There will be obstacles, there will be people who pull you down, and there will be mistakes but with hard work and focus of your vision there is no chance you can fail. This is a story about a man who thought his world had collapsed and had to begin from scratch. With his hardwork and sincerity he completely changed his life and built a Rs 1,000 crore empire from practically nothing.
Life was very smooth for Nitin Shah while growing up. He was born in a small-scale business family in Maharashtra where his father made fire extinguishers to be supplied locally. The idea of doing something of his own excited Nitin from a very early age and he often spent time with his father in his shop after returning from school.
This habit continued even when Nitin joined college. Without fail he spent all his holidays observing his father and learning the tricks of the trade.But by the time he finished college and began getting more involved in his father’s business his peaceful life was disrupted. Nitin’s elder brother played slyly and completely drove him off his father’s business. Nitin had grown up thinking he would expand his father’s business after completing his diploma in mechanical engineering. But now when the time came he was left with absolutely nothing in his hand, not even his home.
If there was anybody else in his place, they would have fallen a victim to depression and succumbed to the struggles of life but Nitin dared to dream of a venture of his own. He checked his funds and was reduced to tears when he saw only a Rs 20-note in his pocket. How could he ever start something with such a small amount! Hesitantly, he approached a friends and told him everything that had happened to him. Luckily, his friends had faith in him and he let Nitin borrow Rs 500 from him.
This amount allowed him to sustain himself for a few days and in the meantime he found a job in an auto garage in Mumbai. Although he could save money but he found himself continuously thinking about starting his own business. He got in touch with a person whom he had interacted with while he worked with his father. This person worked as a senior adviser with the Department of Atomic Energy and gave Nitin a maintenance contract of fire extinguishers in his department.
This contract came as a much-needed relief for Nitin and he was relieved at the success of his first assignment. He hired three people to assist him and had very little equipment at that time but whatever he lacked in terms of resources he compensated with his burning enthusiasm. There was no looking back from here and to everyone’s surprise he managed save Rs 20 lakh in the next 6-7 months. He knew that it would be crucial the way he utilizes this amount so he bought 1,200 square feet of land and laid foundation for Nitin Fire Production Industry.
After several small assignments Nitin’s company managed to grab the maintenance for ONGC in 1986. This one contract proved to be the turning point for Nitin’s company.
By the end of 1986 the company had crossed the turnover mark of Rs 7 crore. It was time to take another leap and in 1987 Nitin expanded his operations and set up a new unit in Umargaon, Gujarat with an investment of Rs 1 crore and 25 employees. This was a very bold move on his part because his unit in Mumbai was still smaller than several of his competitors.
Nitin devoted himself completely in his business striving to take it to never heights. In another major feat, he opened his third set-up in Goa in 1988 and added equipment designing and manufacturing services along with maintenance contracts. In 1989, a British company Apollo Fire Detectors joined hands with Nitin and later in June 2007 launched an IPO of Rs 65 crore.
In 2008, their sister concern Nitin Ventures began buying shares in a 30 year old New Age company from UAE and by 2010 they had acquired it completely. This move helped Nitin establish his presence in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah with the latest in fire safety equipment. Recently, he has formed another venture company through which he is targeting the European market.
Today, this company is the only company in the world which deals in inert gases, chemical gases, water and all kinds of fire safety products. Starting from just Rs 500 Nitin has taken the company to build an annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crore.