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Kalpana Saroj: From a child-bride to the Chairperson of Kamani Tubes
Kalpana Saroj is a female entrepreneur and a TEDx speaker. She is the Chairperson Kamani Tubes in Mumbai, India. Apart from Kamani Tubes she also heads Kamani Steels, K.S. Creations, Kalpana Builder and Developers, and Kalpana Associates. Let us know how she achieved this :
Kalpana was born in the year 1962 in Roperkheda, Maharashtra. Kalpana faced many difficulties as a child. She was a victim of child marriage. Kalpana was pushed into marriage after her class seven. After marriage, she came to Thane’s Ulhasnagar slum, where her husband’s family lived in a small room. After some months of her marriage, her in-laws started harassing her. She was prohibited to go out or maintain any contact with her family.
“Within six months, they started harassing me; my husband would beat me if there was less salt in the food”.
One day her father came to meet her but after seeing her wounds, he took her with him to home. But when she returned to the village people started taunting Kalpana and her family about her return. Even at school students bullied her.
Tired of the torture, Kalpana decided to take her own life. She gulped three bottles of rat poison. Fortunately, she was taken to the hospital by one of her relatives and was treated and returned to good health.
” I was just a kid, and the taunts were unbearable, I felt so bad for my mother because she faced the worst of it”, said Kalpana.
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Kalpana realized the worth of her life and convinced her parents to allow her to move to Mumbai.
In Mumbai, she stayed at her Uncle’s friend railway quarters and started working at a garment factory as a helper which earned her Rs. 60 per month. To earn more she started stitching clothes which added an income of Rs. 100.
Kalpana shifted her family in a small rented house in Kalyan East. However, in the same year, she lost her sister as they could not afford her medicines.
” My sister was looking at me for help, but I could not help her. That is when I decided to go after big money”, said Kalpana.
In 1975, Kalpana received Rs.50,000 loan under Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Scheme for backward classes. With this money, she started a clothes boutique in Kalyan. She also started a furniture business which was looked after by her father.
By 1998, Kalpana came into property business and became a land litigation expert.
In 1999, the workers of Kamani Tubes, a company manufacturing and supplying copper tubes, rods, and LED lights came to her to help them to restart the company which was shut for many years.
Kamani Tubes had suffered many losses and litigation over the years. The company had a loan of about 116 crores and 140 cases of litigation. She took over as Chairperson of Kamani Tubes in 2006. Kalpana sold one of her properties in Kalyan and in 2010 started the company. Within a year, the company made Rs. 3 Crore in profit.
At present Kamani Tubes is a profitable company, with a profit of Rs. 5 crores every year.
Recognizing her efforts and achievements, she was awarded the Padma Shri for trade and Industry in 2013 and was appointed to the Board of Directors of Bhartiya Mahila Bank by Government of India.
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