HomeAmazing world5 Famous Indians Who Succeeded Against All Odds

5 Famous Indians Who Succeeded Against All Odds

Without learning anything to live a long life means you had spoiled your life. You’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a wise person. Therefore, entrepreneurs must realize that sometimes it is necessary to face difficulties in life to become successful. And never giving up is the only way to become successful in life. Additionally, If you want to be successful like these genius persons then you should first read their story to enhance your inspirational power. They are some of the most well know  Celebrities and Businessmen we all know and love – who have created memorable Indian rags to riches story.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – The Missile Man of India

Abdul Kalam
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Scientist and 11th president of India. He was referred to as the Missile Man of India. He was honored with several prestigious awards including India’s highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna in 1997 Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was prominent.

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was also known as Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. He was born in Dhanushkodi, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, and studied physics and part engineering. He was the eleventh president of the Republic of India and elected against Lakshmi Sehgal in 2002.

Before becoming the President of India, he worked with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as an aerospace engineer.

Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam was known as the Missile Man of India for his important role in the nation’s civilian space program and military missile development. Also, in 1998, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam made significant contributions to India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests.

One of the famous quotes by Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam is “FAILURE can never overtake me if my definition to SUCCEED is strong enough”.

In 1990s, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam had served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister before becoming the President of India in 2002.

A.P.J Abdul Kalam: Family history and early life

5 Famous Indians Who Succeeded Against All Odds

Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam was born on fifteen October 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in Rameswaram, then in Madras Presidency in the British Republic of India and currently in Tamil Nadu. Kalam’s father’s name was Jainulabdeen, who was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque. His mother’s name was Ashiamma, who was a housewife.

Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam was the 5th youngest siblings, the eldest was a sister, namely Asim Zohra and three elder brothers, namely Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar, Mustafa Kalam and Kasim Mohammed.

In 1920, his family had lost most of his fortune; their businesses failed and by the time Abdul Kalam was born are in the stage of the poverty-stricken. To help the family, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam started selling newspapers at an early age.

In his school days, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn. Mathematics was his main interest.

Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action converts adversity into prosperity.

Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam used to say a very nice thing about education is that “Education gives you wings to fly.”

During his third year of graduation, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam was assigned a project to design a low-level attack aircraft together with a few other students. Their teacher had given them a good deadline for finishing the project however, it had been terribly tough. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam worked hard under immense pressure and finally completed his project within the stipulated deadline. The teacher was impressed by the dedication of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. As a result, Kalam wants to become a fighter pilot but he got 9th position in the qualifiers list and only eight positions were available in the IAF.

Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam: Education and Career

A.P.J Abdul Kalam had completed his graduation in 1957 from the Madras Institute of Technology and in 1958 he had joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), as a scientist.

In the early 1960s, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam worked with the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) under the renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai.

Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) under the renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai.

He had started his career by planning a little hovercraft at DRDO. Abdul Kalam played a serious role in conducting the Pokhran-II, a series of five nuclear bomb test explosions in May 1998.

His famous inspirational quote is “The dream isn’t that which you see whereas sleeping it’s something that doesn’t allow you to sleep.”

In 2002, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power and nominate Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the post of the President of the Republic of India. Being a preferred national figure, he won the presidential election easily.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s contribution to India as a President of India (2002 to 2007)

On 10 June 2002, the NDA government proposed Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s name for the presidential post to the Leader of Opposition, Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Dr. Abdul Kalam served because of the President of the Republic of India from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.

He was the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy the Rashtrapati Bhawan. On 27 July 2015, Dr.Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam was giving a lecture at IIM Shillong wherever he suddenly got a heart attack and his condition became crucial, so, he was shifted to Bethany Hospital where thereafter, he died of cardiac arrest.

Dr. Kalam’s last words, to Srijan Pal Singh, were “Funny guy! Are you doing well?”

In somewhere in his book he wrote a nice quote as“It is terribly easy to defeat someone, however, it’s terribly hard to win somebody.”

Narayana Murthy

5 Famous Indians Who Succeeded Against All Odds

Narayana Murthy is currently described as the father of the Indian IT Sector. And he is listed by Fortune Magazine among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time, has not always been successful with his ventures. Narayana Murthy’s first journey was to create own company named Softronics but due to some reasons, the Company gets failed in about a year and a half after its start. Due to the failure of his first venture, Narayana Murthy joined Patni Computer Systems and worked there for about five years. Along with six software professionals team, he once again founded Infosys in 1981 and a meager capital provided by his wife Sudha Murthy.  Today Infosys is nothing but India’s fifth-largest publicly traded company and the third-largest Indian based IT Services company.

Narayana Murthy was not that person who born with a silver spoon in his mouth; in fact, he had to work extremely hard to reach the top. He was born on August 20, 1946, in Mysore, Karnataka. He came from a poor but educated family.

At childhood days, Narayana Murthy was an academically brilliant and active student. He was passionate about Mathematics and Physics and always had the thirst and the desire to gain more knowledge in these fields.

Hence, he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Mysore and later, received his Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

From a young age, his dream was to start his own business venture. Narayana Murthy started his career as a chief systems programmer at IIM Ahmedabad. He then founded a company called Softronics, which failed after 1.5 years of its inception.

Due to the failures at an early age, he did not give up his dream of being an entrepreneur. He learned from his previous mistakes and decided to start afresh in 1981. In the year 1981, he and his further six professionals have collected 10,000 together to form a company named “Infosys”.

The professional team also support to keep the interests of the company ahead of their own interest. And each of the team members brought complementary strengths to the company.

Today, Narayan Murthy’s name listed close to the side of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. and his name is listed as one of the greatest entrepreneurs all the time. In 2000, he was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India for his significant contribution to the country’s IT sector and economy. In 2008, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award.

In 2011, when Narayana Murthy took retirement, the company went through tumultuous times. Cost-cutting was evident and the performance of the company deteriorated.

On June 1, 2013, Narayana Murthy was called out of retirement to lead the company once again. Narayana Murthy will turn 67 this year and he has taken up the challenge to bring the company back on its feet.

Currently, Narayan Murthy is at the position of an Additional Director and the Executive Chairman of the Board with the company. He is closely working with the top management team to come up with incentives such as giving higher salaries to top performers which helps to improve the performance of the company.

This is a true example of loyalty, commitment, and dedication. Narayan Murthy can live with a luxurious life but he refused it, after his retirement, He is the person who willing to sacrifice his luxuries to revive the company.

Being born into a poor family did not stop Narayana Murthy from pursuing his dreams. We can learn from Narayana Murthy’s determination on how to succeed in life – If one can put his mind and heart to education and career no one can stop him from rising.

You can’t blame your failures if you have to face a lack of financial resources. Once William Shakespeare said, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in us.” Similarly, only because of born into a poor family does not mean that he will remain poor and unsuccessful for the rest of his life.

If we have strong beliefs and passionate about changing our future one day our dreams will definitely come true. Life is full of challenges. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes in our life but it is important to learn from them at the right time of your age and rise in our academic and professional lives.

Super Star Rajinikanth

5 Famous Indians Who Succeeded Against All Odds

Today Rajinikanth is a very successful No.1 movie star was born as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad in an impoverished family. Today he is a god of the Cinema for every Indian, especially for the south region. He lost his mother when he was five years old and grew up with four siblings, while his father worked as a police constable. Upon completing his school education, Rajinikanth continued to perform various blue-collar jobs in the cities of Bangalore and Madras, including that of a coolie, carpenter and bus conductor. While working as a bus conductor, he came across an advertisement offering acting classes and enrolled in it with his friend’s financial support. He was noticed by Tamil film director K. Balachander, during his acting course and then his career starts raising.

Super Star Rajinikanth’s was recently listed by NDTV’s among the 25 Greatest Global Living Indian Legends. His speech at the time of receiving the honor is very much heart touching and witnessed to his life, that has been nothing short of incredible. Rajinikanth’s speech at NDTV award: “Many people don’t believe in miracles but miracles do happen. An ordinary bus conductor sharing the dais with the greatest living legends is a miracle. Miracles do happen. I want to give this award to my brother Sathyanarayana Rao Gaikwad who is like my father and mother, my guru Balachander and also the people of Tamil Nadu, Without their love and affection I wouldn’t be here”.

Rajinikanth, as we know, is an iconic superstar of South Indian movies and the one among the highest-paid actors in the industry. But wait, before becoming a superstar, he had faced a life full of struggle and hardships. He rather accomplished his dream through repeated struggles and determination. His story is an inspiration and teaches everyone that dreaming big and persevering can make a conductor a film Superstar.

Early Life

Rajinikanth, born as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad on 12th December 1950, in a Marathi family, was the youngest of four siblings. His mother, Jijabai, died when he was very young and his family went through the severe financial crisis; that’s when he was forced to work odd jobs such as an office boy, a coolie, a carpenter, in Mysore Machinery and at one time earned money by loading rice sacks.

Journey From Bus Conductor To Film Star

When he grew up, he obtained a bus conductor license by appearing for an exam and began working as a bus conductor for The Bangalore Transport Service. When he was working as a conductor in Bangalore he became very popular among passengers because of his style of issuing tickets and returning the change. They wanted to travel only on the bus which had Rajinikanth. It was during this time he acted in Kannada stage plays, watched a lot of films and imitated Sivaji Ganesan, Rajkumar, and M. G. Ramachandran. He said that Ganesan was the reason he has been in the cinema.

In 1973, he joined the Madras Film Institute to learn acting skills. During that time, he got in touch with K. Balachander, an Indian Film director who worked primarily in the Tamil film industry. He was not that person who impressed instantly with Rajnikanth and suggested him to develop his own unique style. 

Because of Rajanikant’s luck, in 1975 once again they met and this time Rajani was able to impress K.Balachander.He begged for a small role in his cinema. Rajinikanth has mostly played supporting and negative roles at the beginning of his career. Today he is the number one highest-paid actor in the film industry.

Laxmanrao Kashinath Kirloskar

5 Famous Indians Who Succeeded Against All Odds
The famous business-Laxmanrao-Kirloskar photo on post ticket

Laxmanrao Kirloskar is the founder of the Kirloskar Industries was born on 20th June 1869, in a small village, Gurlahosur in Belgaum District. He begins his life as a school teacher and later on, opened a cycle repair shop in Belgaum. But he was not satisfied with a small workshop at Belgaum.

He dreamt about to build his own industry and community for his employees. Then he realized this dream with Kirloskarwadi, this is a place where he started the Kirloskar Brothers Limited factory in 1910.

Laxmanrao Kirloskar believed that grasping of one’s environment and reality was absolutely necessary to the manufacture of path-breaking industrial implements. From this true belief, he has made the first Kirloskar product named iron plow.

Today Kirloskar brothers turnover is a 1.20 billion US Dollars. Power, construction and mining, agriculture, industry and transport, oil and gas are their areas of specialization and they provide environment protection with a wide range of world-class industrial products and the best services.

They have 8 major group companies, each led by the best engineering and managerial talent in India. In addition to engineering, they have interests in civic utility systems and in Information Technology and communication also.

Dhirubhai Ambani

5 Famous Indians Who Succeeded Against All Odds
The business Icon-Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhai Ambani is the first Indian to Entrepreneur to feature his Company on the Forbes 500 list. He was born with the name Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani in a middle-class family. His father was working as a school teacher and Ambani moved to Yemen and worked there as a gas-station attendant at the age of 16 and as a clerk in an oil company also. Then He comes back to India in 1958 with some money almost Rs 50,000 and set up a textile trading company. That company is now one of the largest business houses in India with an interest in many different sectors.

He established the foundation for “Reliance Industries” which is today become one of the largest Union in the world. The success story of Dhirubhai Ambani is an inspiration for the generation to come.

 Dhirubhai Ambani was born to Hirachand Govardhandas Ambani and Jamanaben in the village of Chorwad, Junagadh district. His father was worked as a school teacher and his mother was a housemaker. He was aware of the inefficiencies that the family dealt with because of the small income of father and larger expenses. At the age of 26, Dhirubhai Ambani has already given enough signals of his money-making abilities and dreams. However, his family economical condition forced him to do a job as a petrol attendant and then as a clerk in an oil company. Later he went to Aden in Yemen and done a clerical job at A. Besse & Co. It was one of the largest transcontinental trading firms at that time.

He was very much curious about to learn the tricks of the trade. Then he started working simultaneously for a Gujarati trading firm. There he got experience in learned accounting, book-keeping and preparing shipping papers and documents. He also gained knowledge of dealing with bank insurance companies. Thus he moved back from Yemen to India in 1958 and started expanding his business opportunities in Bombay.

Because of a financial issue, he could not make a large investment into his business, so he settled as a spice trader under the corporation named “Reliance Commercial Corporations”. He wanted to produce the best quality Nylon in the quickest way possible and in large quantities. Because of his daring attitude and lion-hearted behavior everyone impressed by him and soon the market for Vimal fabric started expanding. In less time it became famous for the finest and the best selling fashion fabric.

Dhirubhai Ambani was awarded for spreading the equity craze in India. Later Reliance Industries started to hold their Annual General meetings in stadiums. It was was the first private sector company who have held meetings in stadiums.  The BBC has described the company as “a business empire with an estimated annual turnover of $12bn, and an 85,000-strong workforce”.

He was also awarded numerous honors including Dean’s medal, lifetime achievement award for corporate excellence and the man of the century award.

Dhirubhai Ambani got success in showed Indians without an Oxford degree with a family’s poor financial condition how once can succeed in their lives. The man who came to Mumbai with just Rs..500 in his pocket has ranked now by   Forbes as one of the world’s richest person with an estimated net worth of $2.9 Billion in 2002.

It was his divine vision and strong business awareness that the Reliance industries created history in the world business. So, everyone should learn that capital in hand will not make you that what you want to be. Hard-working, the right focus, and dedication to work required to become a successful person like Dhirubhai Ambani.

Dhirubhai showed he had that street smarts and a nose for profit and he used to say that  “I don’t believe in not taking opportunities,”

In 2002, when Dhirubhai Ambani passed away, the Reliance Industries turn over was approximately 75,000 crore(Rs.750 billion). He was a rare example of a genius business who got success from nothing.

Harsha Amrish Bhoi
Harsha Amrish Bhoi
She has completed Masters in Information technology and having 5yrs IT experience. 5yrs experience in content writing and technical writing. 3+ yrs experience in teaching as well as subject matter expertise for IT subjects. She loves to write motivational and informative contents on current situations. Loved to write articles specially on India.


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