Was Rejected from Jobs because he Didn’t Know English, Now Owner of the India’s Biggest Preventive Care Laboratory, Thyrocare: Velumani Arokiaswamy


Velumani Arokiaswamy is the founder and CEO of India’s largest preventive care facility Thyrocare. And Velu’s success story is one of the most relatable stories ever heard.

His biography is a perfect recipe for any Bollywood blockbuster:

One helpless father, one rebel mother, some poor siblings to one brave son who later turned into a  billionaire.

Velumani Arokiaswamy was born to a poor landless farmer at a tiny village near Coimbatore in 1959.

Money has never been a common substance in Velu’s home. His entire childhood was spent in the shadows of poverty.

Even his father has given up on his family because of his endless financial sufferings and poor lifestyle.

However, Velu’s mother stood up to the challenge by investing whatever was left into two buffaloes they had for irrigation purposes.

When he grew up, he left the village to attend his college. But his ground motivation to enroll in college was totally out-of-this-world: to get a fair-skinned wife.

Oh! It was a ritual. In those days being fair was a privilege and in our village, only boys who were graduates could see to marry a fair girl. I ended up marrying a darker girl anyway. And now I can attest that color never matters. The person does.

At the age of 19, Velu graduated in science and started looking for a job. However, he failed to find any near Coimbatore.

I was not good in English. Still not. But employers wanted good English boys. I was not the one.

Then, he was also rejected for being a fresher.

Employers wanted an experienced guy too. Two to three years of experience, five to seven years of experience. There was no place for a zero year graduate.

This incident hit him so hard that now he only employees freshers in his own company that has 700-odd people.

After several months, he finally grabbed a job at a pharmaceutical factory as a chemist on a below-average salary of Rs 150 per month.

I kept Rs. 50 for myself and gave Rs. 100 to my parents to feed my siblings and themselves.

After some years, Velumani realized that he was not growing at all as a person in that job. And his company was also on the verge of closure. So he immediately resigned and applied at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai.

He got the job at a salary of Rs. 800. And meanwhile, to increase his earnings he started giving four tuitions each day, earning extra Rs. 800 as well.

Out of the monthly income he made, he sent Rs. 1000 a month home, and kept Rs. 800 for his basic needs.

Soon enough, Velumani got married and did his PhD. in Bio-Chemistry.

Meanwhile, his brothers got jobs too. And by 1995, Velumani was tired of his semi-government job. So, one day without even telling anyone he quietly resigned and told her wife at 2 P. M. night.

My wife did not react. She just asked ‘What if I do too?

I said: Jiyenge sath, Marenge sath!

Velu then decided to use his expertise in Bio-Chemistry to set up testing labs to research on thyroid diseases.

With the sum of Rs. 100,000 that he got from his provident fund benefit, the 37 years old man set up his first testing lab in South Mumbai.

With a keen eye on his lab’s profitability, Velu visioned the franchise model of his testing labs across the entire country and expanded it even further in the next few years.

Thyrocare’s success in these past two decades had been phenomenal.

In 2011, Thyrocare’s net valuation was Rs. 3500 crores.

Velumani’s mother died a year ago.

Her last question was: Are you the richest person in our district?

She could not vision anything beyond our district.

I said: Yes, I am.

And she rested in peace.

Today, Thyrocare’s net revenue is Rs. 1,870.46 Million a year. Velumani is settled in Mumbai with his family. In spite of being a billionaire today, he maintains a humble lifestyle in his 1-BHK apartment with no added luxuries whatsoever. One of his younger brothers is now the CFO of Thyrocare.