Bhagwan Gawai – The Slumboy Who Became a Millionaire

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” — Student (unidentified) of Warren G. Tracy

Only Success can contemplate for the miseries faced by individuals who would have struggle entire life to reach remarkable milestones. Can we imagine a construction labor boy residing in slums of Mumbai along with his mother becoming CEO and chairman of Saurabh Energy D.M.C.C? Today one of the biggest Banking groups of world BNP Paribas eagerly waits to provide loans to his business house such is his credibility. This phenomenal growth of a young lad who struggled in construction sites to meet the ends of the day should definitely inspire readers of Kalam Fan Club posts. With the same intention, Bhagwan Gawai life story is presented.

Today Bhagwan Gawai is no doubt one of the itinerant business tycoons of the nation but coincidentally as a poor young lad, he used to be an itinerant of a different kind as his mother used to relocate from one construction site to another on completion of the work handing over sophisticated houses and factories to their owners!

Early Life

Bhagwan Gawai belongs to a place called Buldana in rural Maharashtra and like many underprivileged families they too migrated to Mumbai for better livelihood. His father was a construction laborer to support him his mother too had taken up construction site worker job. Most often Gawai recalls memories of his stay at a construction site in Kandivali locality which is transformed today as Mahindra & Mahindra Plant. Finally, the family settled down in a sprawling slum at a locality called Hanumanth Nagar and stayed there for quite a long period. His father died in the year 1964 and his mother took the entire responsibility of looking after four children on her shoulder.

Gawai’s mother had realized only proper education can eliminate the miseries from her children’s life. Gawai did not disappoint his mother and cleared his X exams with 85 percent marks. Today as CEO of Saurabh Energy he recalls that for other students summer holidays was not meant for enjoyment but to support his mother in construction site by earning a daily wage of Rs. 100-200.

Hunt For Job

On completion of board exams, Gawai applied for a job at Larsen & Toubro for a clerical post by seeing a newspaper advertisement. Fortunately, he got selected but his zeal for studies did not subsidize and was preparing for civil service exams. In the year 1982 He got the opportunity to work for Hindustan Petroleum and this was the turning point of his life as it helped him learn intricacies of Petroleum and Oil business. The experience of working for Hindustan Petroleum giving exposure to foreign companies and he got an opportunity to relocate to Bahrain. He worked for Emirates National Oil Company for a lucrative salary. The interactions he had with Oil Barons in Arab Countries gave him an insight into one important fact and that was many illiterates were flourishing in this business. This fact gave his career a new direction and confidence to venture into this business with ease with his educational qualification.

Beginning of Entrepreneur Innings

An Arab businessman was keen on partnering with Gawai to start Oil and Petroleum business. In the year 2003 Sourabh Energy was started and the very first year the company made $80 million turnovers. Today his clients are from all directions of the globe like west Asia, Europe, Singapore and the Far East. The company has spread its wings to other domains like chemicals, biofuels, marine engineering, logistics, telecom, and BPO. Sourabh Resources has diversified into coal business by acquiring coal mines in Indonesia.

Giving Back to Society

Bhagwan Gawai is from a Dalit family and had faced discrimination and prejudice from colleagues during his tenure as Govt employee. But he is not for positive discrimination and to help the Dalit community achievers he has started a company called Maitreya Developers and has identified 30 odd Dalit achievers to invest in this firm and hone their entrepreneurship skills. The company has 100 percent transparent policy to its credit.

Abdul Kalam Fan Club is proud of this achiever from downtrodden strata of society who has transformed himself as an itinerant businessman from a construction site daily wage earner. Hope readers are also inspired by this story and will share it with their peer group.

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