4 Entrepreneurs from India which will inspire you to do more

Dhiru Bhai Ambani

India’s largest private sector company. Created an equity cult in the Indian capital market.

Reliance is the first Indian company to feature in Forbes 500 list. Dhirubhai Ambani was the most enterprising Indian entrepreneur.

His life journey is reminiscent of the rags to riches story. He is remembered as the one who rewrote Indian corporate history and built a truly global corporate group.

Dhirubhai Ambani alias Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani was born on December 28, 1932, at Chorwad, Gujarat, into a Modh family. His father was a school teacher. Dhirubhai Ambani started his entrepreneurial career by selling “bhajias” to pilgrims in Mount Girnar over the weekends.

After doing his matriculation at the age of 16, Dhirubhai moved to Aden, Yemen. He worked there as a gas-station attendant, and as a clerk in an oil company. He returned to India in 1958 with Rs 50,000 and set up a textile trading company.

In 1992, Reliance became the first Indian company to raise money in global markets, its high credit-taking in international markets limited only by India’s sovereign rating. Reliance also became the first Indian company to feature in Forbes 500 list.

Dhirubhai Ambani was named the Indian Entrepreneur of the 20th Century by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). A poll conducted by The Times of India in 2000 voted him “greatest creator of wealth in the century”.

Dhirubhai Ambani died on July 6, 2002, at Mumbai.

Karsanbhai Patel

It was in 1969 that Dr. Karsanbhai Patel started Nirma and went on to create a whole new segment in the Indian domestic detergent market.

During that time the domestic detergent market only had the premium segment and there were very few companies , mainly the MNCs, which were into this business.

Karsanbhai Patel used to make detergent powder in the backyard of his house in Ahmadabad and then carry out door to door selling of his hand made product.

He gave a money back guarantee with every pack that was sold. Karsanbhai Patel managed to offer his detergent powder for Rs. 3 per kg when the cheapest detergent at that time was Rs.13 per kg and so he was able to successfully target the middle and lower middle income segment.

Sabki Pasand Nirma!

Nirma became a huge success and all this was a result of Karsanbhai Patel’s entrepreneurial skills.

The best case of – Give your consumer what he wants, when he wants, where he wants and at the price he wants, selling will be done quite automatically. This is the marketing ‘mantra’ of Nirma.

The company that was started in 1969 with just one man who used to deliver his product from one house to the other,today employs around 14 thousand people and has a turnover of more than $ 500 million.

In 2004 Nirma’s annual sales were as high as 800000 tonnes.According to Forbes in 2005 Karsanbhai Patel’s net worth was $640 million and it’s going to touch the $1000 million mark soon.

Prem Ganapathy

Prem Ganapathy, was stranded at the bandra station,when the person accompanying him left him and ran away. Prem had no local acquaintances or knowledge of the language.

Out of pity, a fellow Tamilian guided him to a temple and appealed worshipers to contribute money for his return ticket to Chennai.

Prem refused to go back and decided to work in Mumbai and started cleaning utensils in a restaurant. He appealed to his owner, to let him become a waiter as he was class 10 pass. The owner refused, because of regional politics and Prem bided his time till a neighbor hood dosa restaurant opened and offered him a job from a dishwasher to a tea boy.

Prem became a huge hit with the customers because of his excellent customer service, initiatives and relationship and brought business Rs. 1000 daily which was almost 3 times as compared to other tea boys. The life was good.

A customer made him an offer. He was planning to open a tea shop in Vashi in Mumbai. He wanted Prem to be his 50 – 50 partner where the owner would invest the money while Prem would run the shop. The shop started doing brisk business when the owner became greedy.

It hurt him to share 50 % of the profit with Prem and he threw Prem out replacing him with an employee.

Prem was made of a different material and he was never going to be defeated. He took a small loan from his uncle and with his brother, opened his own tea stall. Unfortunately the neighborhood residents objected. He then started a hand cart but that also did not work out.

He found a spot and set up a south Indian stall. He did not know a thing about dosas and idli but learnt by observation, trial and error. The dosa stall was a huge hit and flourished during the 5 years from 1992-1997. But why was the tiny dosa stall was was so successful in spite of competition from ubiquitous eateries prevalent in Mumbai. According to Prem it was its hygiene, proper appearances of the waiters and fresh ingredients which stood out as a difference.

He saved a couple of lakhs of Rupees and instead of heading home he took the biggest risk of his life and opened a new shop near Vashi station and named it as Dosa Plaza. His Chinese plaza next to the Dosa Plaza flopped miserably and was shut down in 3 months.

Undaunted, Prem realized some lessons from it. He applied those lessons in making Chinese cuisine in his dosas which worked very well.

He got passionate and invented a variety of dosas with Chinese style like American Chopsuey, Schezwan Dosa, Paneer chilly, Spring roll dosa etc. The 108 types of Dosas in his menu gets him a lot of publicity.

A chance encounter with a customer who was part of the team setting up a food court in a mall in New Bombay advised him to take a stall at the food court and again Prem was ready and willing to grow and expand. His vision was to grow by better offerings and better customer service. He also went to ad agencies to create the brand identity including the logo, brands, menu card, waiters dress etc.

He started getting a lot of offers for franchising and had to find out the meaning of franchising and its modus operandi. Dosa Plaza currently has 26 outlets and 5 of them are company owned. It has 150 employees and a turnover of 5 crore. All the branches are connected and networked and there are training managers and proper manuals to maintain standard and uniform product and services.

Merit is the only criteria; all the employees regardless of the caste or region are treated equally. They are loyal and have grown with the company. The original team of cooks which was the part of the first Dosa venture is still with Prem. Currently he is also getting inquiries from US and Europe for franchisees.

Jyothi Reddy

Jyothi was born in 1970 and she was the youngest among the five girl children in a poor family in India. Due to her family’s financial situation, she was admitted into a welfare orphanage. To get the admission, she had to become a motherless child. It was a heart breaking situation for Jyothi as she could not see her mother during the days when she was in the orphanage. There was nobody to share her happiness and sorrow. Instead of getting down with the situation, Jyothi developed a strong will to make her future bright. She promised herself to work towards creating a better life for her. She learned the way of dealing with life in a hard and practical manner. The hardship taught her the value of life and made her think beyond the situation.

She attended a government school while at the orphanage and she also took vocational course while residing in the superintendent’s house. Jyothi used to help her superintendent with their household work. She realized that to lead a beautiful life, she should get a decent job first. She started thinking for the ways to get into a job.

“Man proposes and God disposes” – Same happened to Jyothi as she had to marry at 16 to her cousin, instead of working on to make her dreams come true. After having 2 children, the situation became even worse as she had to work in the fields for a daily wage of Rs. 5 to take care of her children. These situations made her even stronger to stand and fight for life.

Then came an opportunity in the form of NYK (Nehru Yuva Kendra), a Central Government scheme which sought to create awareness among the youth. She took the opportunity and became a NYK Volunteer and later started teaching. But the money she was making was not sufficient to run the family. She used to stitch petticoats at night to make more money. She also learned typewriting.

Apart from her bad financial situation, she also had to fight with family and society to do what she wanted to do. She studied and obtained a BA from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University in 1994 and studied for a postgraduate degree from the Kakatiya University on weekends and obtained it in 1997. This made her get a special teacher job for a salary of Rs. 398 per month. She used to travel for two hours to reach her school. She utilized this time to sell sarees to her co-passengers which gave her some extra income. Her struggle for life made her become conscious about the time and it showed her the ways to utilize the time available creatively.

It was not an easy journey for her to settle in the US. She had to work in a gas station, work as a baby sitter, load/unload goods and work at a video shop for her survival. She then joined a company called CS America as a recruiter with an aid of a close relative. Later she got another offer from a different company, but it did not stay and she had to go back to babysitting and gas station for survival. That was the beginning of her entrepreneurial dreams. She wanted to start her own business and was looking for the suitable line of business to start.

When she visited Mexico for stamping, she realized that she could start a consulting company as she was familiar with the paperwork involved with the Visa Processing. With her savings of $40000, she opened an office in Phoenix in 2011. She has been successfully running her company KEYSS since then.

Her two daughters moved to US and completed their education in the American schools.

She is also working on her vision which empowers the rural women with skills and makes them self-sufficient.

 

Content Source : Bizztor

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