Dropped Out Of School Now Built Rs 1,500 Cr Firm in a Decade

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This is the story of Ajjay Agarwal, who is the founder and Managing Director of Maxx Mobiles. He dropped out of school when he was only 14 in the year 1992. He failed STD 9 from Children’s Academy School and then he decided to give up on structured education. His parents also did not force him to complete his education.

He joined his father’s electronic trading business in the same year in Mumbai. This was not because of any dire financial circumstances. Ajjay was fascinated by business and was very interested in the family business.

He helped his father with accounts for which he was paid with Rs 4000- Rs 5000 per month making it his first earnings. In the next five years, he was capable of helping his father into other verticals like gadgets, musical instruments, and imported mobile phone accessories. For the latter, he had to visit manufacturers in Malaysia and China which later helped him when he launched his own company.

In 2004, Ajjay decided to set up his own manufacturing unit for mobile phone batteries. In the first year, he earned revenue of Rs 5 lakh. This gave him enough knowledge about the potential of the industry. He then invested all his savings and profits, borrowed some money from his friends and family and set up his unit on a large scale. And by 2006, he earned Rs 50 crore revenue and this was an accomplishment of two years of operations.

He then leaped into mobile handsets manufacturing by starting Maxx Mobiles in August 2008. He became one of the few Indians venturing into the market of mobile phones. The next six months, he focused on the feedbacks from the consumer and distributors. Based on the feedback he began manufacturing 20 models. Indians were then new to dual sim slots and Ajjay launched models with dual sim slots which turned highly demanded from the tier II and tier III cities.

Ajjay understood that managing internal costs will increase profitability. Initially, Maxx Mobiles imported raw materials up to 95% from overseas. Gradually they began acquiring parts from India and Ajjay was soon capable of building additional companies that manufactured 50% of the in-house raw materials.

His factory was launched in Mumbai and the next one in the following year in Haridwar, and the third one in Mumbai. The excellent focus on after sales service and the deeper penetration in the Indian market helped them to start selling in the Indian subcontinent as well as South Asia and Africa. 80% of sales came from their featured phones making them a major player in India for feature phones segment.

This is an example of how to become a major businessman by not necessarily completing education. Passion, skills and determination and sheer fascination made Ajjay what he is today. The company has a turnover of Rs 1,500 crore in the end of 2017.

(Photo Credit: Only Gizmos, The Economic Times)