April has just started and students can be seen scurrying around, doing their best to grab hold of internship opportunities and failing. A similar tale of rejections is what Raj Shamani lived through. Today at 23 years old, he is worth Rs 10 million, all without getting that opportunity to intern.
Raj's life has been a series of twists. As the founder of Shamani Industries with sales in 23 cities across India, Raj's time is divided between being CEO and inspiring youth across 23 countries as an international executive keynote speaker.
Raj got on to a rocky start in business when he decided to learn the ropes of business fresh out of school at 16 years young. Unilever, Tata, ITC were few among the 60 companies he applied to. "I had accounts on all the job sites and was sending out mails everywhere asking for an internship but was rejected. I had no talent or any skill required for the role but I wanted the opportunity," shares Raj. Rejections did not dampen Raj's spirits and he had soon moved on to teaching himself the basics. How? Google of course!
"It's the millennial way of life after all!" exclaims Raj, "Be it manufacturing or marketing, I learned it all through Google. It was great for understanding the basics, however, the internet can't tell you the crucial parts of business like the market plan."
No access to an internship or a mentor, Raj leaned on to the next best source. "We have the best place to gain knowledge around which is kirana stores. I spent the following weeks standing outside kiranas just observing," recalls Raj. The week was most crucial as it was the start to an idea which would one day be worth Rs 10 million. Raj shares, "I observed the rise in growth of the FMCG industry, soaps in particular. People were choosing to buy liquid gels over a bar of soap."
Further, research using YouTube tutorials gave Raj a new dish wash solution and Jadugar Dish Wash Gel was brought to existence. "Shamani industries started with ten thousand rupees borrowed from my father. I manufactured 250 bottles of 500 ml using the money," says Raj, adding, "By this time I had learned the lesson which is the reason for all the success I have which is to give. All I ever did before was ask and expect things to be handed to without me giving them anything in return. Shamani industries started with the rule and I gave and gave."
Raj's company took off with a simple principle that he follows till date. "The main concern I had was why somebody would buy from an inexperienced person. We always have this mind-set where we expect things out of others. We want likes on Instagram, we want our videos to go viral we want profits without investing and we don't understand that we don't get anything until we give. The success of any business deal depends on both sides speaking about what they can contribute. My company sky-rocketed because of my decision to give when I distributed a part of the first batch consisting of 100 bottles for free."
Raj distributed the 100 bottles to friends at his university for free and as predicted he gave and got returns in the form of 60 orders. The orders were the push-start needed. Today at 23 years old, Raj Shamani has turned the 10000 rupee industry into one worth ten million. The wide variety of detergent gels and soap are sold in 23 cities across India.