When 27-year old Sarathbabu graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedaba, he created quite a stir by refusing a job that offered him a huge salary. He preferred to start his own enterprise -- Foodking Catering Service -- in Ahmedabad....
some excerpts from his story...
"I was born and brought up in a slum in Madipakkam in Chennai. I have two elder sisters and two younger brothers and my mother was the sole breadwinner of the family. It was really tough for her to bring up five kids on her meagre salary.
As she had studied till the tenth standard, she got a job under the mid-day meal scheme of the Tamil Nadu government in a school at a salary of Rs 30 a month. She made just one rupee a day for six people.
So, she sold idlis in the mornings. She would then work for the mid-day meal at the school during daytime. In the evenings, she taught at the adult education programme of the Indian government.
By the end of the second year, there were many lucrative job offers coming our way, but in my mind I was determined to start something on my own. But back home, I didn't have a house. It was a difficult decision to say 'no' to offers that gave you Rs 800,000 a year. But I was clear in my mind even while I knew the hard realities back home.
Yes, my mother had been an entrepreneur, and subconsciously, she must have inspired me. My inspirations were also (Dhirubhai) Ambani and Narayana Murthy. I knew I was not aiming at something unachievable. I got the courage from them to start my own enterprise.
Nobody at my institute discouraged me. In fact, at least 30-40 students at the IIM wanted to be entrepreneurs. And we used to discuss about ideas all the time. My last option was to take up a job.
Reservation should be a mix of all criteria. If you take a caste that comes under reservation, 80 per cent of the people will be poor and 20 per cent rich, the creamy layer. For the general category, it will be the other way around.
...Take my case, I didn't have any system that would make me aware of the IITs and the IIMs. But I will be able to guide my children properly because I am well educated. I got the benefits of reservation but I will never avail of it for my children. I cannot even think of demanding reservation for the next generation."
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