Not everyone who starts from scratch touches the top of skyscrapers. It takes bold vision and efforts to reap the rewards of becoming an entrepreneur. Along with vision in mind and vigour in veins, a lot of persistence is required to stare setbacks in the face. One such entrepreneur is Surajmal Jalan.
Six decades ago, Surajmal came to Kolkata without a single penny in his pocket. From nil he has now built an empire worth crores. His business stands among the biggest industries of his sector boasting a turnover of around Rs 350 crore every year. Surajmal is the founder of Linc Pens that celebrated its 40 anniversary last year. The surprising element is that Linc exports around one crore pens abroad to around 50 countries every year.
Set out penniless
Surajmal was born into a very ordinary family in Rajasthan’s Shikar disctrict. His father had retired and duty to run the home was on his two elder brothers. Being fifth in the family of six children, he was pampered while growing up.
However, at a young age of 19, Suraj decided to make something of his life. He asked for his family’s permission to leave for city. They gave their nod on a condition that he gets married. He was not ready for another responsibility then so he left home penniless.
Surajmal’s first job was in a carpet company in Kolkata’s Harrison Road. He stayed with one of his friends who worked in a transport company. He would take bath on footpath and eat besides road. To save money he would daily walk for many kilometres to reach his destination. This was a very tough time for Suraj as he would constantly miss the cozy environment of home amidst all the struggle.
After working for an year in the carpet industry he switched to a comb-making company. He worked there for two years and then on joined a rice mill and then a tea estate as an assistant manager for a salary of mere Rs 500 per month. His efforts had to take a pause as he was called back home to take care of his aging parents.
At home, instead of sitting idle he decided to take up some work. He bought pens and started selling them from home to home. He realized that there were no quality pens in our country so he instead decided to start a company that made parts of pen. This is where his fate took a turn for better.
After two years, he again left for Kolkata as he had realized that his big goal could not be achieved from a small town. He started his own retail shop for pens in the biggest stationary area Bagri Bazaar which later turned into a wholesale shop. But despite this his thirst wasn’t quenched. He wanted to open a pen manufacturing company of his own. His in-laws helped Suraj a lot in realizing his dreams. They gave him a 10 by 10 room in Maalpaara, Kolkata. He started his business from there by investing Rs 10,000 for making plastic parts of pens. His venture was highly appreciated. However, his dreams were big and he had just made a start.
His vision was bright and clear. He started a pen manufacturing company of his own after facing several hardship. He started the company from mere 700 square feet with five employees and Rs 700 rent in 1976. He named his pen manufacturing company as Linc – meaning ‘connecter’, suggested by his friend. Gradually his business picked up pace and people started appreciating his undertaking when he took the pens all by himself to the wholesale. At the age of 17, in year 1980 his son Deepak Jalan started as a trainee and now is the Managing Director of the company.
In 1992, Linc collaborated with Mitsubishi, Japan and became distributor of uniball pens. Same year, they distributed 12 lakh pens to South Korea. In 2005, Linc started Linc glycer pens. Presently, Linc has become a huge distributer of pens from marker, marker-eraser, note-book, folders, file-folder etc. In 2008, Shahrukh became the brand ambassador of Linc.
Now, Deepak’s son Rohit has also joined the company and is helping it grow exponentially. Thus the dream of Suraj is being carried on by his many generations now.
If you like this story, share it and spread positivity. Tell us your views by writing in the comment box below. We read each one of them.