Hailing from a small town in Madhya Pradesh, I grew up in a family with members who were well-qualified. However, in my humble household, I was a bit of an oddball for everyone. I had a quest for something more than what I was exposed to. Curious and spirited about everything, it was hard for anyone in my family or school to tame me down.
For me, formal education was never a benchmark for intelligence. Back then, I believed that intelligent minds value unconventional, revolutionary and unique ideas in the ordinary as well. Even though, I repeated a few standards in school, it didn’t deter me to go out and excel at extra-curricular activities. Especially sports, such as Football, Hockey and Cricket. I even played Hockey at a National level. When most kids complete their schooling at 18, I did it at 21. However, by then, I had already gained work experience as I had started working from when I was in class 10th.
My experiences outside of my class taught me what my school books couldn’t. For me, having fun while learning was bigger than excelling at an exam. I knew I had to find opportunities that will help me become ‘somebody’.
From being an actor in Nukkad Nataks promoting government schemes to an event company errand boy, I did all sorts of jobs. I continued working for Rural Marketing through Roadshows and Nukkad plays and got promoted as a team manager. This job required me to travel a lot. I met various people from different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities and that taught me a lot about our rich, glorious country.
With the little money I had earned, I enrolled myself for a Bachelors degree in Economics. At the same time, I also took up a job at LG electronics, as an In-shop demonstrator and rose to becoming an Assistant Manager in the next 2 years. While I loved how my life was shaping up, I wanted more. I read something that resonated with me deeply:
A diligent worker today can be a great entrepreneur tomorrow.
I realized, I always had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and I wanted to do something out of the box. I didn’t have a set plan in mind, but I knew I had to keep working hard to reach my ultimate goal of becoming an entrepreneur. After I completed my graduation, I got selected at an International Call Center and I trained myself on my linguistic skills and people management skills. I just knew I had to excel at this and I was raring to work hard. Not only did I work hard, I gained clarity on my roadmap ahead. I enrolled myself in Business School, funded my MBA and started part-time job at Tata Docomo (Store Sales) for my survival at B-school. By this time I had gained enormous vision and unshakable self–belief.
I handled various positions in retail, sales and front-desk jobs while running my own small business ventures on the side. Life, as I wanted, was teaching me a lot more than one could ever imagine.
I was becoming self-reliant, go-getter, problem-solver, innovative, dreamer and most importantly, a BELIEVER. I had started to believe a little step taken every day builds up the hope of greater accomplishments. So I knew I had to work, everyday. Chase dreams, which were bigger than my being. Something that made difference to the society that contributed to my personal growth along with our nation’s growth.
I thought about my unconventional journey so far and how I walked on this path less travelled. It began with my tryst with travelling during my Rural Marketing days. Through my travels, I had gained so much knowledge about handling people and understanding behavioral patterns. One can hire CAs, CEOs and Designers for running a business, but the basic quality in any entrepreneur should be of somebody who understands people and their needs. I knew I had it in me, what a competent entrepreneur must have. And that’s how I came up with the concept of FR Life.
FR Life, a concept, which was designed for every common traveler. Whether one travelled by road, train or plane, one could always make a stopover at an FR Lounge and avail our Lounge services, gorge on yummy bites, use smart-toilets or work from our co-working space.
Brimming with excitement and passion, I started looking for investors. My courage, self-belief and luck favoured me and soon I had the funds to give my dream a tangible shape. I was determined to provide people a place where they had the access to smart amenities at an economical rate and they weren’t hesitant to use our services. I wanted to make luxury available for everyone. No one should feel deprived of comfort, dignity and freedom. Today, my team has grown and together we’ve made a brand that not only serves travelers but also our nation. For me, there is no greater joy than that.
I may have had varied experiences but I consider each day of my life, a lesson. Even when I didn’t have the money for my survival or education, I worked. Working every day, is all I understood and it’s given me everything. And, if you work for your belief and dreams, it’s neither work nor struggle.
I am Ashutosh Giri and this is my story.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mr. Ashutosh Giri is the Founder of FreshRooms Hospitality Pvt Ltd and the Winner of National Start-up Award 2022. A graduate in Economics and Masters in Business Administration, he has worked in reputed Multinational Companies for almost a decade. Besides FreshRooms, he has been part of many worthy businesses and co-founded Ricky William Innovation Pvt Ltd. This platform is to share insights on entrepreneurship in India.