How far can a poor barber really go in his life? Probably not further than owning a small home. If luck has its way then he can also afford to own a small car. That’s all any poor barber can achieve in his life. Most people will agree to this without any hesitation. But these conventional wisdom go for a toss the moment anyone gets to hear the inspiring story of G. Ramesh Babu from Bengaluru.
Once a poor barber, today Ramesh Babu is a millionaire barber, who today owns nearly 200 luxury cars. Yeah, you heard it right 200 luxury cars including the Rolls Royce. His envious collection of luxury cars is all thanks to his highly successful travel company. A company that today has given this once poor barber a dignified place under the sun.
We have brought some interesting anecdotes from the inspiring life of this once poor barber. These anecdotes will convince even a cynic that the word ‘impossible’ is merely a word in a dictionary.
Born and raised in lap of poverty
As a child, Ramesh Babu was so poor that he grew up on a one meal a day. Poverty became an integral part of his life the day when he lost his father at tender age of 7. His deceased father had left nothing much for his family except for a small barber shop. The shop was eventually rented for measly amount of Rs 150 per month.
Despite overwhelming financial difficulties, Ramesh somehow managed to complete his school and also diploma in electronics. But poverty had so deeply entrenched in his life that he simply could not afford to pursue his education any further. However, owing to lack of experience, finding a job was always going to prove difficult for this young lad. He had already tried his hand in several part-time jobs like delivering milk & newspapers, but these small jobs were obviously not paying him enough to help sustain his family.
The adverse circumstances eventually forced Ramesh to convince his mother to let him work in their family owned barber shop. This was way back in 1989.
Although working as a barber may have been little undeserving for an educated person like Ramesh, but this hardly bothered him. He was too preoccupied with his personal quest to overcome financial difficulties than feel degraded by his occupation.
It didn’t take much time for Ramesh to learn the skills of hair-cutting. His sharp skills helped in bringing steady streams of customers and this greatly helped in consolidating his family’s financial position.
Ramesh Babu’s Tryst with Maruti Omni car
Merely after few years, Ramesh Babu’s barber shop was able to stand on its feet. The unexpected turnaround obviously would not have been possible without Ramesh’s tireless hard work and perseverance. He singlehandedly spearheaded the recovery of his family business, which once paid nothing but measly monthly rent.
Now that he was earning more than decent money, Ramesh could well afford to fulfill some of his expensive hobbies. Frankly, this young man did not have much expensive hobbies, except for his inherent passion for cars.
This passion would soon make him a proud owner of Maruti Omni car. To own a car by a person, who once delivered newspapers and milk to eke out a living, was a big deal. But back then this young man may not have slightest of idea that this acquisition would help him to build a booming business empire.
All it took was little bit of foresight to start a travel company
Ramesh Babu’s good social contacts helped him to rent out his Maruti Omni car on random basis. With his business picking up in no time, he bought more cars to meet the increasing demands. The acquisition of new cars eventually paved the way for a full-fledged travel company, Ramesh Tours and Travels.
Ramesh’s customers not only included small time local clients, but also I.T and BPO companies. Interestingly, those were the times when I.T and BPO companies were witnessing unprecedented boom
in their business, which in-turn led to surge in demand for rental cars for their employees.
The travel business was now growing at a berserk pace and with it Ramesh’s life was witnessing a turn around. His family had bid adieu to poverty forever and were enjoying a lifestyle that they may have never dreamt about.
But all this was merely beginning of good things that were waiting to happen to Ramesh’s entrepreneurial journey.
Ramesh enters Luxury car segment and that was the turning point
Every ambitious entrepreneur – small or big – sooner or later arrives at a stage where he has to take that leap of faith. This undeniably is the make or break moment for any entrepreneur. For Ramesh, this momentous decision occurred when he spotted opportunity in the luxury segment.
In those days, even big politicians and film stars were forced to rent non-luxury cars, since then no travel company had a fleet of luxury cars. Most local travel companies in Bengaluru believed that renting luxury cars was too risky business. This was obviously all because of the astronomically expensive prices of luxury cars.
But entrepreneurship is not about seeing the glass ‘half empty’ but ‘half full.’ And this is how Ramesh chose to approach this problem. He found it extremely hard to believe that high profile politicians and celebrities didn’t have enough money to rent out luxury cars.
He also took cue from the fact that people were getting extremely status and image conscious. Even today for most Indians cars are ultimate symbol of status and more so luxury cars.
Hence defying all the conventional wisdom, Ramesh soon bought his first E class Mercedes. Back then his travel company was the first to own a Mercedes, which at that time was considered the ultimate luxury car in India.
Ramesh Tours and Travels becomes a sought after travel company
With Ramesh Tours and Travels taking a big stride in the luxury segment, the company’s high profile clients started increasing at brisk pace. From Bollywood’s biggest stars to heavyweight politicians from Karnataka, everyone was cuing up to take ride in fleet of luxurious cars owned by Ramesh.
With every passing year Ramesh’s fleet of luxurious cars also kept increasing at steady pace. Today his company boasts nearly 200 Luxury cars. This includes the likes of Mercedes, BMW’s, Audi’s, five and ten seater luxury vans. And, of course, his ultimate pride – the Rolls Royce. The daily rent of his luxury cars rent ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,000, 00.
Today Ramesh’s company is probably the only travel company in entire Karnataka to own such large fleet of luxury cars.
Undeniably, the decision to enter the luxury segment proved to be a watershed moment for his entire business. Today his travel company, which made humble beginning with Maruti Omini car, is at the pinnacle of success.
And Ramesh Babu still continues to be a humble Barber
Despite achieving tremendous success in the travel business, Ramesh Babu still hasn’t quit his barber profession. He still visits his saloon shop daily and enjoys cutting customer’s hairs.
He claims that his decision to continue to pursue his barber job has helped to stay connected with his roots.
It is really heartening to see that Ramesh chose to remain humble despite his mind boggling success. It is, after all, never easy to keep your feet grounded when success and money graces your life.
Hence it won’t be entirely wrong to say that Ramesh Babu is one of the exceptional millionaires. Something that the entreprenuial community and most Indians should be proud of.