Life is a journey full of difficulties and challenges and how people cope with them defines the character of that person. Life always ushers new challenges for every individual and one can only become successful by being focused on their goal in life. Such successful people become inspirations for the younger generations.
Ashok Khade is one such motivational personalities who achieved unique success in life while fighting against extreme poverty. Today, Ashok is known as one of the biggest industrialists in India with his annual business turnover going above Rs 500 crore.
Ashok was born in a very poor family in Sangli district of Maharashtra. His struggle against poverty started from his early childhood. The family had six children all of whom often had to skip meals as there was nothing to eat at home. They had to spent night after night on a hungry stomach. His father then decided to go to Mumbai in search of a better job and started working as a cobbler. He spent almost 12 hours in a day sewing shoes and slippers sitting under a tree in streets of Mumbai. Despite all these efforts, Ashok’s father could not generate enough income to sustain his family. Ashok, however, continued his study at a government school in his village. He shifted to another village school after the STD 7.
Ashok understood that education was the only way out of their acute poverty. Rather than giving up, he sought inspiration from his poverty and continued to study hard.
Facing Unique Success
Recalling those struggling days, Ashok recalls that once his mother sent him to collect flour from the nearby mill. It was the rainy season and there was mud everywhere. While Ashok was returning he slipped and all the flour fell into the mud. When Ashok came home and told what happened his mother started crying. They had nothing left to feed the children. Then his mother brought some maize and vegetables from the villagers and made bread by grinding them. She fed the children but had nothing to feed herself. Watching his mother’s desperate fight against poverty, Ashok vowed that one day he would pull his family out of poverty.
After his board exams, Ashok went to his elder brother who lived in Mumbai. By that time, his brother had got a job as an apprentice welder in the Mazgaon Dockyard. His brother encouraged him to study in college and promised to provide him the financial assistance. However, Ashok clearly knew that it won’t be possible for her brother to bear his burden. So he decided to support himself and he started giving tuitions and managed his college expenses from that money. After completing his degree, Ashok wanted to pursue further studies but began working as an apprentice in the same dock to help his family. He got Rs 90 per month as stipend.
Creating Rs 500 Crore Firm
Ashok had a beautiful handwriting which is why he was offered training in ship designing and painting. After four years, he was made a Permanent Draftsman and his job was to design ships. His salary was hiked to around Rs 300 per month but Ashok had made other plans by then. He wanted to do something big in life for which he wanted to pursue higher education. He enrolled himself in a diploma while working. He successfully passed the diploma course.
After four years he was transferred to the quality control department of the dockyard. At that time, he got an opportunity from the company to go to Germany. There he closely observed the world famous German technology and realized about his own strengths and weaknesses. He got a clear understanding about his goal in life.
On returning to India, he decided to open his own firm. Then he and his brothers together founded Das Offshore Engineering Pvt Ltd. The initial days were again full of struggles, but their honest efforts paid off. Today, their company is one of the best in their field with important clients like ONGC, Hyundai, British Gas, L&T, Essar, BHEL etc. You will be surprised to know that so far their company has completed more than 100 projects on the sea. There are more than 4,500 employees in Das Offshore and their yearly turnover is over Rs 500 crore.
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