Nitin Shah, the Man who Built Mountain(s) of a Molehill!


Not many of us are knowing Nitin Shah, but he is probably one of the most inspiring examples to define a rags-to-riches phenomenon.

He is the owner of Nitin Venture, a privately owned company which primarily deals with and manufactures fire safety utilities and devices.

My father had a small firefighting equipment manufacturing firm Zenith Fire services. Since the age of eight, I started accompanying him to the firm’s manufacturing unit in Mumbai.

As Nitin grew up, he began doing his school and a part-time job at his father’s company interchangeably. But, being the youngest he lost the authority race to his elder brother who acquired his father’s business.

Eventually, he decided to open up his own firm and to make his own empire without any family help. But this decision had another fact that he did not even have a single dime to start with.

So, he took a loan of Rs 500 from his friend and started working at his auto garage to earn a living alongside conceptualizing his own firm.

One day, one of his contacts told him about a maintenance contract for fire extinguishers at the Department of Fire Extinguishers.

He rose to the challenge and recommendation of that contact helped him get the contract.

The contract was to repair and maintenance of firefighting cylinders. Nitin employed three people for the work.

But he didn’t have the money to buy technical equipment like trolleys, pullies etc. So, he improvised with whatever was available.

For the rolling machine, Nitin and his team used a part of an old car. It, in turn, saved his cost of manufacturing.

Later he saved some money and bought a 1200 sq. ft. of a plot where he formally formed his new company called Nitin Fire Protection.

Later the company grew as it went on through several successfully accomplished projects in next few years and in 1989 the company acquired the US-based firm Apollo Fire Extinguishers.

Later, seeing its profitability Nitin also started a separate wing for cylinder manufacturing, called Nitin Cylinders. The mother firm was then renamed as Nitin Ventures.

As of today, Nitin Ventures remains the world’s only company to offer all types of fire protection products including inert gases, chemical gases, and water. Last year, its consolidated revenues were over Rs 1,000 crore. Nitin is now aiming to be a $1-billion firm in the next five years.

Nitin Shah, exclusively out of his extreme sense of self-dependency, made Rs. 1,000 crores out of Rs. 500.

And, that’s how this man really made mountain(s) out of a mole hill.

(And, just in the way it should be!)