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'Young Indians will attain new heights of success'
Priyesh Shah
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February 23, 2009

For all those who are depressed by the present recession and job cuts I would like to share with you a short story of a man who used to say 'Have courage. I have unshakeable faith in courage. Dreamers can win the world with their courage. See dreams and have courage to realise them.'

The man who said these famous words is none other than the legendary Dhirubhai Ambani [Images], who proved to the world that success comes through hard work and not by kismet or inheritance. He showed what an ordinary Indian can achieve through firm resolution.

Dhirubhai Ambani is not only a name or an institution: today he is the inspiration for millions of young entrepreneurs across the world. Dhirubhai started from scratch in a chawl of Mumbai [Images] and took his dreams to such great heights which kept a whole generation of Indians spellbound. One of his mantras was 'A thought is power. Think big, think fast and think ahead. No one has monopoly over thinking. Thinking is a foundation on which a person can build the palace of his success.'

Through his determination and open mind he earned unprecedented success in his business endeavours. Interestingly, his real name was Dhirajlal, which means a man of patience; however he had little patience to wait. His impatience to get on with things helped him create corporate history in Indian.

Due to financial difficulties of the family Dhirubhai couldn't pursue his education beyond matriculation. He started as a clerk in Aden and in less than a decade moved up the ladder to become the company's general marketing manager in spite of the handicap of being just a matriculate. During his employment abroad, he had already drawn up his future plans and had no confusion or uncertainty about them. Finally, to pursue his dreams and to take the country forward on the path of economic progress he resigned from a lucrative job and headed for India.

Once here, Dhirubhai started a business in Mumbai with a small capital of Rs 15,000 in 1958. He subsequently started a mill in Naroda, Ahmedabad [Images] in 1966 and for this mill he bought raw material from Nirlon Chemicals and Synthetic Fibres. After 15 years he was supplying raw material to this company. He reversed the entire process through his entrepreneurial zeal and business acumen.

Dhirubhai used to say, 'Don't let hurdles or problems upset you. They are challenging opportunities for you. You explore new ways and think of new solutions only when you face hurdles. Every defeat and success tells you that there was some deficiency in effort (in planning or execution or anticipation). During adversity or defeat the skill gets honed up and a person or company emerges out better and stronger than before.'

Today the time has come to relive these principles which Dhirubhai Ambani left as a legacy for all of us to follow. One of the guru mantras which he gave was: 'Whatever difficulties you face in life do not ever lose sight of your goals. Turn adversities into opportunities.'

In one of the interviews Dhirubhai's eldest son Mukesh Ambani [Images] had said: 'Papa (Dhirubhai) thought the responsibility of rebuilding India rested on the shoulders of youth. He always respected the talent of the youth. He admired the youthful energies and their eagerness to move forward.'

To conclude, Dhirubhai has given us enough to think about and start believing in ourselves. I would like to share this final piece of Dhirubhai's advice and hope that those who are completely depressed and see no future for themselves; find a solution to their problems in the form of confidence and success.

In Dhirubhai's own words: "To young entrepreneurs my advice is that do not give up even in the face of difficult situations. The negative effects of despondency can be wiped off with the force of firm resolve, self-confidence and optimum optimism. The positive key to success is ambitiousness and initiative. I have full faith that young entrepreneurs of India will attain new heights of success."

The writer is working as a CFP in SRE Financial Planners. He can be reached at

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