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Oil’s well that ends well: Meet the Oil king of Bareilly, Ghanshyam Khandelwal

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For being forced to get a government job by his parents, Ghanshyam saw the loophole in his family business and fixed it to aim for new heights.

It takes a visionary and a sharp, astute business mind like Ghanshyam Khandelwal to build a Rs. 2,500-crore turnover FMCG brand from a place like Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, which used to be a really small town back in the 1980s.

At 29, Ghanshyam Khandelwal started the business as a partnership firm along with his brother in 1985 with Rs. 10 lakh. The company sold packaged mustard oil under the brand name Bail Kolhu.

Registering a turnover of Rs. 80 lakh in its first year, the business grew year-on-year, becoming a private limited in 1998, and eventually going public in 2007.

In the year 2000, the company crossed the Rs. 100 crore turnover mark and in 2010 touched Rs 1,000 annual turnover.

In 2018, the company launched a wide range of food products under the brand name Nourish. The company has opened around 12 Nourish Exclusive Brand Outlets till date and aims to open more this year.

His grandfather started the business and was then continued by his father and then him, but his father passed away in 1981 and his father’s brother took over the family business in 1985 and gave him Rs. 10 lakh as his share.

He identified the major issues affecting the quality of the oil and found that the quality depended upon the composition of gums (phospholipids) in mustard seeds, and so he launched cold-pressed oil when he started his own company in 1986 with his brother. In 1990, the company registered for Agmark, which was a valuable asset for quality products in those days.

In 1998, the company faced a crisis when the government banned mustard oil after rumours spread that the product was causing dropsy in people.

He went all out and advertised in newspapers explaining that mustard oil was not harmful, and the sales rose. And this was the time he came to be known as UP’s oil king.

Later on, he opened up many more facilities at different locations, from semi-automatic to fully automatic factories which increased their producing and packaging potential by 500%.

By the joining of his and his daughter his company became more modern in terms of advertising and reaching new markets.

Today they have a turnover of more than Rs. 2500 crores. Ghanshyam made us realize the fact that every business has potential: what we lack is perception.

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Leadership

4 Must Reads – Straight from Elon Musk’s recommendation list

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Elon Musk’s reading collection includes science fiction classics as well as complicated literature on cutting-edge technologies. His vision as the leader of some of the world’s most valuable companies makes it interesting to take a peek into the inner workings of his mind. Musk is also known for sharing his suggestions on social media. 

Let’s evaluate some fascinating reads from his recommendations.

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson 

This book chronicles the ambitious and adventurous life of Apple’s brilliant entrepreneur and eccentric creator. Steve Jobs covers the man’s successful enterprises, beginning with his early experiences with spirituality and LSD and ending at the pinnacle as a worldwide technology superstar. This is a well-researched book that goes into the thinking of the man behind the world’s most valuable technological business.

Life 3.0, by Max Tegmark

The Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Elon Musk’s latest book, is one of the few that explores the idea of AI being used for good rather than harm in the world. Max Tegmark, an MIT scientist, addresses how to keep Artificial Intelligence helpful to humans while simultaneously ensuring that technological progress is consistent with humanity’s long-term goals.

The Big Picture, by Sean M. Carroll

The Big Picture is a bold examination of the world we live in and how we may make sense of the vast majority of it through scientific thought. It teaches readers how to think about the most difficult things, such as the origins of life, awareness, and the cosmos itself, using a deductive approach. Sean Carroll is a practicing theoretical physicist with some unique philosophical perspectives. Sean invented the phrase “poetic naturalism”, which is addressed in the book.

Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom

Superintelligence is intended to be a serious, hard-headed examination of the impending arrival of computers that are far smarter than humans. Musk has often warned about the dangers of unfettered Artificial Intelligence, and this book examines the pitfalls of taking technology too far too soon. 

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Freshwork’s inspiring success story makes employee crorepatis

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Freshworks IPO has made 500 employees crorepatis

Freshworks Inc., led by Girish Mathrubootham, became the first Indian Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company to get on the NASDAQ, which helped the valuation of the company reach a sky-high value of $13 billion.

Through stock options, around 500 of Girish’s employees turned into ‘crorepatis’, out of which 70 are said to be under 30.

Born to a former bank officer in 1975, Girish co-founded Freshdesk (now Freshworks) with Shan Krishnasamy in 2010. Atwell College from Australia was the first of many clients on board. The company managed to get 22 clients worldwide in the initial days.

Entrepreneurship is never a smooth journey, with success never guaranteed. “Success and happiness are two different things – One should focus on staying happy irrespective of what is happening around you. We always hold the key to our happiness,” says Girish.

Girish also mentions how grateful he is to all his employees and that the 500 new ‘crorepatis’ deserved a reward for their contribution over the years. About 4300 of Freshwork Inc’s employees globally hold equity options in the company.

Girish strongly believes in mentorship. He also founded SaaSBooMi, a community of founders who share hard-learned experiences by making these learnings available to all. “Passion and purpose are more important than almost anything else,” said Girish talking about young entrepreneurs looking to leave their mark. In the long run, he hopes to build a SaaS company that is recognized globally.

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Shaji Thomas: The Indian Superhero who is saving the Amazon Rainforest

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Global warming, forest depletion, and other hazardous effects on our environment have been increasing rapidly as days go by. There are still a few souls who do everything they can to make sure they somehow play a part in saving us from what is known as the end of our existence.

One such hero is Shaji Thomas. He has been in a fight for the last 26 years to protect and save the Amazon Rainforests of Brazil. Here is a look into his heroic struggle to ensure a better future for us all. 

Shaji Thomas: Guardian of the Amazon Rainforest

Shaji Thomas who hails from Kerala carried his bags and shifted to Brazil as a young student. This young smart superhero is now an environmental conservationist and a lawyer, but what is more fascinating about him is the fact that he stayed back after his education for one special cause.

Shaji Thomas decided to fight and protect the Amazon Forests of Brazil and the rights for the 60 plus communities that reside in the region. This passion began when he was in his mid-twenties and was a part of the Quilombola Community. 

The battle was not easy in the beginning. Thomas had to acquire Brazilian citizenship and become the only Indian-origin lawyer in the region. He stood up to the mafia and lived on a boat in the rivers of the Amazon for years. 

This superhero has been holding up a strong fight for years but there is still a lot of work to do. Climate change is something that has been on the rise leading to major destruction of the rainforests. Thomas claims that almost 20 sq. km burns every year due to forest fires.

Shaji Thomas is working hard every year and inspiring people all over the world to play their part to ensure that the Earth’s lungs are safeguarded, and we have a sustainable future.

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