A dalit woman who was married off at the age of 12, fought the odds in life to be a successful entrepreneur. During her entrepreneurial journey she successfully revived a distressed company and today she has diversified and heads a multi million dollar business. These are some of the achievements of Kalpana Saroj, CEO of Kamani Tubes.
Kalpana was born in Roperkheda, a village in Maharashtra. She moved to Mumbai after being married off at the age of 12. In Mumbai she was living with her husband’s family, who physically abused her. Her father finally came to rescue her from this ordeal of domestic violence and took her back to her village. But things did not go right for her even then. She was ostracised by the villagers and had to move back to Mumbai to live with her uncle. She was just 16 then.
This time around Mumbai had some good fortunes in store for her. She was able to secure some loan from the government with which she started a tailoring business and a furniture shop. During this time she got remarried to a fellow businessman with whom she had two children. But after his sudden death, Kalpana was left alone to fend for her family and business.
Determined to move ahead, she began managing all the business including her husbands and also launched a constructions company. Her business was doing well as constructions industry was on the rise in Mumbai during the early 90’s.
In 2006 she took over Kamani Tubes, a metal tube manufacturing company near shutdown. Once Kalpana had taken over the company, she paid off the dues owed to creditors and workers. She the restructured and revived its production capacity. The company was later moved to Wada in Maharashtra and today is a part of her multi million dollar venture, that have diversified into steel manufacturing, sugar productions and mining.
Kalpana is also involved in a in a lot of charity work especially in the area of education and also provides financial aid to needy students. She is also actively involved in the up-liftment of the Adivasis, destitute children, aged and other backward sections of the society.