High-school dropout builds components for jet fighters and missiles
The famous proverb- ‘A single sheet of paper can’t decide your future’ is the right one that fits for Rakesh Chopdar’s life. There have been several instances where people touched the pinnacle of success even after dropping out of school and Rakesh Chopdar is an example. He was ridiculed, criticised for scoring just single-digit marks in all examinations.
He was someone who didn’t mug up the concepts in his school days and in fact, he could never understand the subjects being taught at school. Even during the examinations, he doesn’t remember anything. Judging him based on marks he scored in the exams, people called him ‘useless’ and even said that he would not become successful.
However, Rakesh Chopdar recreated a new future for himself and shut the critics wrong by becoming successful in life. Today, he has established a firm that manufactures components for jet fighters and missiles. A high-school dropout set a classic example that one’s future is not determined by the marks or grades.
He has set up a firm that manufactures incisive blades for turbines and aerospace parts. He is busy working in his father’s workshop, which also manufactures nuts and bolts. He was someone who always believed in practical education. He even added that despite putting loads of efforts, he could never grasp the subjects or remembers anything during exams like others.
“Textbooks and theory never excited me during school days,” Chopdar was quoted as saying by TNN.
He also echoed that although education is important, a degree doesn’t decide one’s future. “A degree alone cannot make us a successful person. One needs vision, passion, courage and hard work.”
Rakesh Chopdar, founder and managing director of Azad Engineering added that after he dropped out of school, he felt that his life was clueless. “My life became miserable as everyone in the family and relatives started inquiring about my career and future,” he added.
He started a new journey in his father’s factory which manufactures fasteners (nuts & bolts).
“Initially, I did not like sitting in the office and looking at files but when I started going to the workshop, I was introduced to the world of mechanical engineering and was fascinated with it. Initially, I just watched them working on manufacturing products?’ added Chopdar and said that he learned about manufacturing different products and basics of engineering in a phased manner. Our firm makes parts for aerospace & power generation OEMs,” he added.
Rakesh Chopdar added that his products are sanctioned by companies like Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Skoda, Rolls Royce. He said that his firm has built blades for Sukhoi jet fighter planes and precision components for BrahMos missiles.
Rejected for a Govt job, TN School dropout becomes IAS officer 19 years later
Transition in every individual’s life is obvious if one gives absolutely everything to fulfil the goal. Ask a successful person about how they did it and they would simply say there are no shortcuts to real success. One must realise that only hard work, great diligence as well as commitment is required to touch the pinnacle of success. Above all, believing in oneself is also one of the great ways to outsmart challenges.
“Always aim high and be truthful to your conscience. There is no substitute for hard work. Never give up your dreams,” K Elambahavath said. How can you break the spirit of a man who has worked hard tooth and nail to get where he is? Let’s get into the story now.
Almost everyone is quite familiar with the work process in government offices in India. Right from pillar to post, being referred to a new department on each and every visit and taking countless trips to the office are one of the main reasons behind the discontentment.
In the year 1997, K Elambahavath had also faced one similar kind of situation where he continued his trips for around nine years.
He was feeling dejected and very much concerned about wanting to transform the poor state of affairs in government offices, Elambahavath defied all odds and became an Indian Administrative (IAS) Officer in 2016.
Elambahavath announced his arrival to the Earth in 1982 in Cholagangudikkadu, a small village located in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. His life wasn’t that easy. He had a very normal childhood with his father working as a Village Administrative Officer, his mother being a farmer and social activist.
He made sure that his childhood days were spent in the best way as he was in farms helping his mother out, going to school and playing with his buddies and three elder sisters.
With his father being the first to graduate in the village, Elambahavath’s family gave education as the first priority.
Naturally, he preferred academics to farming.
Unfortunately, a tragedy struck in his life in 1997 when Elambahavath lost his father and then the class-12 student had to drop out of school due to financial issues. Then he did not even have any clue that he would be able to earn a graduate degree, let alone take Civil Services.
“My schoolmates and people around me were busy chasing Medicine and Engineering professions. Meanwhile, I was clueless about my future. I had no idea about UPSC or its recruitment agency until I turned 24,” Elambahavath tells The Better India (TBI).
After learning that agriculture won’t fetch him sufficient money to meet the needs of the family, Elambahavath then applied for the Junior Assistant (LDC) post under compassionate grounds provided to the family members of the deceased government servant.
One part of the hectic application process involved submitting educational certificates to the District Collector’s office. In addition to that, there were 20 types of documents that Elambahavath had to deposit and despite submitting whatever he had, he still did not get the job.
“The district collector office denied my posting by citing administrative reasons. More than 15 such candidates were waiting for the appointment. But, a few got appointed bypassing the waiting list. I couldn’t understand how such things would happen,” says the 37-year-old.
Elambahavath including other candidates, petitioned their respective grievances to the District Collector, Revenue Secretary, Commissioner and even the Chief Minister.
“My typical day would begin by working in the fields till the afternoon, going to government offices, pleading for a job and then finally returning home with no concrete results. I fought this battle for nine years and yet nothing happened,” he adds.
After he got really tired with all his efforts, he decided to take alternative route that did not demand anyone’s pleading or help.
Elambahavath took a vow to return to the district collector’s office but as a proud officer. He holds IAS officers in high esteem, and thus decided to become one himself, “Many aspirants came to civil services by inspiration. I came here by frustration at the system.”
“The bureaucratic apathy did not allow many senior IAS officers to hear our voices, and this was unfortunate. I wanted to change the situation for good, and that is how my journey to become a Civil Servant began,” he says.
Since he dropped out of school in the 12th standard, he preferred long-distance education and then did his Bachelors in History from Madras University. He stood on his own leg and there was no access to coaching centres.
“My village or nearby towns did not have any guidance facility for civil services. I studied in the public library that has a separate section for civil services. We were a group of 10 civil services aspirants in Pattukkottai. Our retired Headmaster Mr. AT Panner Selvam and many well-wishers were helpful,” says Elambahavath.
Thankfully, the library and support of people helped him get through the examination for free civil services coaching by Government of Tamil Nadu.
After a formal guidance, Elambahavath made his way to the interview stage of the UPSC for 3 consecutive times but failed in all. However, he did manage to clear several Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Examinations (TNPSCE)
Though Elambahavath’s dream of getting a government job was fulfilled, he was not that happier. He said, “I joined the state government Group 1 service which includes Assistant Director (Panchayat), DSP etc. I continued preparing for the UPSC while working.”
With much-needed support and guidance from family and senior government officials, Elambahavath was able to manage his work and studies. Well, his journey as a Civil Aspirant was not that easy as he had to appear for five Mains and three interview rounds and he failed to clear any of them. The man with never give up attitude worked harder but sadly, all his attempts went in vain.
“I joined the state civil services. In 2014, the Central Government provided two more attempts for those who had been adversely affected by the Civil Services Aptitude Test. I grabbed the opportunity and appeared again,” he says.
His grit, determination, self-confidence and perseverance got him into the Indian Revenue Services (IRS), and he made his one last attempt in 2015 for IAS.
He then secured All India Rank 117 and got into Indian Administrative Service in state cadre.
“I was always confident about my goal, and I entered into this profession at a time when failure and success were on the same line. Thus my failed attempts did not discourage me at any point,” he added.
On entering the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) which is a research and training institute for public policy and public administration, he said: “When I entered LBSNAA, I thought that it would be just another training centre. But I realised the impeccable professionalism on the first day itself. . . . It nurtured me in every aspect of life. Since I did not go to any college, I can claim LBSNAA as my only academic institution,” he told Humans of LBSNAA.
On taking charge as a Sub Collector in Ranipet’s Vellore District, he said: “I could perceive the grief of the people whose voices are not heard. I always try to understand the issues from people’s perspective who are waiting in the corridors of government offices. I have oriented my staff towards the same methodology,” Elambahavath says.
His biggest lesson that he learnt as a government official, he says, “We need to stop judging government jobs as slow and apathetic. It deserves respect considering it does the sovereign duty of a welfare state and works for the oppressed people. As for me, my job gives me immense satisfaction.”
(Originally published by The Better India)
Meet Radhakishan Damani- Once a College dropout now India’s Second Richest Person
Almost everyone is curious to know how much the big personalities earn for a luxurious living. The first question we ask is what is his or her total net worth? What’s his or her monthly income? Well, there are people who earn per day, per week and even per hour as well.
Based on the capacity and work ethics, earnings vary from person to person. It doesn’t matter how hard a person works but it’s how you decode even the toughest of things to make it much simpler and qualify the standards of smart work. These credentials would certainly uplift your earnings.
Recently, Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires Index showed that last week that Radhakishan Damani who is founder of retailer Avenue Supermarts, has become India’s second-richest person with a net worth of $17.8 billion. The entire nation is talking about this man who is known for his simplicity.
Last year, he was featured on the list of top ten richest people in the world. He was placed seventh on the list with $14.3m. But now that, he gained places to reach the best position of his career. Let’s learn more about the Radhakishan Damani and his journey to success.
Talking about his education, Radhakishan Damani is a college dropout. Yes, you read it right. In fact, he is a 12th pass out. He went to College of Mumbai for 1 year for his B.Com. And after the initial year, he dropped out and never went to college.
Talking about the early days of his career, Radhakishan Damani initially started his career with ball bearing business. Then a tragedy struck him as his father passed away and because of that, he had to shut down his business and eventually joined his brother in the stock-broking business. This was the turning point of his life.
Radhakishan Damani, who was a pretty good observer understood how the stock market actually works and also started investing. He considered value investor Chandrakant Sampat as his Guru, but before following him, he had used the tactics of short selling which he learnt by observing Harshad Mehta. After earning quite a huge amount from short selling, he then moved on to the long term investment strategy which put him in the list of great value investors in India.
His life changed dramatically after entering into hypermarket business
Radhakishan Damani had entered into hypermarket business with purchase of a cooperative store chain Apna Bazaar’s franchise. After learning the business, he started his own hypermarket store DMart in the year 2002 in Powai, and it was then the fortune turned for him.
He entered into hypermarket business when real estate prices were pretty much low. He started purchasing many stores.
Today, DMart has a well-established set-up in 196 locations across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, NCR, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Rajasthan. DMart is also planning to expand its presence across the country.
School dropout student starts a Goat business, and today earns 1 crore per month
The great Albert Einstein once said, “One sheet of paper never decides my future”. Likewise, Tejas Lengre neither bothered about studies nor his future as he believed in himself that he would achieve success in his own style. He is one of a kind.
Usually, students after completing Class X, think about their next phase of life, the turning point of their career. But Tejas Lengre had other tactical plans in place before making the biggest decision of dropping the school after passing Class X in 1999. Yes, he is a school dropout. You read it right!
There is a huge difference between a student studying in school with no ambition and the student dropping out of school with an ambition in mind. Tejas Lengre followed his heart. He preferred business over studies and this is how his venture kick-started.
Tejas is a resident of Bamni village in Sangli. Tejas carried goats in his auto for about a year. He had many thoughts about transforming his business with his innovative ideas and one such idea gave rise to a new evolution. He planned to start a modern goat farming business.
First of all, the money was a big factor for him to start the business. But that didn’t demoralize him. He initially borrowed some money from someone and then bought two goats of the African Bore species in a bid to start ‘Mahakali Bakra Farm’ near his home. This was the turning point of his career.
The confident Tejas expected a good start. Much to his belief, in a few years, his business clicked quite well wherein he started making lots of money. He made a profit of a significant amount of around 20-22 lakhs. Slowly, the numbers turned to 250 goats. Apart from selling goats, he also makes money from the dung compost as well.
Tejas takes special care to the animals as they are given grass for three meals a day. He mixes protein powder in water so that animals would increase its weight. After 21 days, animals are prescribed drug and injections so as to avoid illness and diseases.
Each goat is sold for around one lakh rupees and Tejas has more than 100 goats of African bore species whose weight reaches 120 to 150 kg in a year. He is earning 1 crore per month according to the Marketing Mind. Never did Tejas go to the market to sell his goats. Customers pay a visit to his farm and have a deal. Especially during Eid-Ul-Azha, Tejas’ goats are sold for a handsome price tag, where his business saw an epic inflation.
Meet Ritesh Agarwal- young entrepreneur who became a billionaire at the age of 25
Ritesh Agarwal started his business venture from scratch at the age of 17 and he applied both inputs of hard work and smart work. Eventually, all his experimentations bore fruit. Yes, at an age where people are still searching for jobs, the 25-year-old Agarwal is now the youngest self-made Indian entrepreneur under 40 with a staggering net worth.
He had reported a sensational 188 per cent increase in wealth in 2019. His current wealth is Rs 7,500 crore, as per IIFL Hurun India Rich List 2019.
Now let’s learn about how Ritesh Agarwal touched the pinnacle of success. For uninitiated, Ritesh is the founder and CEO (Global) of OYO Hotels & Homes, a network of 18,000+ hotels functioning in 500+ cities across the nation with Net Realised Value of $1.8 billion (as of Dec 2018) and 20,000+ workers globally.
It has raised over $1.5 billion of funding in 5 rounds from many big investors. OYO has carved out a reputation for itself as a global brand as it has over 35,000 hotels and 125,000 vacation homes with over 1.2 million rooms spread across 800 cities in 80 nations.
Agarwal has won numerous awards and accolades for his work including the Business World Young Entrepreneur Award. The young man is a regular speaker at entrepreneurial conferences and institutes across the country and the world.
He is also the first resident Asian to be awarded the Thiel Fellowship. How many of you all know that a few years ago, he used to sell SIM cards in a small town in Odisha.
Ritesh is a dropout, which made him eligible for the Peter Thiel fellowship for $100,000.
In an interview in 2015, he said, “You know what OYO’s abbreviated form is? ‘OnYour Own’ and it was because I couldn’t have the remote control at relatives’ homes (that I thought of starting OYO Rooms). The relatives would want to watch soap operas and I wanted to watch Cartoon Network.”
Coming from a business family, he moved to the national capital in 2011 to kick-start his entrepreneurial journey after deciding to skip engineering college entrance exams.
For a short period, he had enrolled himself in University of London’s India campus, however, he dropped out. It was when he founded Oravel Stays. He got in touch with accelerator Venture Nursery, jetted off to Mumbai and got seed funding of Rs 30 lakh after a three-month programme.
He became the first Indian to be selected for Thiel Fellowship, where he was given $100,000 grant by early Facebook investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. This fellowship is given to budding entrepreneurs below 20 years of age who skip college for 2 years in order to start their own business ventures.
Despite the fact that his company had made it a tremendous success, Agarwal was the only dropout leading a team of 10-20 people from IIMs, more than 200 people from IITs, HBS and Ivy leagues.
“It’s funny, in India, I haven’t come across any dropouts who are smart and high quality. Hopefully, in the next few years, we will have more high-quality dropouts. When I go to colleges for talks, I encourage the students to drop out,” he said.
He has also mentioned earlier that he draws inspiration from Bill Gates, who is also a fellow college dropout. “I started Oyo right out of my high school, with limited resources. I raised my first round of capital divesting double-digit ownership while raising $40,000.
Ever since I have been thinking whether there is a way to double down on my belief in a company which is such an important part of my life.”