This page is meant for celebrating the power of the human spirit through Zero-to-Hero live case studies.
Celebration 1: Late C.V. Rangachari (maternal grandfather of Raghavan)
I remember my grandfather was always was cheerful, whenever he used to spend time with us about 45 years back. His attitude was amazing considering the series of setbacks he had. He lost his father as a two-year child. His mother died when he was 16 years old. Every year he stayed with different relatives living in different towns and managed to complete the school final. With the support of relatives, he completed B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in a very reputed college.
He got a good job, but had more setbacks. His wife died when his children were growing and had to support them as a single parent. He managed to educate his second son as a doctor but he died at a young age of 27. Within three years, his first son breathed his last. In a span of another six years, his younger son-in-law passed away. So, my grandfather took responsibility for all his grand children.
He practiced being cheerful to fulfil the cause of seeing his grand children come up in life, in the absence of his two sons and younger son-in-law. Also, he financially supported several of his relatives.
With all these challenges, he left behind for his grand children two independent houses in the city of Chennai, several shares and deposits in companies. This was possible owing to:
- Very simple living, which is the basis of Personal Finance
- Putting savings ahead of expenses, which is the good step in Financial Planning
- Willingness to learn and try investment in Stock Market
Lesson for us
Anyone can achieve great success by joyfully following a few basic rules.
Celebration 2: Mr. Vijay Kumar
His childhood days were fantastic. He and his brother knew nothing but joy and happiness. When he was studying in the 6th standard, his grandfather had a prolonged major illness, which resulted in substantial debt for the family.
When Vijay got admission in a leading college, his family could not pay the fee. It was co-incidental that the company in which his father was working was closed owing to heavy loss. So they decided to shift to their native village which was 35 kilo-meters from my college. One of his grandfathers was kind enough to spare a cow to take care of their living. His father managed to get a job for Rs. 1000, which was grossly inadequate for the family.
For the next 4 years, Vijay had a tough schedule; he used to get up at 4.30 a.m., go to the field, cut the fodder, come back, feed the cow, milk the cow, take the milk and sell it to the society in the village, get ready and catch the 7 a.m. Bus. He would walk almost 1 km everyday to college just to save 75 paisa. Again in the evening after college, he would catch the 4.15 p.m. bus and reach home by 6 p.m. Then again he would go into the fields, cut the fodder, feed the cow, milk the cow, sell the milk and by the time he came home it would be around 8 p.m. Thereafter he would complete his assignments. Invariably it was midnight by the time he went to bed.
He was always one of the toppers in college and in the campus interviews. He got placed in a leading company at Chennai and his family’s fortunes changed. There were more than 1500 engineers in the company and he was one among them. After the training, his job was to help his seniors in their letters, fax the letters and file those papers. Many of his friends used to mock at him and some of them even called him, ‘Fax boy’, because half the time they will see me near the fax machine. But he carried and his seniors were impressed with his knowledge. He was selected to be trained in Japan as the youngest in the company of over 3000 employees.
After a stint of six years with that company, he shifted to altogether a completely new industry viz., construction. It took him about 6 months to even understand the basics. From there he went on to become the CEO of the company. In a span of eight years, the company’s turnover increased Rs. 30 crores p.a. to Rs. 470 crores p.a. By market cap, it was a Rs. 5000 crores company, with 8 million sq. ft of projects under construction and more than 10 million in the immediate pipeline.
One day, he had counselling session with my mentor, which motivated him to start his own infrastructure company. He is now the MD of this start-up company with several crores of projects on hand.
Message for us
We need to be positive and look at life giving opportunities. Life will unfold the rest.