He is an impeccable example of how one can do anything, conquering all obstacles. He grew up in a small clay house, shared by 22 people, but that could not limit his vision. Anup Raaj, from village Chew in Aurangabad, Bihar, has become an example by founding one of the most appreciated startups named PSTakeCare.
Anup’s father was one of the most educated people in the village with a bachelor’s degree in history. His father once aspired to be a teacher but could not get any job nearby so he started working on their family farm, growing paddy. A father, who himself believed in the strength of education, wanted his children to be educated. Being a Naxal-affected area, the only primary school was shut down.
Anup’s father found ways to give basic education to his children and Anup was the youngest of all. His father would go to the nearest town Rafiganj to get second hand textbooks and teach him and his brothers basic mathematics and grammar.
When his father noticed Anup’s willingness to study, he pleaded one of his friends who worked at the Jain Missionary School in Rafiganj. Anup was admitted in STD 5 when he was 10-year-old. Although the management disagreed to take any non-Jain student but his ability to solve mathematics and understand grammar made them enroll him.
As Anup would now go and study in the school he wasn’t anymore being at the farm and helping his family. The burden was suddenly being felt by his family because of his education expenses. But, on the other hand Anup was excelling in his performance leaving behind no regrets for his family.
The next year, he applied directly for admission in STD 7. He stood fourth in the mathematics exam and got admission. Anup started taking tuitions at the age of 11 to give financial support to his family. He used to teach four students earning Rs 1,000 per month.
In 2006, Anup’s life took a tragic turn when his father left home and never came back. As a child in class 10, Anup was shattered as even his mother founded herself helpless in front of the situation. After sometime, his grandfather and relatives refused to help his family and they had to get separated, seeking financial help for themselves.
Anup was clear that he had to help his family and so started taking tuitions again. He saved up money for buying books also skipping his meals and sleeping just with drinking water. His friends and teachers helped him study and Anup started working hard for his class 10 board exams. He ranked number 15 and scored 84.8 percent in the Bihar State Examination. That was when he saw a ray of hope. Anup got admission at Gaya College, Bihar. He used to travel 40 kilometers every day from his village to go to college. After college, he used to take tuitions in Rafiganj to pay his college fees.
Anup learnt more about engineering when in Gaya, Bihar. He could not afford the fees for JEE coaching classes and so decided to study on own. And that resulted him in scoring just 3 marks in Chemistry. Since he was from Hindi medium background, he could not understand half the questions. After completing his STD 12, Anup went to visit Janta Darbar held by chief minister Nitish Kumar.
One of the workers in the CM’s office suggested him to meet Anand Kumar of Super 30. Super 30 is a highly ambitious and innovative educational program which hunts for 30 meritorious talents from among the economically backward sections of the society and shapes them for India’s most prestigious institution – The Indian Institution of Technology (IIT). Anup scored 81.80 percent in class 12, securing 11th rank in the state and topping the district. This made Anand Kumar consider Anup for the program.
In 2010, Anup appeared for the JEE exam. He was ranked 997 and chose to study civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He wanted to become an entrepreneur and do something big on his own. He started learning things on the internet, started building websites and writing programmes for startups. He was earning Rs 5000 to 10,000 for a project and eventually started earning Rs 60,000. In his third year of engineering, he went to Dubai for his summer internship with AlumNexus.
In 2014, Anup was placed in Quickr as associate software engineering with salary of Rs 1 lakh per month, something that was unbelievable for his family. In 2015, Anup started PSTakeCare, a healthcare startup with three of his friends- Pratik Chinchole, Shirin Shinde and Rahil Momin.
PSTakeCare helps the patient to discover suitable services using 3D listing approach, linking doctors, hospitals and services. It has made the healthcare service simply far from a point of search. The website has seen nearly 8000 visits since its launch and is increasing having 40 staff members working for PSTakeCare.
Anup believes that even in difficult times, one must learn to trust himself. His journey is an inspiration for millions of people to overcome the hurdles and do something they aspire to, with their hard work and determination.