Villager - Idhar village, Gujarat.
Don't dream. Dreams never come true, my father, the headmaster of our village school often told me when I was a young boy. But I did dream. As I grew, so did my dreams. Bigger than my outstreatched arms, bigger than my small house, bigger than my village. I loved Idhar. It was quiet, peaceful, lazy and green. But I knew that my destiny was beyond this village... I knew that my destiny had to be made by me.
When I came to Bombay I had two shirts, a wife, a brother-in-law and Rs.15,000 in a small suitcase to start a business. But all doors were shut for a newcomer. Indian business and trade were run by a handful of the rich and the privileged. Only they were given the licenses, they had the quotas and they controlled all the government and trade. It was an exclusive club where it was imposible for an ordinary middle class newcomer to enter, leave alone succeed. You had to kick the doors open or cajole them open. I did both. I did not take no for an answer. And that's because I can never hear the word no.
We started Shakti Trading in a 350 sq feet room, with one telephone, one table and three chairs. Today Shakti Corporation is the first Indian company to enter the Forbes top 500 list. People ask me how this happened. I say by thinking... Think Big, Think Ahead and Think Fast.