1. Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea
Invar was born in Sweden and at the mere age of five, he had commenced his entrepreneurial experiments. He started selling matches at a very low cost to his neighbors still made fat profits. This boosted his confidence and by the age of 10 he began selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds, pens and pencils.
You will be surprised to know that he was dyslexic. Despite his disability, he did fairly well in studies and was rewarded by his father. With that little sum, he began IKEA, a furniture store, which is now a multinational group of companies that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances and home accessories. In 2014, its revenue was reported a whopping 29 billion euros.
2. Karsanbhai Patel, Nirma
Karsanbhai had lost his daughter in a car accident when she was little. Her name was Nirma. Today the brand has become a household name in the market of detergent powder and soap. Nirma was a project that was born in his backyard after his office hours.
He is known for his famous marketing strategy in 1980s. Back then, Nirma was struggling for takers in the market. That is when he decided to go for an extremely unconventional and shocking move – to empty Nirma’s stock from all stores! This was followed by an extensive, wide scale and aggresive marketing. After this, people all over the country thronged to shops and demanded for Nirma. That is when he gushed in with detergent’s supply making a bumper sale.
3. Howard Schultz, Starbucks
At the age of just seven, when children happily play all day, Howard saw poverty right in the eye. His father who worked as a truck driver broke his ankle and lost his job. There was no money flowing in for the family and the situation looked extremely grim. As he grew up, he had to take up odd jobs to pay for his school. There were days when he even sold his blood for a few bucks.
After many years of job, he came across Starbucks when it only had a three outlets. He pursued the owners to hire him as the retail and marketing director of their small company. Schultz understood that people would be attracted if they could focus on giving personal touch to their coffees. The company is currently valued at $19.16 billion and has branches all round the globe!
4. Oprah Winfrey
She is one of the most iconic faces in media and is known for her popular talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show. She grew up in extreme poverty where she had to wear jute sacks as clothes because the family couldn’t afford anything else. She was born to a teenage, unwed mother and was raped by her 19-year-old cousin when she was nine. This same woman now own a fortune worth more than $3 billion!
5. Dhirubhai Ambani
When Dhirajlal’s mother used to feel upset over lack of money, his little son told her not to worry as he was going to earn heaps of money one day. He wasn’t very interested in studies despite that his father was a school teacher. His entrepreneurial journey began with selling ‘bhajiya’ (a kind of deep friend snack) to pilgrims on weekends. After he finished his schooling, his brother sent him to Yemen to work as a gas-station attendant and clerk.
In 1958, he came back to India with a sum of Rs 50,000 and set up a business of polyester yarn import-export from Masjid Bunder, South Mumbai. Later, he founded the Reliance Commercial Corporation with an investment of 15,000. After several years now, Reliance is India’s biggest brand which has ventured into dozens of businesses.
6. Shahid Khan, Founder: Flex-N-Gate
The soles of his shoes were torn by the time Shahid Khan made it to the YMCA where he spent his first night here. The Y wanted $2 a night, which Khan, then only 16 years old, could afford until the dorms at the University of Illinois opened. Today, Flex–N–Gate produces the highest quality products and systems for the automotive industry.