The Underage Runaway Bride Who Runs A 100 Million Dollar Enterprise...Let?s Find Out!
Today you will be learning about fighting against all odds. Any circumstance cannot hold you back and Kalpana Saroj is a living example of it.
The Relentless Journey of Padma Shri Civilian Award Winner: Kalpana Saroj
The girl with an unshakable and stubborn heart is the reason that today she is the lady boss of her journey. Kalpana Saroj is the CEO of Kamani Tubes and currently she has personal assets worth $112 million and she is known as first women entrepreneur of India.
She was born in a village in Maharashtra and belongs to a The Family. At that time, it was difficult for girls to enjoy freedom, independence and basic education. Her father who was a police constable sent her to a local village school. Even though she was good in her studies she was discriminated by the other castes. As a The child, she was not allowed to participate in school events and parents of other children would stop them from playing with her.
Moreover, child marriage was very common at that time. Girls were considered a burden to the family and this was the reason they were married off at an earlier age. Also, societal pressures in remote areas demanded young girls to be married off as soon as possible. Due to these societal pressure she got married at the age of 12. She used to live in a slum in Mumbai with her husband and in laws. She was treated worse than a maid after her marriage. She was beaten up and starved, so much so that she became a walking corpse. When her father visited her after six months, he was not able to recognize her and he decided to take her back. With the help of her father, she was able to end her marriage.
Once she returned home, she continued to face derogatory remarks and her family wasn?t spared either. She decided to end her life amidst the ongoing insults and was saved by her family members.
She convinced her parents to send her to her uncle?s house in Mumbai as there were no job opportunities in her village. She got a tailoring job and became the senior tailor there. Her father lost his job and she was solely supporting her family. She rented a room for Rs. 40 and her family joined her. A tragedy that changed the course of her life was when her young sister fell ill and they had no money to save her. That was embedded in her mind and she decided to make loads of money. She worked for 16 hours, a habit she still stands by.
Kamini applied for a loan through the Mahatma Jyotibhai Phule scheme. She started a small furniture business where she sold cheap versions of high end furniture from Ulhasnagar. She did not give up her tailoring either. Their circumstances gradually began to improve. She started a small NGO where she aggregated and distributed knowledge about the various government loans and schemes available to people like her. She did not want a single child, boy or girl, to go through what had happened to her.
The proprietor of a litigation locked land needed cash urgently and offered to sell his property for a pittance because the land was practically worthless to him. She begged, borrowed and stole the funds to buy it and then threw herself into the two year long legal battle that unfolded.
Without any resources to develop the land, she took on a partner who agreed to invest with a 65% profit share. So now she had a thriving furniture and real estate business.
After independence, Ramjibhai Kamani opened three companies - Kamani Tubes, Kamani Engineering and Kamani Metal. After his death, his sons battled for the property. In India Kamani became the first company where the Supreme Court passed the ownership from the legal heirs to the Workers Union. There was no owner to actually run the business and from 1987 to 1997 the company kept limping along. Shutting it down was not an option as the workers were the owners. The investors slowly but surely stopped electricity and water supply once they realized what was happening.
140 litigation cases had been filed against the company. A debt of 116 crores had been incurred. Two unions were battling it out for supremacy. Of the three Kamani firms, two had already gone into liquidation. The third seemed set to go down the same way. That is when the workers came to Kamini to save their company. Her flourishing NGO and her business acumen had earned her a decent reputation among certain circles. While repaying off debts and clearing liability, it was imperative to focus on restarting manufacturing and getting the firm back on its feet. They started by replacing all the machinery which either had been stolen or fallen to disrepair. Within some effort, Kamani Tubes started reshaping to become a profitable company.
She is involved in various social welfare activities and has founded the ?Kalpana Saroj Foundation.? She was awarded ?Padma Shri? in 2013 in the field of Trade and Industry. She is now a recognised entrepreneur worldwide. And sometimes, she is considered as India?s First Women Entrepreneur.
?Hard work is not overrated. It is fail proof. What you want- whatever it is- you shall get if you apply yourself wholeheartedly and work towards it with a single minded vision.?