This amazing unbelievable rags-to-riches story of a boy who grew up on the footpath in Kolkata and then cracked one of India’s toughest exam to become a corporate honcho is awe-inspiring.
This boy is none other than Bikash Chowdhury, the associate VP of treasury at JSW Steel. Chowdhury was born and grew up in a laundryman family of Kolkata’s Bhawanipore area. His financial condition didn’t allow him to go for study and he started contributing in his father’s laundry services.
It was almost four decades ago when cricketer Arun Lal moved from Delhi to Kolkata. By coincidence Arun hired this young Chowdhury for cleaning and ironing the clothes of the family. While delivering daily clothes, Lal’s wife Debjani offered to teach him in English. And along with the tuition she always motivating Chowdhury for regular study.
I would go every day to study because she would give orange squash, Bikash Chowdhury quoted in an interview.
Chowdhury was only 12-year-old when the Lals, who didn’t have any children of their own, started helping him with his education. He became the first in his family to study in an English-medium school. After completing the high school education, he did his bachelor’s degree in commerce from St. Xavier’s College.
In 2000, he cracked CAT one of the country’s toughest examination and successfully enrolled a seat in prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. Once completing his MBA, he was offered a job in Deutsche Bank and within a few years, he was made a Vice President there. After that he has also worked with Singaporean multinational DBS bank followed by HDFC bank and Crédit Agricole. Last June, he moved to JSW Steel as VP of their treasury.
Today Chowdhury credited his success to his “adopted” parents Arun and Debjani Lal. He has gifted them a Mercedes and also financially aided the Lal family in buying a bungalow. As the ultimate tribute, he named his daughter as Arunima Lal. Apart of this, Chowdhury is continuously helping poor and needy people. In free time he is feeding stray dogs, planting trees, helping people who were visually impaired.