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Dropped out of college, drooped in to riches

By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 10 December 2010, 17:58 Hrs   |    8 Comments
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Bangalore: Bill Gates, Lawrence Ellison, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell are among the world's wealthiest people today. But one thing that's common for all of them is that they have all dropped out of college but have amassed enormous fortunes. Many of India's richest men have the track record of being dropped out of college to start their entrepreneurial life. Here are some of the exceptional personalizes who have made their names familiar in the world of business but have a collage dropout history behind.

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani: The chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries and and the fourth richest man in the world with a personal wealth of $29.0 billion, is an MBA drop-out from Stanford University at the first year. Mukesh joined Reliance Industries in 1981 and initiated its backward integration journey from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals, petroleum refining and going up-stream into oil and gas exploration and production.

Azim Hashim Premji: After finishing his schooling St. Mary's School, Mumbai, Premji had enrolled in for electrical engineering from Stanford University, California, USA but was forced to leave his studies at the age of 21 to take over the family business when his father suddenly died in 1966. However, after a gap of over thirty years completed his degree in Electrical Engineering. The recent Forbes rich list ranked him the third richest Indian with a personal wealth of $17 billion in 2010.

Micky 'Mukesh' Jagtiani: Owning the Dubai-based Landmark retail-stores group, with over 600 stores in the Gulf, India, Pakistan, China and Spain, Jagtiani is ranked the 16th richest Indian with a net worth of $2 billion. Upon completion of his initial schooling in Mumbai and Beirut,he joined a London accounting school from where he later flunked out. He then started his career as a taxi driver and went on become a successful entrepreneur from there on. He started his retail business with just $6000 through the company called Landmark opened its first store in Bahrain in 1973. Now the company has diversified into leisure, food, hotels and electronics and its own logistics and distribution.

Subhash Chandra Goel: He is the one who launched India's satellite television revolution with the lunch of Essel Group. The onetime rice exporter-turned media baron, dropped out of school after class 12. His pioneering channel Zee TV reaches 320 lakhs homes, connecting with 20 crores people in South Asia alone. His net worth is estimated to be about $2.8 billion. His other business interests include packaging, theme parks, lotteries and cinema multiplexes.

Gautam Adani: Chairman of the Adani Group, Gautam has a story of being a collage drop out. He did his basic schooling in Seth C. N. Vidyalya School in Ahmedabad and later joined at Gujarat University where he pursued a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce but discontinued at the second year. He is the 7th richest person in India with a personal wealth of $4.8 billion as of 2010. After working for two years in Mahindra Bros as a diamond sorter, the 20-year-old Gautam set up his own diamond brokerage outfit at Zaveri Bazaar. In 1981, his elder brother Mansukhbhai, bought a plastics unit in Ahmedabad and asked Gautam to run it. From then on, Gautam never had to look back and has succeeded to be a leading entrepreneur in India.

Vinod Goenka: He dropped out of college to join his father's small construction firm in Mumbai. From then on, he helped to expand the small establishment into the Dynamix Group whose main interest is in Dairy Business. His net worth is valued at $1.05 billion according to Forbes 2010 Data.

Shahid Balwa: The young collage drop out entrepreneur began his career by opening a restaurant in Mumbai and then expanding into real estate including hotels. He is estimated to have a net worth of $1.0 billion and has made it to the list of India's top 50 richest persons. He had partnered with Vinod Goenka in DB Realty and also in telecom outfit DB Etisalat.

P N C Menon: Chairman of the 1,500-crore Sobha Developers, P N C Menon had to opt out of college to find a job for himself to run his family. He flew to Oman with just 50 in his pocket and now for the past few years, he is listed in the Forbes list of world billionaires. He has more than 4,000 people directly employed by him, in addition to the thousands more involved in the construction of his buildings.

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Reader's comments(8)
1: Thanks for ignorance and poor reasoning.

Dr.a.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)
Posted by:Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 11 Dec, 2010
2: Children of rich people can achieve everything without actually possessing what others are supposed to possess for a small Job in former's own firm/company.

As Binu Paul rightly mention "Collage dropout" is an intersting phenomena..Carry on
Posted by:Malish Chirakkal - 11 Dec, 2010
3: Actually modern education does not in anyway help the majority who are made to suffer it. 17 years of servitude to substandard teachers is the experience to most students.
As to helping a person, actually modern education is a hurdle in life other than to the few who opt for govt jobs, medical professions, engineering and such.
Most of the successful businessmen and even craftsmen and other skilled persons are those who have escaped the slavery to the teaching class. The fact is the most of the modern teaching class in India do not even know to read an English paragraph correctly. The only thing they need to teach most of their wards is simple and good English. In this they fail miserably.
Posted by:Ved from Victoria Institutions - 11 Dec, 2010
4:


I agree with you Ved.

Manpower is not only the most important resource for development, it is also the objective of all development. The dexterity and skill of the population are foundations of national wealth. The relationship between human resources and the behavior of economy can be molded by the social system and the pattern of education. Training development mobilisation and utilisation of manpower are crucial to the rate of industrial and economic growth.

DEVELOPMENT is not development of THINGS. It is the development of the people by developing their curiosity their desire for questioning their creative inventive and innovative abilities enterprising attitudes and problem solving capabilities making every person self competent confident and self reliant enabling him to get gainful employment to stand on his own legs and thus to live with a sense of value for human dignity in harmony with his environment. Development is essentially a social process a multidimensional process concerned with people individually as well as collectively with a basic respect for the worth and dignity of every human being. Worth depends upon values and values decide quality of life.We are what we value and that which we value moves us into action. Dignity and worth come from self-reliance. The focal social value is thus self-reliance which can only come from releasing the resourcefulness as his best resource.

Education is a process of awakening that is awareness of releasing the resourcefulness for creating innovating adapting and absorbing new ideas, values and attitudes leading to a satisfactory life style.

The aim of education is essentially three-fold 1. To improve intellectual excellence and individual happiness and to sensiblise to ethical, cultural and social values to make one enlightened 2. To acquire knowledge.skills enterprise and scientific attitudes to be self competent and self reliant thereby contributing to development, and 3. To be responsible for and responsive to the needs and demands of the society and the world. Education should be perceived as a seamless continuum of life-long learning for human development.

Education awakens the people to the possibility of progress. Mass education increases the power of enlightened public opinion and mobilises all social energies for development. Primary education has a visible impact of health family welfare,increased incomes and productivity yielding best returns for investments on education. The higher the education the greater the responsibility to the society.

The goal is development the tool is technology. Talents produce technologies. Education sharpens talents not only to provide tools techniques and technologies to produce the needed goods and services but also to use technologies for social good. Who controls technology and development . Therefore scientific technical and engineering education is critical for development.

Though the present education system has helped to perform several important tasks well serious doubts and concerns have been expressed demanding a change in its content form and method. A number of constraints have also been noted for bringing about such a change at this time. The need is felt for new forms and not reforms in education. Education should be linked with development. Education policy should be linked with national development policy presently placing emphasis on environment energy economics equity employment enterprise and efficiency. Education should be linked with development employment industry and government acting and interacting with each other for mutual benefit and making self reliance as a mass movement.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)


Dr.A.Jagadeesh Replied to: Ved from Victoria Institutions - 11 Dec, 2010
5:
I totally agree with this line of yours: 'DEVELOPMENT is not development of THINGS. It is the development of the people'

May I just add that what the current problem of India is? It is that education does not train anyone the art of communicating with others without distressing others. The current education is encased in a feudal setting, with the teaching class being sort of feudal overlords. When the child enters maturity and gets a job, any job, this feudal mindset is there in all his or her attitude, behaviour and communication. Education should aim to iron out this grave defect of our social communication.
I believe that Macaulay has this aim in his Minutes on Indian Education, when he proposed English as the medium of education and administration in India.

Minutes on Indian Education: http://www.vvv03.org/minutes.pdf
Ved from Victoria Institutions Replied to: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 13 Dec, 2010
6: Yes. Mere college degree may not guarantee successful entrepreneurship. It is the inner urge, ironwill to succeed and above all perseverance that will bring in success as an entrepreneur.

Here is an interesting account on the subject:

15 Successful Entrepreneurs Who Didn’t Need College
November 5th, 2007,(Source: COLLEGE STARTUP)
How many times were you told to make sure you worked hard in high school so you could go to college and get a good career job? Okay, maybe not all of you got nagged about it, but probably a good portion of today’s generation of adults did.
It’s natural to wonder whether college is really necessary. A college degree, as many have found, is no guarantee of a good career. On the flipside, there are many successful entrepreneurs who didn’t need their college education and become millionaires anyway. Here are fifteen of them, both contemporary and from the past, in alphabetical order.
• Walt Disney. Having dropped out of high school at 16, Walt Disney’s career and accomplishments are astounding. The most influential animator, Disney holds the record for the most awards and nominations. Disney’s imagination included cartoons and theme parks. The Walt Disney Company now has annual revenue of $30 billion.
• Debbi Fields. As a young, 20 year old housewife with no business experience, Debbi Fields started Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chippery. With a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, this young woman became the most successful cookie company owner. She later renamed, franchised, then sold Mrs. Field’s Cookies.
• Henry Ford. At 16, Henry Ford left home to apprentice as a machinist. He later started Ford Motor Company to manufacture automobiles. Ford’s first major success, the Model T, allowed Ford to open a large factory and later start the assembly line production, revolutionalizing the auto-making industry.
• Bill Gates. Ranked as the world’s richest person from 1995-2006, Bill Gates was a college drop out. He started the largest computer software company, Microsoft Corporation. Gates and his wife are philanthropists, starting The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a focus on global health and learning.
• Milton Hershey. With only a fourth grade education, Milton Hershey started his own chocolate company. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate became the first nationally marketed chocolate. Hershey also focused on building a wonderful community for his workers, known as Hershey, Pennsylvania.
• Steve Jobs. After attending one semester of college, Steve Jobs worked for Atari before co-founding Apple Computers. Now without the “Computers” in their name, Apple includes innovative products such as the iPod, iTunes, and most recently the iPhone. Steve Jobs was also the CEO and co-founder of Pixar before it merged with Walt Disney.
• Rachael Ray. Despite having no formal training in culinary arts, Rachel Ray has made a name for herself in the food industry. With numerous shows on the Food Network, a talk show and cookbooks, high-energy Rachael doesn’t slow down. She has also appeared in magazines as well has having her own magazine debut in 2006. She knew she was a success when a website dedicated to bashing her was created.
• Ty Warner. Sole owner, CEO, and Chairman of Ty, Inc., Ty Warner is a savvy, yet private business man. Ty, Inc., made $700 million in a single year with the Beanie Babies craze without spending money on advertising! He has since expanded to include Ty Girlz dolls, directly competing with Bratz dolls.
• Frank Lloyd Wright. Having never attended high school, Frank Lloyd Wright surpassed all odds when he became the most influential architect of the twentieth century. Wright designed more than 1,100 projects with about half actually being built. His designs have inspired numerous architects to look at the beauty around them and add to it.
Of course, just because these people made it does not of course mean that most people can do without a college degree. If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit, the degree is just a backup.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)

Posted by:Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 11 Dec, 2010
7:
Cmon Guys, I can show 100 examples of people dropping out of college and drooped into poor....Also 1000 examples of people completing their college and then drooping into riches...so there is no pattern here..Its ones hard work and self belief nothing more nothing less...
Rajiv Replied to: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 11 Dec, 2010
8:
By the by are you a college drop out? You did not understand the central issue in the article. Ofcourse IGNORANCE IS BLISS.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)
Dr.a.Jagadeesh Replied to: Rajiv - 11 Dec, 2010
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