While inheriting a billion dollars might sound more of one’s desirable dream, the journey to accomplish it, however, takes a lot more than you could ever expect. The stories of ‘rags to riches’ ride herd on most of us, but sheer dedication and pure perseverance are a few of their qualities that kept such billionaires going.
Listed below are such truly inspirational and great ‘Rags to Riches’ stories from India that not only leave an idyllic example behind, but also show how fortunes could be made from the scratch. After all, the inspiring billionaires strongly relied on grit and literally made it on their own. Take a look.
Born: December 28, 1932 – Chorwad, Gujarat, India
Known for: Reliance Industries
Net worth: Approx. $8 billion
An incredible epitome for ‘Rags to Riches’ story, Dhirubhai Ambani was an Indian industrialist who founded Reliance Industries after struggling passionately for years. With determination and pursuance deeply rooted, the billionaire began his spectacular journey as a small time worker with Arab merchants during the period of 1950s and relocated to Mumbai in 1958. The man, inspired with a vision, commenced his own business in spices and eventually laid the firm foundation of Reliance Industries in the year 1958. And today, the company not only stands strong for a wide base of more than 85,000 employees, but also gives out around 5 percent of Central Government’s total tax revenue.
Dhirubhai holds the credit for opening the platform for India’s stock market into the average Indian sector. The success spree was taken further when the laborious man’s industries were enlisted as one of the three privately owned Indian companies in the Fortune 500. However, Reliance Industries were made public in the year 1977.
Died on July 6, 2002, Dhirubhai Ambani left behind the net worth of approximately $8 billion. His family includes Kokilaben Ambani (spouse), Mukesh Ambani (son), Anil Ambani (son), Nina Kothari (daughter) and Deepti Salgaonkar (daughter).
Born: June 15, 1950 – Sadulpur, Rajasthan, India
Known for: King of Steel, Steel Tycoon
Net worth: US$ 20.7 billion (2012)
An inspiration to millions across the world, Lakshmi Mittal, the steel king of India, has been the chairman and chief executive officer of Arcelor Mittal, the world’s most powerful and largest steelmaking company. Born into a Marwari business family in Churu district of Rajasthan (India), Mittal graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in business and accounting and moved towards the clan’s steel business after completing his studies.
Instilled with perseverance and enthusiasm, the richest man in India began his unbelievably inspiring journey with the purchase of a plant located in Indonesia in the year 1976. It may throw many off-guard but it was this purchase that turned Mittal from rags to riches in its truest form. The man established his own company with the name ‘Arcelor Mittal’ and never looked back.
Today, the steel tycoon owns a personal wealth of $20.7 billion and has been listed as the 44th most powerful person by Forbes Most Powerful People List. The global steel producer with operations across 14 countries has also been revered as the richest man in India, Asia and UK, and the 21st richest individual in the world. Having won many accolades, Lakshmi Mittal presently serves as the Director of Goldman Sachs, Co-owner of Queens Park Rangers F.C, and the Owner of Karrick Limited.
Kumar Manglam Birla
Born: June 14, 1967 – Kolkata
Known for: Aditya Birla Group
Net worth: $9.2 billion (2011)
With simplicity and his vision to achieve milestones, Kumar Birla is an incredibly successful Chairman of Aditya Birla Group today. Having spent his early life in parts of Kolkata and Mumbai, the billionaire has been renowned for his professional industrialism and one of the most expansive conglomerate corporations in India.
The business man commenced his breakthrough journey after the unfortunate, sudden demise of his father. Despite witnessing immense criticism and doubts raised on his ability to manage a giant business house, Kumar continued his efforts-spree and never looked back. The successful entrepreneur proved many skeptics wrong and brought immense radical changes in the business strategies and internal systems for new heights in his success. Besides strengthening the designation in his existent businesses, the leader in true sense has also been venturing into sunrise sectors such as software, asset management, cellular telephony and BPOs.
Fourth generation member of Birla Marwari family, Kumar Birla has also achieved several honorary doctorate degrees and stands proud as the Chancellor of the Birla Institute of Technology & Science. Married to Neerja Birla, the rich man has three children: Aryaman Vikram, Ananyashree and Advaitesha.
Born: October 23, 1957 – Ludhiana, Punjab, India
Known for: Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises
Net worth: $8.3 billion (2011)
Sunil Bharti Mittal is a prosperous, well-known Indian telecom mogul, founder, chairman and group CEO of Bharti Enterprises. Having been awarded with the Padma Bhushan, the entrepreneur inspiringly showcases how rags can indeed be turned into riches. Son of Sat Paul (former Member of Parliament) and Lalita, Sunil runs the country’s largest GSM-based mobile phone service and has achieved milestones in his professional front.
With the globe’s fifth largest wireless company today, the billionaire started his first business in April 1976 at the young age of 18. Borrowed around $440 amount of money from his father, Sunil commenced his voyage of making crankshafts for local bicycle manufacturers.
However, in the year 1980, Mittal began an Import Enterprise entitled Bharti Overseas Trading Corporation and took it further with some help from his brothers. The man with conviction, also purchased certain importing licenses from exporting companies in Punjab just a year after but witnessed it swinging down. Still determined to advance ahead, the inspirational man commenced the assembling of push-button devices in 1984, which eventually led to a successful throne. Married to Nyna, Sunil Bharti Mittal has three children and is a visionary chairman of Bharti Enterprises today.
Born: 1973 – Dhanbad, Jharkhand
Known for: Co-founder of PartyGaming
Net worth: £1.7 billion
Another ‘Rags to Riches’ story from India that inspires billions of people, is the story of Anurag Dikshit. The Indian businessman has enormously caught attention for being the largest individual shareholder and is one of the youngest billionaires in the world. Co-founder of PartyGaming today, Anurag graduated with a Bachelor of Technology degree in computer science and engineering and started his voyage as a software developer in the U.S at CMC.
The visionary businessman began working as a systems analyst and a promising consultant for AT&T, which took place after his employment at Websci. Interestingly, the fortune shone when Dikshit was asked by Ruth Parasol at 26 years of his age to jot down some proprietary code for PartyGaming’s Starluck online Casio.
Soon discovered as a gem for his talent and unprecedented hard work, Anurag introduced Party Poker in August 2001 and rendered a new platform to the country. Touted to be 701st richest man in the world, the entrepreneur indeed outperformes in true sense and continues to generously proffer a majority of his wealth to his charitable organization ‘Kusuma Trust’.
Known for: Indiabulls
Net worth: $1.2 billion
Who would have thought that an ordinary looking entrepreneur working from a compact workplace would enter the Billionaire Club list someday? That’s the emotion-provoking story of Sameer Gehlaut, who scaled new success heights by establishing Indiabulls in the year 2000. The billionaire, at just 34 years of age, not only has developed one of the leading financial services, but has also expanded its operations across the globe.
The man commenced his journey in rags and eventually evolved as one of the prime pioneers in the online brokerage business segment.With simplicity and sheer determination, the young entrepreneur began his operations from a miniature office near Hauz Khas, a well-known place in Delhi.
However, the mission was assisted by two of friends at IIT Delhi, Rajiv Rattan and Saurabh Mittal. With just a tin roof and two computers, the history of brewing one of India’s youngest self made billionaire was getting girded up. Today, Sameer has been revered as the 45th richest businessman in India and the 962nd richest man in the world.
Born: June 8, 1956 – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Known for: UTV Group
Extraordinarily passionate and creative, Ronnie Screwvala is an Indian film producer and an extremely well-revered, founder, chairman of UTV Group. Born in Mumbai to a middle-class family, the passionate man started his career by releasing the foremost organized cable TV venture in Mumbai.
Established in the year 1981, the network would proffer around three hours of video channel service. The popular producer turned stones into milestones by taking his step further and broadcasting movies through cables to homes in the Maker Towers in Cuff Parade. What has stupefied many is the fact that Ronnie would do that at a monthly rate of just Rs. 200.
With perseveration as his second nature, Ronnie took the network to new heights within a few years and plunged into making films, producing advertisements and selling airtime on India’s national network ‘Doordarshan’. However, his rags literally turned into riches when the man established UTV Software Communications in 1990 for a success that could never be estimated. Today, he is a successful film producer in the Indian film industry and has been listed as one of the most influential people in the world (Time 100, in 2009). The 55 year old producer, recently pushed his horizon higher by collaborating with Fox Searchlight, Walt Disney, Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment Production Company, and Sony for the global reach.
Born: Rajkot, India
Known for: Suzlon Energy
Net worth: $400 million
Discuss about the most astounding, inspirational rags to riches stories from India and Tulsi Tanti has to be a part of the overwhelming discussion. The chairman and managing director of Suzlon Energy stands thoroughly distinguished for having acquired $2 billion market cap wind power based company.
Amazingly ingenious and a firm believer, the entrepreneur kicked off his drive for success by his first project, which was in the textiles sphere in Surat entitled Sulzer Synthetics Private Limited. However, the company’s name was later changed to Suzlon Synthetics Limited, which is positioned deeply into wind energy production.
Estimated as worth 4930 million by Forbes in November 2008, Tusli originally hails from Rajkot in Gujarat and feels proud for having accomplished milestones in his respective business. A diploma holder in mechanical engineering and a commerce graduate, he indeed refurbished and leveraged the textile industry in India by realizing their huge potential. Presently endeavoring to capture the global market, Tanti has magnificently showcased how rags can be transmogrified into riches by scaling the Suzlon Energy higher to the fifth largest wind turbine manufacturer position in the world and largest in Asia.
Born: March 3, 1839 – Navsari, Gujarat, India
Known for: Founder of Tata Group
Net worth: $4million
Born to a Parsi family in Gujarat, Jamsetji Nasarwanji Tata left behind a true story of perseveration, patience and passion that indeed showed ‘nothing is impossible’. Quite simple in looks but extraordinary in his goals, the Indian industrialist laid the firm foundation of Tata Group and ensured that each idea was executed perfectly for the respective fields’ optimization.
The billionaire, who created India’s biggest conglomerate company, started trading in Bombay and turned out to be the first businessman in his family of Parsi Zoroastrian priests. Married to Hirabai Daboo, Jamsetji graduated from college in 1858 and joined his father’s trading firm. The founder of Tata Group, plunged into business when it was considered as a turbulent step, considering the Indian Rebellion of 1857 which had then been suppressed by the British government. After working with his father until 29 years of his age, Jamsetji commenced a small trading company in 1868 with a capital of Rs. 21,000, subsequent to which he attained a bankrupt oil mill in 1869 and transformed the same into a cotton mill.
Completely devoted to materialize his key ideas, the man then eventually discovered the Tata Group and thus, started being considered as the ‘Father of the Indian industry’.
Born: June 2, 1955 – Sirsi (Uttara Kannada District), Karnataka, India
Known for: Unique Identification Authority of India
Net worth: $1.4 billion (2012)
A firm believer in ‘writing the destiny on your own’, Nandan Nilekani is an Indian entrepreneur who presently serves the duties of a chairman for UIDAI ( Unique Identification Authority of India). The billionaire also holds a chin up for heading the Government of India’s technology committee.
A true story of rags to riches, the self-acclaimed man began his beautiful, motivational journey with a job at Patni Computer Systems in Mumbai way back in 1978. After years of hard work and unmatched determination, Nilekani was designated as a successful chief executive officer of Infosys in March 2002 and thereafter reached great heights when he joined the UIDAI.
The billionaire currently holds the net worth of $1.4 billion, which rightly epitomizes his persona as one of the most influential, richest men in India.
Known for: Founder of Unitech
Net worth: $1 billion (2011)
Born to a banker in a humble family, Ramesh Chandra literally made India proud by accomplishing all that an ordinary person could ever do. The talented and preserving man is an incredible businessman today and holds the net worth of around $1 billion.
Founder of Indian Real estate company ‘Unitech’, Ramesh spent his formative years in Farrukhabad, a town in Uttar Pradesh and later studied structural engineering. Unconventional in thinking, the businessman moved into civil engineering and real estate in 1985 and thus, completed various projects for middle-class homes to never look. Married to Dr. Pushpa Chandra, Ramesh has two children with a story that can inspire many.
Born: June 24, 1962 – Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Known for: Founder and Chairman of the Adani Group
Net worth: $5.4 billion (2012)
Lastly yet equally inspiring story of a man who turned rags into riches all on his own. Gautam Adani is a well-known Indian business tycoon and chairman of Adani Group. With a personal wealth of $10 billion, the businessman has been announced as one of the richest person in India and the first billionaire from the city of Ahmedabad.
Dropped out of college, Adani was born in a Gujarati Jain family who set out for Mumbai at the age of 18 to make a living with just a few hundred rupees. After acquiring a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Gujarat University, he moved to Mumbai and started working as a diamond sorter at Mahindra Bros.
Subsequent to two years of extreme dedication and hard work, Gautam established his own diamond brokerage workplace at Zaveri Bazaar and earned a lakh rupees for the first time in his life. Not anyone knew that the journey of a billionaire was rather in making.
The man soon discovered his niche and set up an import-export company in the year 1988 as Adani Enterprises.The owner of a leading conglomerate company in India today, Gautam Adani is married to Priti Adani and has two children.