Are you facing challenges to make your startup a success? Are the hurdles in the way pestering you to go ahead? Are you scared of taking up challenges? Read this article to know how the entrepreneurs tackle situations to become successful. This will inspire you to do something big.
Here are some of the Indian Entrepreneurs who started with almost nothing in hand and yet were able to make multi-million companies and huge empires.
- Sridhar Vembu
Sridhar Vembu is the Chief Executive Officer of Zoho Corp. (formerly AdventNet Inc.). In 1996, he co-founded AdventNet, and has been its Chief Executive Officer since 2000. AdventNet has transformed itself from a software company serving network equipment vendors to an online applications provider.
Without the outside capital, the business maintained growth and profitability. Before AdventNet, Sridhar worked as a wireless systems engineer at Qualcomm, Inc. where he was lucky enough to work with some of the leading minds in wireless communications.
Sridhar Vembu’s Zoho give stiff competition to some of the core products of Microsoft, Google and Salesforce.com. Vembu did not let the outside capital in Zoho Corp, but if it were to be valued, it might be well over one billion dollars.
He was born in Chennai and grew up in a very modest middle-class family. His father was a stenographer in the High Court. His parents never went to college.
He went to a Tamil-medium, government-aided school till class 10, and then he completed his schooling in an English-medium government school.
He did well at the school. He attained his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University.
2. Dr. Arokiaswamy Velumani
Dr. Arokiaswamy Velumani owns no car, lives in a small quarter above his large lab in Navi Mumbai. Most of the times, he ends up sleeping in the lab most nights.
He was born to a poor landless farmer in a nondescript and obscure village of Appanickenpatti Padur in Tamil Nadu. Velumani was so poor that he named to go to school and college through government subsidies.
Today, he is the owner of the world’s largest thyroid testing company, which has around 1,122 testing outlets across India, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Middle East.
He started his career as a shift chemist at Gemini Capsules, a small pharmaceutical company in Coimbatore, in 1979 and earned a mere sum of ₹150 per month. After three years, the company shut down and Velumani became jobless.
After fourteen years of servitude at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Velumani put in his papers and decided to channel his expertise in thryoid biochemistry to set up testing labs that would detect thryoid disorders.
At the age of 37, he took ₹ 1 lakh from his provident fund to open a shop in Byculla, South Mumbai.
On May 2016, thw worth of Thyrocare was ₹3,377 crore. Velumani owns a 64% stake in the company, which makes his worth amounts to ₹2,158 crore.
He is also working towards developing a subsidiary of the company to focus on cancer screening through molecular imaging.
3. Mahesh Gupta
In 1985, he started his career as a mechanical engineer from a small room in his house. He started with just ₹20,000 which he had saved from his job at IOCL and now he is the chairman of Kent RO Systems.
His first invention was in the field of petroleum conservation instrument which earned him a lot of fame and half a dozen patents to his credit.
The turning Point of his life came with the establishment of KENT RO SYSTEM in 1998, when he charted out on a new enterprise. It was the time when his son was in the grab of jaundice. As jaundice is a water-borne disease, he researched and analyzed all the available water purifier in the market.
He was highly dissatisfied with the available options and decided to make a better quality purifier. After several trails, he came up with his own water purifier that was good enough to be marketed.
He started from scratch with an investment of just ₹1,00,000 and a team of 4 members.
Today Kent has grown 40 percent market share in RO mineral and has turnover ₹580 crore and 2,500 employees.
4. Kailash Katkar
He was born in a small village at Rahimatpur in Maharashtra. Kailash Katkar, after a lot of efforts got rewarded by being the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of INR 200 Cr business, named Quickheal technologies Pvt Ltd.
He started with a job at local radio. He also did a job at a calculator repair shop. In 1990, he moved ahead to start his own business of calculator repairing.
In 1993, he started a new venture, CAT computer services.Without any formal education and with the sharp application of his mind, he achieved success.
5. P C Mustafa
He is a man who failed in class 6 but went on to join the Regional Engineering College (now the National Institute of Technology), and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore.
His father was a coolie and thus he did not get a huge financial support from family but still he managed to set up INR 100 Crore Company with just INR 25,000.
He became an entrepreneur and employed people from rural India.
His company ID Fresh produces fresh Idli and dosa batter that reaches homes in Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mangaluru and even Dubai.
It became a INR 100 crore company in October 2015. Its production has risen to 50,000 packets a day from just 10 packets a day in 2005. It employs around 1,100 employees.
6. Patricia Narayan
Patricia Narayan started her entrepreneurial career by selling eateries from a mobile cart on the Marina beach amidst all the odds. She has battled against every hurdle in her life, whether it was a failed marriage, or coping with her addicted husband, or taking care of her 2 kids.
She challenged every challenge in her life, any hurdle didn’t stop her success but made her more strong and now she owns a chain of restaurants.
She started her business with just 2 people and now, there are 200 people working for her in the restaurants. From 50 paise a day, her revenue has gone up to INR 2 lakh a day.
She worked hard, battled through every problem of her life for almost thirty years and finally she got reward of her efforts. She received the ‘Ficci entrepreneur of the year’ award.
7. Dhiru Bhai Ambani
Dhiru Bhai Ambani alias Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani established the India’s largest private sector company and created an equity cult in the Indian capital market. Reliance is the first Indian private company to feature in Forbes 500 list. Dhirubhai Ambani was the most enterprising Indian entrepreneur who started a business from scratch and made it to reach millions.
He is the dazzling entrepreneur who rewrote the Indian corporate history and built a truly global corporate group.
He was born on December 28, 1932, at Chorwad, Gujarat, into a Modh family and his father was a school teacher. Dhirubhai Ambani started his career by selling bhajias to pilgrims in Mount Girnar during the weekends.
He completed his matriculation at the age of sixtenn and then he moved to Aden, Yemen. He returned to India 1958 with INR 50,000 and established a textile trading company.
In 1992, Reliance became the 1st Indian company to raise money in global markets.
He was named the Indian Entrepreneur of the 20th Century by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
He died on July 6, 2002, at Mumbai.
8. Karsanbhai Patel
He is the man behind the washing powder NIRMA who started it in 1969. He was Indian Entrepreneur who took on the big MNCs and rewrote the rules of business. During that time the domestic detergent market there were very few companies , mainly the MNCs, which were into this business.
Dr. Patel used to make detergent powder in the backyard of his house in Ahmedabad and then marketed it through door to door selling of his hand made product.
He came with a detergent powder for Rs. 3 per kg at that time, when the cheapest detergent was Rs.13 per kg. Hence, he was able to successfully target the middle and lower middle income segment.
His detergent powder, Nirma became a huge success.The company was started with just one man who used to deliver his product from door to door. Now the very same company employs around 14,000 people and has a turnover of more than $ 500 million.
9. Prem Ganapathy
Prem Ganapathy, was left alone at the bandra station by the person accompanying him ran away. Prem had no local acquaintances or knowledge of the local language. Instead of going back to Chennai he decided to work in Mumbai and started cleaning utensils in a restaurant. He requested to his owner, to let him become a waiter as he was Xth pass. The owner refused and Prem bided his time till a neighborhood dosa restaurant opened and offered him a job of a tea boy.
He became much popular with the customers because of his excellent customer service, initiatives and relationship and this job brought him INR 1000 daily which was almost thrice as compared to other tea boys.
A customer told him that he was planning to open a tea shop in Vashi in Mumbai and made him an offer tp become his 50 – 50 partner where the owner would invest the money while Prem would have to run the shop. The shop started doing brisk business and the owner became greedy and he threw Prem out of the business replacing him with an employee because it hurt him to share his 50 percent profit.
Prem did not lose hope and took a small loan from his uncle and with his brother, opened his own tea stall. As the neighbourhood residents objected, he started a hand cart but that also did not work out for him.
He opened a south Indian stall. Although he did not know a thing about dosas and idli but he learnt by observation, trial and error. The dosa stall was a great success. The tiny dosa stall was doing pretty well in spite of competition from other established ventures because of its hygiene, proper appearances of the waiters and fresh ingredients stood out as a difference.
He saved a huge investment and instead of heading home he took the biggest risk of his life; he opened a new shop near Vashi station and named it Dosa Plaza. His Chinese plaza next to the Dosa Plaza flopped miserably and was shut down within three months.
He learned some lessons from his failures and applied those lessons in making Chinese cuisine in his dosas which worked out well.
He made innovation in his business and experimented fusion dosas with Chinese style like American Chopsuey, Schezwan Dosa, Paneer chilly, Spring roll dosa etc. The 108 types of Dosas in his menu rewarded him with a lot of publicity.
Then on the advice of a customer, he took a stall at the food court in a mall to expand his business. His vision was to grow the business 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 and so on. The original team of chefs which was the part of the first Dosa venture is still with Prem.
Soon he started getting a lot of offers for franchising. Currently, he is also getting enquiries from the United States and Europe for franchisees.