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I want to make it big!

By Satyajit Karandikar
May 26, 2005 13:36 IST
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I read Ashish Chandra's story and wish him all the best to achieve his goal.

For a moment, I thought I was reading my own story.

The only difference being I still have to achieve what I am aiming for.

I want to be a successful businessman, too.

My father owns a small chemical industry in Mumbai. It was started by my grandfather and was very prosperous during his time.

I have always been an average, sometimes above average, student. I am the happy-go-lucky kind of person. My parents hoped I would pass my Class X board examination, considered the first critical turn in the Indian education system.

I don't blame them. 

I ended up scoring 65%. I managed to get into the science stream at my own School, which had a Junior College attached.

I scored 72% in Class XII. Again, it is considered the biggest turning point for Science students, since everyone wants to go in for medicine or engineering.

This 72% is no good for an open caste person. I opted for a B Sc in Chemistry. Of course, a BSc does not hold any value in our system. But my percentage ensured I got into Ramnarain Ruia College, one of the best colleges in Mumbai.

Undergraduate college life was fun. And I didn't score well in my first year of degree college. My teachers and parents admonished me a lot.

My dad then gave me an ultimatum. He asked me to join his company if I was not interested in studies. What was I going to do in a chemical industry without any technical knowledge?

It was time to think about my life seriously. Either I show good results or else leave education and join the company.

I knew I could not make it without good education. My mum always told me, 'Education is the backbone'. So I managed to get a first class in my second and final year.

I decided not to compromise anymore. I thought of going abroad for my Masters. My dad was not sure about my capabilities, but I convinced him.

I decided on UK. I did a thorough search on courses at UK universities for a year after my graduation, while doing my post graduate diploma in Analytical Chemistry.

I was called by four UK universities. I chose University of Liverpool. It is ranked 12th in the UK for Chemistry.

I did not want my dad to pay my fees. I opted for a loan. I think it was the first risk I took in my life.

I did get a partial scholarship after coming here. I completed my M Sc in Chemical Process Research & Development with 69%.

My parents couldn't believe it.

Studying in the UK was mind blowing. It totally changed my way of thinking. I actually learnt chemistry, rather than just study it.

It is an experience I will never forget. And it was really worth it.

I would like to say that if you plan to study abroad, you need to really plan for it well in advance.

I now work with a chemical company in UK. It is a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes.

I am also exploring my opportunities to work in the US or Germany. I want to gain as much experience that I can. And I plan to do an MBA soon.

It will be the first step towards becoming a businessman.

I plan to start a chemical plant in India. That is my goal. And I will achieve it one day.



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Satyajit Karandikar