory in Agra. That time his monthly salary was Rs 80 only. Even under severe economic, social and family pressure, Hari never allowed his dream to fade away and he got all the possible support from his wife to pursue his dream.
In the year 1975, he gave a loan application to the Punjab National Bank on the advice of his wife and decided to resume his ancestral shop. Fortunately, they got a loan of Rs.15,000 from the bank, but all the family wanted a portion of that money for their personal use. This resulted in a family dispute, but Hari remained firm regarding his decision and dream. He eventually had to leave his ancestral home with his wife.
He shifted to a small rented house and started to relive his dream by opening a small shoe making and repairing shop. At the beginning, he was making shoes on a small scale, but the turning point came when he got an order from the State Trading Corporation to supply 10 thousand pairs of shoes. This proved to be a milestone in his career and after that, he never had to look back. From the profit he soon launched his own shoe brand While using the profitable from the contract, he launched his own shoe brand named Harrykson. The name was cleverly given keeping similarity with his own name.
Provide good quality shoes at low prices, his company soon made a distinct place in the market. He started getting orders from many renowned companies including Bata. He then built his own export company “People’s Exports Pvt Ltd” and manufactured footwear in India for many international brands.
In 1980’s there was a recession period in the shoe business. Hari at that time tried his luck even in other business sectors. He opened a restaurant named Agrawal Restaurant. Many people raised questions when a Dalit started the restaurant by the name of Agarwal but Hari went on with his idea and achieved success. The initial success of the restaurant business gave him enough confidence to venture further and he soon opened a beautiful wedding house in Agra. Hari also felt the need of a good hospital in Agra and founded the Heritage People’s Hospital in 2001. Apart from this he also stepped into the area of the dealership of vehicles and started a publishing firm.
67-year-old Hari Kishan Pippal has achieved success in many areas all because of his ability, hardship, and vision. Today, he is one of the most successful businessmen of this country with the total annual turnover of his companies well over Rs 100 crores. His success gives us many vital lessons of life, the biggest being that to achieve success in life we have to pursue our dreams despite the challenges, difficulties or hardship in life. Then only we can achieve the success.