Time and again we get to hear about stories of financially overburdened farmers committing dreadful acts. Whenever any such incidence happens or this issue is argued loudly, we express our serious concerns and expect authorities to frame policies to alleviate the suffering of farmers. But we rarely talk about the miseries of their families – for most of us, these families live the rest of their life in indigence. What if someone tells us that a person from such a beggarly family went on to set up a 250 crore company?! Shocking! Isn’t it? – Here is the story of Kailash Chandra Patra from Odisha!
Kailash was born in a poverty-stricken family in the Indian state of Odisha to a farmer. His father was a small-time farmer who traded in Rice And Paddy. Like any other small-scale farmer in India, Kailash’s father always remained under a debt. When the situation went out of his hands, Kailash’s father fleed abandoning the family. Kailash, his mother, three brothers, and three sisters were left with a poky hut and a difficult life ahead. But, despite being dirt-poor, they survived the hand-to-mouth condition in the hope of a better future. With no other occupational options to earn a better living, education was the only hope for Kailash. He completed his schooling living in the same hut and started taking tuition and saving money for further education. For higher education, he moved to Cuttack with the help of a Samaritan who gave him no-rent accommodation.
Kailash continued taking tuition along with his studies. After completing higher studies, he stopped taking tuition and got employed with an electrical turnkey project contractor. He worked for a monthly salary of Rs 2000 which wasn’t adequate to support his family, also, the behavior of the owner of the company was most often disrespectful towards their employees. Having lived in terrible conditions throughout his life, respect was as important as earning money for him. The thought of doing something on his own precipitated in his mind but did not extend the required courage. After serving his first company for almost two years, Kailash switched the job and joined as a sales executive in a medicine company. Again after one year, Kailash quit his job due to a lack of job satisfaction and then, joined an electronics trading company, which he left after four years on the verge to do something of his own.
After quitting his job, for a while, Kailash remained indecisive about starting his own business or doing a job but soon decided to start his own business from scratch. He had a good experience of trading in electronics but did not have any money to invest in expensive electronic goods. He rented a 40 sq ft shop and started dealing in inexpensive electronic utilities like a TV antenna and booster devices. To start the business, he committed a rent of Rs 300 per month to the owner of the shop and invested his trivial emergency-savings.
“I always wanted to do something of my own. Doing something big and innovative was always my ideology. My happiness has always been in creating additional value for the customers and serving them.”- Kailash told KenFolios
Kailash bought TV utilities from a large shop in the nearby city and sold them at his shop at Dolamundai, Cuttack. A TV set was a new phenomenon back then and he soon generated a good volume of business. Escalated sales helped him save some money despite a narrow margin. Kailash got a scaling opportunity when a nearby shop vacated. The 80 sq ft shop was considerably bigger and road facing. He used his entire savings to arrange Rs 6000 advance for this shop. The potential sale and Kailash’s relations with the distributors of electronic goods helped him to stock TV sets on a credit line. His turnover and income increased and he soon got a business loan of Rs 2,00,000/- from Allahabad Bank. Kailash used this money to start establishing a chain of big electronic stores starting from the first at Badambadi, Cuttack.
Since then, there has been no turning back for Kailash. Today, his company Patra Electronics is one of the leading Electronics dealers in the Indian State of Odisha. Kailash Chandra Patra is a respected dealer having tie-ups with almost all the big electronic brands. His 22 branches have generated a sale of Rs 250 Cr in the last financial year. For someone who was abandoned by his father at a very young age, commanding such respect and huge turnover is unimaginable. Kailash’s story is one of the few and far between examples of risk-reward balance in the economics of life.
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