Dropped out of college, drooped in to riches

By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia   |   Saturday, 11 December 2010, 01:58 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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