December 28th, 2015
Source: Humans of Bombay
“My father ran a screen printing company in Jabalpur, but because of various reasons we lost all our money and our financial situation went from bad to worse. Over the years, I wound sit at my grandfather’s shop for which he would pay me 5 Rupees a day–and I saved that money to pay for my education. I had a dream of becoming an IT expert, but because we couldn’t afford milk let alone a computer I couldn’t pursue it. I decided one night that because my family was close to starvation, I would try and go to Bombay to do something. In 2005, when I was 19 years old I ran away with 1200 Rupees in my pocket.
For 18 days after reaching Bombay, I would sleep at a bus stop outside JW Marriot, eat nothing but biscuits dipped in water and shower inside these local bathrooms before my interviews. I called every big call centre from a pay phone, but because I couldn’t speak English fluently — none of them even considered me. Finally, I got a job at a small local call centre in Andheri which paid me 1600 Rupees a month which was more than any money I had seen! I shifted into a small sharing room with 5 other people and worked overtime. I didn’t know how to use a computer so I would take hours to type a simple message – everyone there would laugh at me, but I used to keep practicing. I enrolled myself in a 21 day English Grammar Course and stayed up all night trying to read every word of newspapers that I took from the office.
In a short period of 3 months, I had learnt how to type on a computer (which I had never even seen before) and spoke good enough English– and that’s how I got my 2nd job with another call centre which paid me 8000 Rupees a month. I was so interested in computers that I would take night lessons to understand the hardware and software of these machines and over the course of a few months I had more knowledge than anyone else in the IT department.
In 2007, I got a job at Microsoft in the service department. That was the year I returned home with money for my family – to renovate dad’s office, buy a television and washing machine for mom as well as a computer for my brothers. In 4 days I came back, motivated to make it on my own. I quit my job after a few months and started my own company with one employee. Our first client paid us 15,000 Rupees for a website and after that there was no looking back. I’ve made countless websites, IOS apps and serviced thousands of computers to get to this point. What’s funny is that one of my employee’s the same guy who made fun of me not knowing English at my first job! What made me stronger is those nights on the footpath, close to starvation with nothing but my family in mind. The struggle, no matter how bad it seemed at a point has been more than worth it.”