Born in a small town of Kapurthala, Punjab, Raj was enjoying a normal childhood. His father was a local businessman and mother managed the kids. He dreamed of a comfortable, struggle-free life but a severe crisis attacked his family when he was only 10-years-old.
Raj’s father fell sick and his health was deteriorating rapidly. The doctors were unable to do much to help and he died a tragic death. Mother Pushpa Wati Loomba was widowed at just 37 and massive responsibility of taking care of seven children fell on her responsibility.
It was 1953 then and women were expected to take care of the household. As Raj’s father managed the whole business, the empire collapsed soon after he passed away. These were the situations in which Rajinder Paul Loomba was growing and he came to realise the importance of hardwork in his initial days.
During the days of illness, Raj’s father had told his wife that education is the most important weapon anyone can have to fight any battle in life. Pushpa paid attention to his words and with the help of relatives managed the education of all his children. At a time when girls hardly crossed secondary education, she got her daughters enrolled into university.
Remembering his father’s words Raj decided to pursue higher education and reached US at an early age of 20. It was a very courageous move back then for a boy who hardly any experience of the outside world. But he wanted to succeed in his life and give a great future to his family. He had heard about a better life abroad and believed that he will become successful.
But only two years into his degree, his mother’s money exhausted and he had to start working in a factory. It was not something Loomba aspired of when he moved abroad. But he put his 100% in the job and this was noticed by his uncle who lived in UK. He invited Raj to Wigan in England and bought him an icecream van to make his living. This was beginning of his life since scratch.
His uncle had a wholesale business of clothing and was impressed by his nephew. From working in a factory to selling ice-cream, whatever work came his way, Raj completed it with full dedication. This further built his uncle trust who helped Loomba set-up a stall in the local market. This was a business in which Loomba envisioned his future. He used all his mental and physical resources, immersed himself in work and rapidly increased his business in the small stall.
Business began to grown and within a couple of years he had his own high street shop. What always motivated him was the spirit with which his mother struggled and gave a quality education to all her children. Since the very beginning, his business faced stiff competition from brands that were older and stronger than him but he never overtraded.
From a humble beginning, Loomba’s Rinku Group has become an international brand in supplying women’s apparel. It has spread to 500 retail outlets and it a heavyweight in UK’s departmental stores. It has offices in China and India which is looked after by 300 employees.
After achieving all this success, Loomba could not forget his childhood and the struggles his widow mother had to face. For this cause he has worked extensively and raised millions of dollars in fund-raising events where guests like Hilary Clinton have taken part.
The Indian arm of his trust was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Because of Loomba’s efforts even the UN took notice of widow’s – a segment totally neglected by the society and governments all around the world.
While reflecting on his success, he talks about four factors that are required to change your fate and make you overcome every hurdle – your vision, your resources, your effort and the fourth one is a bit of luck.
Kudos to this man who rose from poverty and made such a huge empire for himself in the West. Throughout, he has been a philanthropist and the biggest name when it comes to work for the widows.
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