From being a labourer’s son to founding a million dollar company – here’s an inspiring journey
Sometimes, all you need is a push in the right direction to achieve goals, and stories of inspiring people reiterate the same. This inspiring success story of a man who went from being a labourer’s son to creating a million-dollar company is sure to leave a mark!
I failed class 6 and decided to drop out of school to become a daily wage worker with papa on a farm; we barely earned Rs.10 in daily wages. Eating three meals a day was a distant dream; I’d tell myself, ‘Right now, food is more important than education.’ But my teacher convinced me to return to school; in fact he even tutored me for free. He motivated me and was one of the most inspiring people in my life. Because of him, I topped my class in maths! That motivated me to study harder, and I became the school topper. Even more heartwarming was that after seeing me succeed, my teachers came together and paid my college fees!
When I got placed and earned my first salary of Rs.14,000, I gave it to papa. This overwhelmed him and he cried, ‘You’ve earned more than I have in a lifetime!’ Eventually, I got a job abroad; I earned well and began saving every penny. Papa had a debt of Rs 2 lakhs, and I paid it off in just 2 months! And two years later, I bought my family a home!
But despite having a well-paying job, I always wanted to run a business. All those success stories I’d heard of inspiring people made me want to run a business. Then, one day, my cousin saw a supplier selling idli-dosa batter in a plain pouch– the customer was complaining about the quality. That’s when he called me, ‘Let’s create a quality batter company?’
The idea clicked, and we founded ‘ID Fresh Food’; I decided to fund the company while I was working and let my cousins run the show. I invested Rs 50,000 from my savings, and we started in a 50 sq ft kitchen with a grinder, mixer, and a weighing machine. It took us over 9 months to sell 100 packets a day! We made plenty of mistakes along the way– once, our batter over-fermented and caused a blast in a store! After facing severe losses, we returned to the drawing board. Giving up was not an option; we persisted.
After 3 years, I realized our company needed me full-time, so I quit my job to become the CEO. I invested all my savings and assets in the company. My parents were nervous, but I assured them, ‘If I fail, I’ll get another job.’ But honestly, it was a struggle – there were days when we couldn’t even pay our employees. So, to motivate them, we promised our 25 employees that one day we’d make them crorepatis. They laughed it off, but we gave them shares from our company and said, ‘Be patient!’
After 8 years of ups and downs, we found investors; overnight, we became a 2000 crore company. Finally, we fulfilled the promise we made to our employees; all of them are now millionaires!
I wanted to share my success with my teacher, but when I returned home, I learned he’d passed away. I was heartbroken and thought, ‘If only sir could have seen what a laborer achieved because of him!’ After all, he was that inspiring person in my life who pushed me when I needed it. Now, I speak of him every chance I get; to honor his legacy.
So in 2018, when I was invited to speak at Harvard, I first told them of the teacher who didn’t let me give up, and then of my father, who still works on his farm diligently, every day. These two men taught me that where you come from doesn’t matter– if you work hard, even a laborer’s son can create a million-dollar company. So if my success story is inspirational to others, I owe it to these two men.
Being India’s biggest storytelling platform, Humans of Bombay is all about bringing you extraordinary stories of ordinary people. We hope this story inspires you to chase your dreams even though they may seem difficult and unattainable. If you’d like to read more such stories, check out our book and dive into the diverse tales of a country with billion beating hearts!