My Failures are My Fortunes
Failures are the ones that people don't want to talk about. We all like to go with success every time. My first failure was when I was studying in 8th standard. My marks started going down and one of my brothers, Jahangir intervened and he arranged tuition for all subjects. He was not earning much at that time. But one portion of his income become my tuition fees. My tuition teacher was a great teacher who won many awards and accolades; Sri Balan Nambiar. Highly disciplined and expert. I still remember those Mathematics formulas he taught me with that little bamboo stick! I passed easily at 10th with around 65% marks.
(My teachers, Sri Balan Nambiar and Smt Saraswathy)
(With family at my native place, Thiruvilwamala)
I studied at NSS College, Ottapalam for PUC. I wish to become a doctor! So taken PCB for PU and the first-year few subjects I failed. Got only 7 marks in physics! The second-year exam could not write because of some health issues. So I missed that year. Next 6 months I was only studying and wrote the supplementary exam and passed with a 55% marks. But again could not do well in Medical entrance and the doctor's dream got killed there.
Somehow, got interested in studying Geology! Got admission to a college around 70 KM away from my home. Tried day scholar, but could not. So tried to stay in a place near to the college, again it didn't work as my family could not afford...So added another failure. Lost an academic year too.
During my short travel to Geology college, M E S Ponnani, I used to meet my friend, Jayaraj. Was enquiring with him about the college he was studying and it was only about an hour's journey from my home. The fees were Rs. 350/- per year and it was a Printing and Lithography Polytechnic. Those days' first inquiry was about the job opportunity after college, he was mentioning, more job opportunities are in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi like metros. So next year applied and got admission. I was the last student got admitted as my marks are as low as 65% at the 10th. It was a 3-year professional Diploma course. That made my career. Those were golden days in my life! I was the Students council Magazine Editor for one-year and the second year I was Vice-Chairman. Overall I was happy and passed out with 64.5 %. My fees, Books, and travel expenses all I earned by taking tuition for 8-10 the std students in my village. Two important persons, Shobha Chathanath and JP Krishnas, given me the opportunity as a freelance tuition teacher! After the 3-year Diploma course, I started looking for a job. Same time started studying for B A Sociology through correspondence and 3-year graduation done successfully.
(Muraleedharan Chathanath and Shobha Chechi with family)
I worked for around 5 companies within a 2 year period. I failed in all. Could not learn much or not the kind of job I want. One of the days, my friend, Jose Thomas was asking me can we join an advanced color scanning course at Chennai Anna University. I was not having the money to pay the fee and one of our family friends (Muraleedharan Chathanath & Shobha Chechi) was ready to sponsor me for that course. That course was a stepping stone in my career. From a conventional method of Printing technology, I moved to the Pre-Media industry and got an opportunity in Mumbai as a trainee. After one year of training, I moved to the Bangalore office. I worked for around 9 years in that company, Comart Lithographers. I learned everything in Pre-media. Had a very good time there.
(Above pic, with colleagues at Comart Lithographers, Bangalore. Bottom - With Reshma in Mumbai)
Later I left for Dubai (As you know that the Middle East is an ultimate destination for a Mallu :) ) With lots of hope, I flew to Dubai. The next day I joined the company; leading Printing Press in Dubai, at Jabail Ali. But I simply didn't like it as technology-wise it was a backward journey for me. So I quit within 3 weeks' time! One more failure. Stayed at a friend's room for 3 weeks. Returned to India for formalities. But my Ex-company, where I worked 9 years, again called me and asked whether interested to join in Mumbai office. It was a new role as a Project Manager. Two years. Learned a lot. Then moved to Delhi for another company. Then to Hyderabad with the same company for their headquarters. Worked around 2 years and moved back to Bangalore with a new company.
(With colleagues and mentor Srini Sir)
After a year, in 2008 April, got the pink slip. The major failure which changed my life drastically and differently. (Read Pink slip to 50 Cr) I borrowed Rs. 50000/- each from 4 of my friends (Krishna Kumar, Shafeeque, Maju Davis, and Raja V, who were my classmates in Printing Technology and was working in Dubai. With their help, I started in a small way, bought my first iMac, and a pirated adobe s/w. Slowly a new journey of entrepreneurship started.
It was tough and there is a continuous failure in many ways. Every time I fail, I consider this a learning. That gives us the energy for the next. We tried a new business vertical of Family Portrait and failed. Started a mushroom farm in Kerala with my wife and relatives, which failed. Sometimes a new recruit will fail, and they will not reach the expected level. Some clients, don't pay and we fail there. The client pitch will fail. No failure can demotivate us for trying new things.
Look at the way my failures become fortune for me
- My PUC 7 marks in Physics provoked me to think and re-write the exam. I passed and got into Geology.
- Failure in that course leads to a Diploma in Printing where I established a great career.
- Failed in five jobs of early career days. It forced me to learn new technology and got the job of the latest technology in Pre-Media.
- Moving from that company failed in Dubai but again joined back helped me to learn more things. No regret in failure.
- The last company has given me the pink slip and that turned me into an entrepreneur and today I provide employment to 75 people and they support 300 plus of their family members.
So, in short, don't worry about what will happen if you fail. Every failure will be a stepping stone for success. So embrace the failure.