A Daily Wage Laborer Built a Company with a Turnover of Rs128 Cr


Bhagwan Gawai’s life story is an admirable one. He influences all to change their fate with absolute determination to bring the necessary improvements. His life would seem like a movie plot as he transformed from a slum dweller to a global industrialist.

In Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, Bhagwan Gawai was born to an extremely poor family. His father was a laborer working at a construction site and earning an inconsequential salary. His salary was insufficient to support a family with four kids, which made his mother to also start working as a laborer.

To add up to the misery of his family Gawai’s father died in the year 1964. But his mother was determined and along with her four kids came to Mumbai.

It was a great challenge to find a proper place to reside with her children in the new city. The family resided in the nearby slum. His mother started working with Mahindra and Mahindra in their jeep factory in Kandivali, the western suburb of Mumbai.

Gawai was in the STD 2 at that time. His mother was well aware of the importance of education or otherwise, her children would suffer like her. Thus, she managed to somehow admit them into the nearby school.

But the unfortunate events kept rolling. His mother lost her job as the company’s work was done and the laborers were discharged. It made their situation all the more worst.

Later, his mother started working with a new steel factory of Mahindra located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. It was 100km away from where they used to live earlier. Gawai’s brother also began working as a laborer. Subsequently, in a few years, the whole family then moved to Ratnagiri where they finally got some stability.

Meanwhile, he passed the board exam with 85%. He applied for a job which he found from an advertisement in the newspaper. He got a job in Larsen and Toubro as a clerk.  Correspondingly he prepared for civil services exams.

In the year 1982, he found a new job as a management trainee in the Hindustan Petroleum. He also participated in a training program from the company in Kolkata at the Indian Institute of Management. During this time he learned the nuances of business and also got hold of promotions in the company.

Are you keeping up with the transformation? Soon Gawai learned the technique of oil distribution while he was working in Hindustan Petroleum.

In 1991, he finally decided to shift to Bahrain. He started working with Emirates National Oil Company, where he received substantial salary most of which he saved. Another opportunity came across him from the company to go to Dubai. He found his inspiration when he noticed that many illiterates were running a business related to oil. So he considered why he couldn’t do it having such high qualifications.

Thus he started a fuel company partnering with a local businessman. He gained instant success and never looked back again. The success made him form another company named after his son, “Saurabh Energy”. The company’s turnover today is in several crores.

The person who earned Rs 100-200 as the daily wage is now the owner of a company with an annual turnover of above Rs 128 Crores.

(Photo Credit: Economic Times, Mulnivasi Organiser)