The Man Who Built A 500 Cr Company Starting With Single Fax-Machine

Post India’s independence in 1947, the Indian society has displayed rapid changes in terms of the ways of living. Today, when Millennials seem to be leading the transformation and ‘Gen Z’ standing by – we cannot forget the struggles of the era of  the ‘common man’ of India dating back to the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. The problems of Indian’s born in the decades adjoining India’s independence were substantially different from modern-day struggles. Completing education was not easy in a poverty-ridden family, and finding a job after studies was back-breaking. A lot of transformation was happening in the socio-economics of India, leading to the rising and fall of companies, and lost jobs subsequently. 

Ravindra Jagtap, aged 56, was born in Pune in a typical middle-class Indian family. One amongst the four children of his proletariat parents, an engineering degree was the only hope for Ravindra – he finished his engineering amidst great difficulties. After a job-hunt lasting a few years, Ravindra got a job with a company named Metachem and got married the following year. Life was moving on steadily, but an entrepreneurial fire was burning inside Ravindra, yet, setting up own company was unimaginable for a youngster back then – both financially and psychologically. While commuting to office and back, Ravindra frequently observed Aditya Birla (Birla Group) in a lavish car at the signal. He was so fascinated by a business career that he named his newborn son ‘Aditya’ -that was the maximum he could do to please his entrepreneurial ambitions. 

Turning Point Of Life

In a sudden development, the owner of Ravindra’s company passed away in 1995. The new management decided to take the company in a new direction – the loss of his mentor and rapid changes in the company caused Ravindra to leave his post. His paltry salary of Rs 5000-10000 never allowed him to save anything for the future in a city like Mumbai. That was the most crucial time of Ravindra’s life. Finding new employment and looking after the family was burdensome, but he was hopeful. It was Ravindra’s hope which convinced him to consider self-employment. The greatest challenge was to start without any working capital. Ravindra had to do something innovative. After the initial research, Ravindra grasped that the pharma sector can offer to trade in API(Active Pharma Ingredients). 

To start with, I just had a fax-machine that I used while working with my previous company. That simple fax-machine motivated me to reach out to possible clients, which later changed my fortune – Ravindra Told To KenFolios.

The Early Struggle – 1995 To 1997

Ravindra started his company ‘AASTRID International’ is the year 1997, they dealt in only one single product called Metformin HCL. Ravindra kept researching API products which could be exported to other nations. Simultaneously, he kept on visiting libraries to explore the business directories to find out national suppliers and international clients. It was the pre-email era and the wait time for a postal mail to get a reply from an international business was two months, also, not all of them replied. Ravindra continued hustling, finding small to large clients. The activity started for survival in 1997 , did a turnover of Rs. 20 lac in its first year.

The Growth From 1997 To 2020

Today, AASTRID group has an annual turnover of Rs 150 cr and a valuation of 500 cr. While their trading wing is still operational, AASTRID now has it’s own manufacturing facility at Mahad, Maharashtra. AASTRID’s R&D wing is continuously researching innovative new products. Having its own offices in India,  China, And Dubai – AASTRID is exporting to more than 50 nations across the globe. The company has also started working on a new Greenfield Manufacturing Facility with an intent to bring in environmental sustainability. The new facility is being built from scratch at a cost of a whopping Rs 50 cr.

Ravindra Jagtap is a respected and recognized name in the Pharma industry. His company deals with almost all the big pharma companies in India and globally. Honouring his work in the pharma sector, the company is awarded the ‘Make In India’ enablement award by the Government Of India for its work in import substitutes. Ravindra’s inspiring journey is a living example of un-common accomplishments by a common-man.

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