Laundry to London: The amazing journey

Laundry to London: The amazing journey


Laundry to London: The amazing journey of JSW Steel’s Bikash Chowdhury
Akshay Sawai

Chowdhury was the first in his family to study in an English medium school. Lal’s wife Debjani offered to help with the language.
Bikash Chowdhury’s motivation to take English lessons was orange squash. The associate VP of treasury at JSW Steel was the son of a Kolkata laundryman who pressed the clothes of the family of Arun Lal, the former Indian cricketer.

Chowdhury was the first in his family to study in an English medium school. Lal’s wife Debjani offered to help with the language. And along with the tuition she always gave Chowdhury — he was about 12 then and is 39 now — a refreshing drink. “I would go every day to study because she would give orange squash,” the soft-spoken Chowdhury says in an interview over tea on a Saturday evening at his apartment in Sewri, Mumbai. With some striking art around the house, the surroundings are a world apart from the footpath in Kolkata’s Bhawanipore area where he grew up.

A relationship that started with English intensified. The Lals, who don’t have kids, took Chowdhury under their wing, and guided him to milestones. Chowdhury, splitting his time between the Lal home and his father’s pavement dwelling in Bhawanipore, went on to do BCom and MCom. Then he appeared for the CAT. In 2000, got into IIM Kolkata. Jobs with Deutsche Bank and Credit Agricole followed, including a stint in London for DB.

A new family for Chowdhury “I have two sets of parents, Mr Arun Lal and Mrs Lal and the other, my biological parents,” Chowdhury says. On his part, he has generously expressed his gratitude to the Lals. Chowdhury has gifted them a Mercedes, while driving the relatively modest Volkswagen Vento and Renault Duster.

He also financially aided the Lal family when they wanted to move from an apartment into a bungalow. As the ultimate tribute, the Chowdhurys named their daughter Arunima after Arun. Asked what kind of a person his improbable story has made him, Chowdhury says, "I hope into a better one.

I keep telling my wife Kamna that even if I am around 50 per cent of either of my fathers, I would have achieved something. I try daily to do a good deed. I have got a lot and try and give as much as I can."

Paying it forward A day earlier, he had planted trees. Two days earlier, he had fed blind people. On the day of our meeting he planned to feed stray dogs. Talking of which, Cindy, the family’s 11-yearold pet beagle, ambles in and out of the room during the interview, the pitter-patter of her paws and the tinkling of her collar bell a pleasant soundtrack to the conversation.

Another frequent passerby is the three-year-old Arunima. Sport too played a role in cementing the bond between Arun Lal and Chowdhury, who often refers to his mentor by his nickname ‘Piggy’ (Lal got the name because he likes to eat).

Chowdhury was a midfielder with Young Bengal, a first division football club. He wanted to become a pro, and would meet Lal during training. “The club was paying me around Rs 10,000 per year along with food which I felt was a lot,” Chowdhury says. "I played u-16 cricket too, but I never liked it.

I was considering becoming a professional footballer, as I played for sub-junior Bengal as well. So I was on that path, quite aggressively. Piggy encouraged me but said there were no guarantees in sport. I am very grateful he did that because I focused on studies after class 9."

The numbers challenge Chowdhury is not sure whether studying came naturally to him. But he says as a student one of his pastimes was to look at number plates of vehicles and perform random mathematical functions with the digits. He also liked to read.

And he spoke little, most times. Mathematics at IIM, however, was more daunting than the number plate variety, and he had to take help from seniors. “The first month after induction, the level of maths hit me, I thought I’m not going to make it,” Chowdhury says. "At that time I was lucky to have a friend named Manoj Goel. We are still friends. He helped me, our seniors helped us and I managed.

The institute was a really nice place and I became very popular and became a Lord, who is an informal student body head. So I would have information on the goings-on in the institute. I would tell Manoj, ‘You teach me maths, I’ll give you all the dope’." Goel, who works on the global markets team at HSBC in Mumbai, confirms he helped Chowdhury with maths, and says he benefitted from Chowdhury’s sporting nature and outlook towards life. “He was outgoing and sporty. I would be confined to my room studying,” Goel says. “He showed me there was a life beyond academics. He’s a guy you can trust your life with.”

A hard-knock attitude Chowdhury, who enjoys running and travelling to places with natural beauty, is asked if growing up on a pavement made him street smart. But street smartness to him is a small part of the overall package. “You must also be dedicated,” he says. What the road did teach him was resilience. And it helped him when he was laid off by Deutsche Bank in 2008. “Nothing bothers me,” Chowdhury says. “The first thing I did after losing my job was call Piggy and mom (Debjani). I told them to not worry and that I would get a job soon. By that time I had created a reputation for myself that I do my job and make the money (for the bank). I got a job in a week’s time (Credit Agricole).” His background has also made him more humane than the typical finance and banking industry type. “I don’t like being strict,” he says. “Which is why I get setbacks once in a while. They say I talk softly, but that doesn’t mean I’m less aggressive.”

Back to his roots When in Kolkata, Chowdhury sometimes drops by his locality in Bhavanipore. He feels blessed, but there is no survivor’s guilt. He worked hard for his success. It wasn’t just luck. In addition to studying, he did part time jobs and took tuitions. “I still have friends there and I like spending time with them,” Chowdhury says.

“Some of them are struggling. They don’t usually approach me for help. If they do I try to do what I can. They were very supportive of me in the past. They would take me out for a movie even if they weren’t earning that much. One of my earliest friends was Sukhpal. He had a dhabha. After the dhabha closed for the day we would polish off the leftovers. He’s in Bengaluru now.

About two years ago, I met him and he told me that he tells his son that study daily for an hour and you will make something of your life." Chowdhury did that. And he did that in no small measure because of Arun and Debjani Lal. Some months ago, Lal was diagnosed with jaw cancer. “He’s getting better slowly. He’s starting to eat semi-solid foods,” says Chowdhury. The two speak often. Lal, a gritty opener, never scored a Test century.

But he and his wife continue to play another, far more important innings.

8 Dimers

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Budding Star
@[email protected]_0_0_D wrote:

@BB8DealWars wrote:

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No problem, the one who reads should be happy,
Even if it be only 1-2 persons.
Jus see the fee top pages

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Break the bottle
Deal Captain

You have a quite vast knowledge.. I bow to you bro.



I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality… I wanted to quit my life.

I went to the woods to have one last talk with God

“God”, I asked,

“Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”

His answer surprised me…

“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”

“Yes”, I replied.

“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.

I gave them light.I gave them water.The fern quickly grew from the earth.

Its brilliant green covered the floor.Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.

And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. He said.

“In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.But I would not quit.

In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.” He said.

“Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant…But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.

It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.”

He asked me. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots”.

“I would not quit on the bamboo.I will never quit on you.”

“Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said.”The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful.” “Your time will come”, God said to me.

“You will rise high”.

“How high should I rise?” I asked.

“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.

“As high as it can?” I questioned.”Yes.” He said, “Give Me glory by rising as high as you can.”

I left the forest and brought back this story.I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you. Never, Never, Never, Give up.

@Tejaa @mahidada @srocks


BADASS WOMAN! She has by-far been so motivational to me. I would love to meet her in person. She retired recently and Bonnie Crombie took her place, big shoes to fill eh? HAZEL will always be one of the best mayors in the GTA!
Mo Mentum


Renuka Aradhya from Bengaluru begged for a living, now owns a Rs 30 crore empire

Renuka Aradhya from Bengaluru begged for a living, now owns a Rs 30 crore empire :-
When he was young, Renuka Aradhya would beg for foodgrains, which he’d sell for a living.

Today, he owns a company that employs 150 people and directs three start-ups.

This is his inspiring story.
Renuka was born poor. Very poor. He has seen the kind of poverty that put him on the streets to beg. The poverty that kept him hungry both literally and metaphorically.

Renuka Aradhya

Where does one begin to tell this entrepreneur’s story?

From pushing a handcart under a blazing sun to now owning a fleet of 1000 plus cars? Or from transporting 300 dead bodies to ferrying foreign tourists who left tips in dollars? Or from failing to clear Class X exams to now rubbing shoulders with the industry’s who’s who?

Or the fact that with his foresight he was able to ward off Uber and Ola poaching his business, and is making the next generation ready to dream big by bringing his daughter-in-law (who comes from a poor family) into the business.

I belong to a village called Gopasandra, in Anekal taluk near Bengaluru.

My father was a pujari at a temple allotted by the state government though he did not get any fixed salary.

After conducting the puja, he would go to nearby villages to beg for ragi, jowar, or rice. He would then sell the grains in the market and with the money that he got from the sale he would take care of us. We were three children — two boys and one girl.

I would go begging with my father to these neighbouring villages, which is now Electronic City.

After I finished Class VI, my father thought he would put me in somebody’s home as a domestic help to make ends meet. My school fee till Class X was taken care of by my teachers because they would get me to do their domestic work like washing utensils, dusting and sweeping.

I started working for an old man who had a severe skin ailment. I would tend to him, give him a bath, and apply skin ointment all over his body.

Since I belonged to the pujari clan, I also had to perform puja at a nearby temple. After that, I would go to school. I lived there for one whole year.

Soon after, my father admitted me to a boys’ ashram in Chickpet, where I remained for three years.

The hostel would give us two meals a day, one at 8 am and the other at 8 pm and nothing in between.

I remember I was always hungry. I could not focus on my studies at all and my mind was occupied with trying to find how I could lay my hands on some food.

I worked at a transport company for four years. Besides ferrying passengers, the company also provided vehicles to hospitals like Nimhans to transport dead bodies back to their homes for the last rites.

I have transported approximately 300 dead bodies across India. And many times, I have done so alone because there was no one from the deceased family to accompany the body.

And look at the irony, immediately after I came back from one of these trips there would be a group waiting to go on a pilgrimage to Sabarimala. I would sprinkle some holy water on the vehicle and get on with the next journey.

This also taught me the impermanence of life. That nothing is enduring. That life and death are nothing but two ends of a long journey.
As you can gather, I wanted to build my own travel/transport company.

A company called Indian City Taxi was on a distress sale. I did not have any knowledge of merger and acquisition, just paisa de do, company le lo (give money, buy the company).

I bought that company in 2006 with Rs 6.5 lakh. I had to sell all the cars that I had by then to produce this money. The company had 35 cabs attached to it and they would make Rs 1000 commission per vehicle, so in a month Rs 35,000 was assured.
I took a lot of risks, which thankfully paid off.
In three years, once I cross Rs 100 crore I will go for an IPO.

As a social responsibility, I want to encourage women drivers.

I am ready to even waive the Rs 50,000 advance if women come forward saying they want to become owner-cum-drivers. We have also created an all-women call centre for Pravasi in Karwar.

" I believe in the power of the mind.
What we think, we become."

Whatever God has given me, I have shared with everyone. And I firmly believe that because of this I have managed to get myself educated and get rich.

I took my chances and during all those times when I picked up an opportunity even though it was not financially viable, I firmly believed that one day God would give me back double. Otherwise how else can a security guard today drive a Rs 23-lakh car?




Taught Me About Life, Princeton And Harvard Could Not.

Third day after I landed in America, barely 16 years old.
New culture no friends. Walking around everywhere looking for
a job i saw a sign at Burger King “HELP WANTED: APPLY WITHIN”..
I walked right in and met this pleasant Manager named John Reid.
After filling out my application and asking some common questions
he offered me a job. $3.35 an hour. Before i could ask him what
the job was, he says, You will be cleaning tables, Mopping the
restaurant floors, and, oh yeah, you will be cleaning the Bathrooms as well.
When can you start ? I said tomorrow. Well, Tomorrow is fine Mir,
be here at 6.30 your shift starts at 7 am till 4 pm.

A flurry of memories came through my mind.
The Pakistani arrogance was still embedded in me.
My Grandfather a Royalty From Deccan, The Mirs of Deccan,
My Maternal Grandfather a Governor of 5 Provinces. Servants
running around our house in Pakistan doing the things that i was
asked to do. That was the moment which could have stopped my
ascent in America to own an Investment Bank on Wall Street one day
had i given up my FIRST CHALLENGE. I accepted. Accepted with grace.
Every morning i would walk 4 miles from my sister’s house through
knee high snow to get to the burger king.

First day when i was mopping the floor wearing the
RIDICULOUS LOOKING Burger King Uniform, i started crying.
Literally crying thinking about what my life has come down to that
i am a CLEANER now. Is this what i had come to America for.
All of a sudden the manager noticed tears in my eyes and came
over to me. All OK Mir ? Yes John there is just too much
ammonia in the bucket and its irritating my eyes…
Oh you will get used to it in a few days. It was not the Ammonia,
It was my pain showing through my tears. The first thing i learned
was that when life deals you a hand that you do not like, take it and
make the best out of it.
Become Resilient. Become FOCUSED. Set your Goal and
the goal was to make money for university fees. So i was
doing it for a HIGHER CAUSE. I would work there till 4 pm and
take my full time classes from 5.45 to 11.45 at night. On Saturdays and Sundays
i would work at a Corporate Security Desk from 7 in the morning till
11 at night. 16 hours on Saturday and 16 hours on Sunday. Sitting in
the security booth i had enough time to study because barely any
employees came in on the weekends. So i had found a job where i
was getting paid and doing my homework of the university. Next year
i drove a Taxi the entire summer, Taking passengers from
Somerset County to Newark Airport. All kinds of passengers, rude, happy,
arrogant, irritated, overly talkative, outright obnoxious… You name it i had them.

At such a young age, i learned that


Meaning, whatever your situation is, you take the same situation and make it better. Never wait for the next better situation to

come and lose the one you have on hand.
You need keep your eyes on the goals not on the ground.
No job is BENEATH YOU. If a human being is doing that job,
than it means it is being done by a HUMAN BEING, and
he is not BENEATH YOU so the job is not beneath you.
I learned so much about the burger king operations that when i was
running the investment Bank looking for high profile American Billionaires
to sit on my Board Of Directors, I met Joe Antoninus, Chairman of
the $32 Billion dollar conglomerate, the first thing we had in common
was that he ran that corporation where i was cleaning bathrooms.
I went up to him, introduced myself, Hi Joe, I am Mir Mohammad Alikhan,
Founder and Chairman Of KMS Investment Bank and my first job in
America was washing bathrooms at one of your restaurants. He burst
out into a laughter and all the top notch people, Bill Gates and
Warren Buffet and Peter Lynch could not believe what i was saying.

Joe took me in the corner and said..Tell me honestly what did you like about cleaning bathrooms… I said..Ammonia. He laughed, How ? I said i hated it so much that i used to cry for the first week and every time somebody saw me crying, i would tell them that it was because of the Amonia. He could not stop laughing. We talked seriously for 2 hours and then and there he agreed to join my board for NO COMPENSATION and also brought 6 top colleagues of his

Forbes, Yablon, Mario Andretti and others to sit on my board.

The first meeting of the Board he said..I joined this board
because if this immigrant kid can come from a family background
that he has, washes bathrooms and smiles and tell us in a
corporate meeting of leaders that he is proud of it then it means that
he will go far ahead in life. At 29 he owns a bank imagine what he will do at 49…

Be Proud Of Every Job. That Same Job
that you think is beneath you will open doors for you SO UP HIGH as
long as you are not ASHAMED of your HARD WORK,
Any HONEST HARD WORK. And the first deal i did with Joe Antonini was
a $980 Million Dollar Take over deal of a listed company called The
Sports Authority, NYSE Listed Company. So In Actuality, That $3.35 An Hour Job,

Done Honestly with a smile, resulted in getting me deal worth $980 Dollars with the GIANT LEADERS of CORPORATE AMERICA.

Never Think anything is beneath you.

@Born Legend


If any dream we dream in life,
we should not give it,
But if after all try,
not have accomplished,
something we can change …
We must never stop dreaming …
Some kind of dream we all have,
stop dreaming, we should not …
It will always be a dream,
whether or not a laughing dream …
A desire for a love life,
something that can still happen …
A dream that is born in our hearts,
giving life more motivation …
If you are lost between the clouds,
among the stars can be lived …
Marcial Salaverry


Sometimes, all you need is a different perception

Once, Akbar asked Birbal if it was possible for a man to be the lowest and the noblest at the same time. Birbal said it was possible. Akbar demanded to meet such a person. Birbal went out and returned with a beggar. Birbal then told Akbar, ‘He is the lowest among your subjects.’ But Akbar wasn’t convinced if he was the noblest. To which Birbal replied, ‘He has been given the honour of an audience with the emperor," said Birbal. ‘That makes him the noblest among beggars.’ And Akbar was convinced.

There are days we all feel burdened with work, and saturated. On those days, maybe we just need to look at things differently.

Deal Major

Good share

20180103 153438
Deal Captain
@[email protected]_0_0_D wrote:

@sukhichd710 @srocks

Currently feeling Sad

Last @Plato Conversion Because is not Real User Its Aman From Delhi Overcart Eemployee Recvice Call From Case

incase not found about information pls check this @[email protected]_0_0_D