Jayavel is no more a street urchin now. He has become the talk of the town among the street dwellers in Chennai. This 22-year-old boy got a chance to study advanced automobile engineering at Cambridge University.
Jayavel’s family migrated from Nellore in the late 1980s after their crop failed. Alternatively, the family started begging on the streets of Chennai to find their living. Jayavel shared his horrifying experience as a street dweller. He said: “We used to sleep on the pavement and if it rains we would find another shelter in any other nearby shops until cops came and chased us out of there.”
Jayavel’s father died when he was very young and his mother was eventually addicted to alcohol. Jayavel remembered those days when his day’s earnings went mostly to into’s mother’s drinking. In his wildest dreams also he had no thoughts that he would end up at Cambridge until Uma and her husband Muthuraman came into his life.
Mr. and Mrs. Muthuraman were working on a project on the lives of children on the streets of Chennai. They planned to make a video and named the documentary as “Pavement Flower” They met Jayavel and gave him some hope. They took him under their own care in 1999. He was then offered a proper education through their NGO named Suyam Charitable Trust.
After passing out his 12th exams, he cleared the most prestigious Cambridge University’s entrance examination. He was placed at Gledwr University in Wales to study Performance Car Enhancement Technology Engineering.
Jayavel’s mother still lives on the streets with bundles of rags around her. Jayavel meets her once in a month. For him, pursuing his higher studies abroad is a dream come true and this will definitely be a stepping stone to help accomplish his higher dreams.
After pursuing his goals, he plans to return and help Uma and Muthuraman in running the trust and pay them back for changing his life.
Micromax Founding Story: From The Beginning To Now
While a lot has been said about Micromax’s climb to success, not a lot has been said about the journey. Within two years of being formed, Micromax became one of the largest distributors of mobile handsets in the Country. The Company started off with four founders: Rajesh Agarwal, Vikas Jain, Rahul Sharma and Sumeet Kumar. Ever since its inception, Micromax’s philosophy has been simple, to be the best at what they do and never settle for repetition.
Fresh out of college and full of enthusiasm, the founders knew the year 1999 was time to capitalize on the dot.com boom happening in the Country at the time. All they could think of was software and how the world could change with the technology boom! Making modest beginnings as an M2M partner for Nokia (under a partnership with the Micromax Software,) the founders were introduced to the concept of fixed wireless terminals from a Finnish executive of the mobile company. This soon went on to power payphones in India which used SIM cards in areas with no landline connectivity.
They started supplying this technology everywhere and soon, M2M became the second largest company in the world! However, Nokia sold the business shortly and this left Sharma and Co., in a fix. Very soon they realised the big game changer was in creating handsets and not just in selling hardware or partnering with payphones. The scene changed quickly with the entry of Micromax smartphones in March 2008. The new kids shook up the market! In India, about 100 to 120 million handsets are sold annually, 80 million handsets are imported and the size of the handset business is valued at Rs 27,000 crores. In two years, Micromax increased its market share from 0.59 % in 2008 to about 5 % in 2010.
So how did Micromax break through a world which was dominated by Sony and Nokia? By being unique in every aspect, of course! The company’s policy was to identify with all factions of society. Micromax broke from the norms by introducing products that fit well with the rural consumer need. The handset manufacturer was the first to launch many innovative products such as handsets with 30 days battery backup, dual SIM/dual standby, handsets that could switch between networks (GSM to CDMA and vice versa,) QWERTY keypads and universal remote controls.
Through the years, Micromax established itself as the one stop shop for smartphones made available to people across different strata of the society. Today, a majority of Micromax phones boast this feature, even as competitors struggle to match its pace.
Influential Women In The Entrepreneur World
Gone are the days when women were meant to be only in the kitchen. This current generation the world over, is recognising women in a way that has not been done before. They have become so empowered, they are poised to take over the world with renewed spirit and vigour! Celebrating women every day, here’s taking a look at the most influential in the startup and tech world!
1. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is the founder of not one but three startups! Founder of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN,) Harpo Productions and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Known for being a TV personality and director apart from a philanthropist, Oprah’s touched the hearts of people all over the world and incidentally, she stands at a net worth of $ 2.9 billion!
2. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
India’s richest self made woman, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has proved if you put in the effort required, you can get what you want and more from life. With a net worth of $ 3.9 billion, Shaw founded the biopharma firm Biocon (1978,) a company which treats autoimmune diseases, diabetes and cancer.
3. Sara Blakely
While Sara Blakely may have started off as a door to door fax machine sales person, she is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. Her invention of clothing (Spanx) to wear under slacks became so widely accepted, its become a standard piece of clothing in everyone’s wardrobe. Post the creation of Spanx, Sara’s net worth stands at a cool $ 1.01 billion!
4. Weili Dai
An immigrant from China, Weili Dai came to the United States with a dream in mind and a plan in hand. Dai founded the $ 2.3 billion worth Marvell Technology in the year 1995, after working as a software technician. Her net worth stands at $ 770 million.
5. Richa Kar
Founder of the online lingerie store Zivame, Richa Kar was perhaps one of the first people in India to revolutionize the way women bought lingerie. Furthermore, the online platform has played a role in educating women across the country about intimate wear and shaping consumer behaviour.
With so many enterprising women in the world, it stands to see the men are going to soon take a back seat. All hail equality!
Reddit And How It Came To Be
For the uninitiated, Reddit looks like a mess filled with text links, comment threads, points, upvotes and downvotes. At best, the posts seem countless, large, unruly and totally random. To explain how Reddit works, think of the platform like your Universe: a single place where all your information can be collated onto a single and easily accessible platform.
If your next question is what makes it different from Twitter, then it is the basic fact that unlike Twitter, the stream of content is curated by the Reddit community. Items of value are “upvoted” and those deemed unworthy are “downvoted.” This determines a post’s position on the site and items that hit the front page are seen by hundreds of thousands of people (consequently, sending boatloads of traffic to the linked website.) Reddit was founded back in June 2005, when co founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian decided to create something truly unique.
Huffman and Ohanian first began Reddit by creating various fake links and submitting content from those links. Before the days of social media dominance, 22 year old Ohanian wanted to accomplish a simple task: to unify people through original and quirky content. Started in a two bedroom apartment, the first version of Reddit went live on 23 June, 2005!
What attracted users to Reddit as a user interface was the simplicity of the platform. The more tools given to users, the more the platform took shape. The staple of Reddit, the up and down voting arrows that control the fate of story, were hand coded out of brute force simplicity and a dash of intuition. From being created as a very random platform, Reddit has grown to become one of the most widely used generic content platforms.
Started in the year 2005, Reddit was taken over by Conde Nast in 2006 for an estimated $ 20 million, receiving 500,000 daily unique views. With the growth being so quick and instantaneous, users spend 16 minutes on an average and is one of the most widely used sites by both men and women world over.
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