From a Newspaper vendor to a NewsmakerAnisha Mukhija
Newspaper to Newsmaker. Catchy headline? Wait till you hear this IIM graduate’s story.
Shiva Kumar Nagendra.
Born and brought up in Bangalore, Shiva Kumar lived with his parents and his sister. Their family wasn’t doing financially well, as his father, a truck driver, had met with an accident and was bed-ridden for three years. In order to support the family, Shiva’s mother started making garlands so that Shiva and his sister could sell them and earn some money. However, it wasn’t enough as sustaining a family of 4 by selling garlands just wasn’t going to cut it. So Shiva started earning some money by selling newspapers in order to avoid taking a break from studies.
Unfortunately, even selling newspapers for the Times of India didn’t wasn’t enough to keep up with the ever-growing expenses. Shiva Kumar contemplated working full-time at a restaurant or as a mechanic, but declined it as he believed that education was important to go ahead in life. Once, while delivering the paper, he came across a gentleman waiting for his newspaper. While handing him the paper, Shiva enquired whether he could wash the man’s car in the evening. The man agreed and Shiva thus spent that evening, doing the same. After washing his car, Shiva mustered the courage to ask the man whether he would be willing to pay for his school fees, a sum of ₹ 15,000. Now here was an unknown kid who just washed this person’s car, asking the owner of the car to fund his school fees. A Mr.Krishna Veda Vyasa, was the owner of the car. Any other person in his place would have probably shooed the kid away. Mr. Vyasa however, didn’t. He visited the school Shiva attended and found out that Shiva was a topper among his classmates. He encouraged Shiva to just focus on his studies and leave the financial aspect to him.
Shiva then started focusing on his studies. In spite of his educational fees being taken care of, Shiva didn’t show any lack of ambition in his progress. He started an agency involving distribution of newspapers and went on to becoming a topper in the 10th exams. Eventually, Shiva secured a seat at Bangalore Institute of Technology (BIT). Soon, he was offered a job by Wipro. Getting this job would have provided him with a fixed salary and would have helped solve the financial situation at home. However, Mr.Vyasa advised him to pursue higher studies as being an IAS/IIM Student would take his job prospects even higher. Shiva’s parents were initially reluctant as this would mean giving up a proper salary-based job and studying further for two years. Eventually, they gave in, and Shiva started preparing for CAT, attending his engineering semesters and managing the newspaper agency, all at the same time.
Nervousness is what Shiva was feeling, the day of the CAT results. There were two choices ahead of him: Get admitted to an IIM or go ahead with the job in Wipro.
Shiva finally got a call from IIM Calcutta !!
This, was a huge achievement.
The people and the faculty at IIM were accepting and supportive of Shiva’s background. They respected him and his journey from a newspaper vendor to an IIM Student.
Shiva graduated from IIM Calcutta the previous year and now works in a start-up in Bengaluru. Once he fulfils his family priorities, he dreams to open up a charity one day, which will educate underprivileged children.
One thing that Shiva emphasizes is that it is not always intelligence that can build a great career and that hard work is the key to achieving everything.
There you go. No “great passion” or “talent”. No interest-based conflicts. Just pure focus and hard work. That is all that it takes. To achieve anything.