of the week!!
I recently met Alok Kejriwal at San Francisco who convinced me to write about myself . He thinks there is something I have worth sharing with rest of the world and ended up calling me ‘CRAZY, Super Charged, hyper-positive Entrepreneur‘
1989 – I was playing at little yard we had in front our government railway quarters, when I was told to go to neighbor’s place. Curious 10year old, I asked my aunt (who was visiting us) ‘Why?’ I didn’t receive any answers but I decided to obey the orders and moved along. I felt something wrong about this whole thing, and kept looking at my place from neighbor’s. Few minutes later an ambulance arrived with bunch of folks in it. They all went inside including my mother, father and others straight inside my home. I figured probably its time for me to go back, take a look at whats happening. My heart was pounding, as if it knew what has happened..which should have never happened.
My father was dead! After years fighting with cancer and multiple major surgery, doctors declared him dead that afternoon, and sent him back for final rituals.
A family of four, from a big bungalow we had in Chittranjan, we now moved into one-room, with shared toilets and common area with another tenant. Most of the money we had, was gone in the treatment of my father (I guess health insurance was not popular thing back then if at all existed in India). We used to make shift our beds everyday so that in the morning we can move around that tiny 10×10 room, and in night can sleep on two little single folding cots shared by two each my mother and three of us siblings. Mother took a clerical job with railways, and we continued our studies as usual, thanks to Kendriya Vidyalaya which at that time charged fee of INR 5/- per month only. Life was almost like a normal kid accept it was tough! I distinctly remember not going to friend’s birthday parties because I could not afford to buy INR5/- gift. I distinctly remember getting scolded by my grandfather(who was visiting us at the time) because I bought a book worth INR 7/- (it was 1990s). It distinctly remember few other stuff too, which If I cannot publish. Think about things which could happen with a family with three little kids and widow mother.
Those were my formative years and I think I came out pretty strong out of it. From bicycling 30 kms a day to college, to running a small comic book rental library every summer, to tutoring kids just 2 years behind me in the school to earn tuition fees and more. Not that we fancied those things but there was no other option to survive. It was tough but was normal for us.
I went on like an average kid, but did things persistently. There was (and is) some fire inside. I actively participated in Scouts for about 8 years and went on to receive award from then President of India. Family encouraged and I managed to get admission in MCA in a tiny little college at Meerut (town in Uttar Pradesh near New Delhi). Instead of cribbing about the situation at the college (which was in its own formative years), I just gave all my attention on learning new things, and contributing back to college and figuring out ways to improve things all around me. Fast forward many years, that tiny little college is now a private deemed university with sprawling campuses at many cities, and I am made Chairman of Alumni group.
I did jobs during summer vacations for extended months with special permission from the college Principal. I managed to impress this tiny startup at Lucknow, and got my first formal job offer to join them as and when I would finish my college. Exciting times! was one of the first to get any job offer in the whole batch….easy access to railway’s computer library (thanks to my mother’s job) is now paying off. My elder brother and I worked hard to save some money and bought a decent computer at home. I was good in computers and did small fun hacks to steal password from novell network.(I always told the user after hacking his password and asked him to change password, I guess i was just trying show them my skills). I went on to write a complex pieces of code such as boot loader and more..
Fast forward, I started few companies, joined Microsoft, moved to USA, and then left again to start my latest company 9Slides. Against extreme conditions, driven by commitment to win, I left my cosy well paying Microsoft job to start 9Slides in 2011. No backup, no-one to fall back in USA, absolutely minimal network of Microsoft office mates. My wife was pregnant with second kid. I remember a day where we figured that my wife lost her insurance because we missed the payment. I remember my office mates buying Porsche while i was driving an old car with broken shield. We were living on the ‘edge’. It was nerve wrecking!
We are still living on the ‘edge’ but commitment to win is more than ever. I can see the light of success dawning upon us. Some of the hard work we have done(me, my family, my team) is coming together and I hope I can make my father, my mother, my guru and my siblings proud of. There is this unknown insane thing which is driving me hard, and I believe that we all can achieve whatever we want, what you need is commitment to win.
I am sure you have interesting stories to share too! My twitter handle is @ruchitgarg in case you would like to exchange some chatter.
UPDATE: JUNE 17, 2015
RUCHIT’S COMPANY 9SLIDES GOT ACQUIRED!!!
what an amazing, touching story! cried while reading it the first time!!
loved the comic rental store part to bits – could actually visualise you. your headline is so apt – your commitment to win comes through each and every para!
what an honour to have you on trhs! and to think for the last 2+ years that i’ve known you from the kejriWall… i’ve always thought you were a rodinhooder 🙂
welcome aboard ruchit!
pls keep sharing your inspiring stories. all the very best.
ps: here’s to old cars and new ones in store for all of us… 🙂
It brought tears to my eyes. I remember your inbox msg to me on Fb some months back. You made us proud and I am so touched to hear your story. Coming from lucknow and my father and two generations who have served Railways makes me connect to you even better:)
May your efforts and determination win ever. Keep writing and sharing. Wish you good luck! Welcome to our Rodinhood Khandaan:)
Very tough times transformed… Living with the reality and aiming big is a virtue , so bright in you. Great guns, Ruchit.
A really heart touching and an inspirational story Ruchit.
All the very best for your venture.
SUCCESS BEGINS WITH a fellow’s will: it’s all in a state of mind.
Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man:
But sooner or later, the man who wins
IS THE ONE WHO THINKS HE CAN! 🙂
Very inspiring. Your story has charged me to grow my own business (in which i am struggling right now).
Thanks a lot! Will catch up with you on Twitter (@harmanjit) now!
Really a great story man. Thanks for the share .
Such stories inspire me to work harder.
Keep on writing such awesome stuff and rock me.
Thanks for the share
Inspiring story and an awesome product prop, signing up now
Total respect to you Ruchit.. You made my day.. this isn’t a story.. it’s a hard earned lesson which you have with so much genuineness conveyed to us. Thanks .. look forward to meet you whenever you pay a visit.. Best Wishes and 9Slides would bring to you and your family tonnes of happiness…!!!
Ruchit, these are the kind of stories which inspire you to rise above trivial issues and aim for something larger. Thanks for posting this. From what I could figure out, you were born to fight everything out. You’re a fighter mate, keep fighting. Success is already yours!
I can feel my fire again.
I can relate you with myself. An independence for all Rodinhoods!
Happy 15th August independence day!- True, Valuable, Inspired! (And Yes, commitment to win ).
you made me remember just a friend of my school days though he hadn’t ever had such a hard time, but even his father expired suddenly during primary school time.
You just added me to your list of fans, thank you for your humble story and glad to hear about a truly inspiring life journey.
Ruchit you just made my day with your inspiring story that I will remember for a long long time to come.
I did check 9Slides a few days back and as a training professional, love the idea. Will connect with you to share some thoughts.
Thanks for sharing and @AlokK thanks for sharing Ruchit with us.
Ruchit, you touched my heart. Old cars, comic book rentals and tuitions…. the challenges change and the struggle continues. We all start with a dream and there is a fire burning bright within us and we too face problems but your resolve has only fired my own. Hats off to you and god bless always.
Thanks Asha. Glad I could connect here with so many Rodinhoods. As you said its a state of mind.
Thanks Nidhi. Would love to exchange some LKO notes.
Thanks Sanjaya, huge credit goes to my family who supported me on most of my crazy endeavors.
True, its a state of mind Nitin.
Glad to find that my story inspired so many of you…feeling blessed to be part of Rodinhood community.
Thanks for your wishes Anamika!
#commitment2win once you do it, you will win…its a state of mind..
Thanks Tejas. Feel free to email me your thoughts ideas at ruchit-at-9slides-dot-com
Exactly, Thanks for your story!
Glad we could connect Kaanchan.
Someone told me ‘Life is chaos… our job is not to create perfect order – it is to explore, create, expand, and evolve within the inevitable disorder’
This is like some Movie ..!! and wish u best for your venture …!!!
kiran n. bolantkodi
Great Yaar Ruchith,
Like you i am also still living on the ‘edge’ , but i am 101% confident that i will make it. Your story boosted my energy and confidence.
check the top of your post ruchit…. 🙂
Rodinstar Post!!!! Congrats Ruchit… Well deserved!
thanks for sharing your inspiring story!
let me know if you are looking for angel funding.
+1 510 455 4090
+91 993 007 8040
Very Inspiring.. All the very best in your endeavours. Your story reminded me of my very good friend at School. He lost his father at Class 7. I was amazed to see huge transformation in him after that. Guy became serious in life. He turned so good in studies that he stood School Topper in Class 10. He went on topping in studies and took up Medicine. Today Im proud that my friend happens to be one of the top most Cancer Surgeons in the Country. I believe God gives difficulties to only the ones who can handle, overcome and WIN….!!!
Thanks Miten. Will reach out to you over email.
Thanks for sharing your friend’s story Vinayak. I am not on the ‘top’ as yet, its just that looking back it feels like I have made some progress.
Thanks buddy! Good luck to you too!
You will Kiran, nothing can stop you from getting what you deserve. Just focus be thankful to those who helped you get there. I am working on it too..
Made me remember the Tarp (Jute Bags opened up and Stretched on Bamboo Sticks to support) to make a Temp Summer Camp for the Kids by myself, in the playground where they would get their own mattress, chips, pickles and the Water bottles to sit, share and read the Comics and Novels and Exchange them too, and play the cards, board games and Carrom as well to start as a First of the Kind Social Community level activity I started when I was in the 8th Std in Indore 🙂 Which later transformed into a full fledged Club House with all Sports equipments sponsored and free to use as well !!!
Awarded the “Rodinstar” Post of the week!!
Way to Go!! Cheers!!!
Thanks for sharing your story Darshan!
Guess I am not the first one to tell you how deeply I have been moved by your story. I am really glad that you have succeeded despite all the odds and obstacles, you are a true inspiration and testimonial to all of us. Wish you all the success and happiness in this world.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep
It was really touching & inspiring to read your story. Having known you a while, I never imagined that your journey would have been full of hardships & crazy time.
All the Best !!
Ashwin C Parulkar
Your humble story is touching…but you should have still worked for some years a couple may be? Gather enough wherewithal , so that your journey would have been easy! Why to suffer?
Thanks Ashwin. There is no limit to how much you can save and feel comfortable before you can ‘start’. Some folks never start. No suffering no gain…irrespective of how much wealth you have before you start.
Very true Ruchit , being an Entrepreneur and having wealth are separate entities. Comfortable Starters are unable to take the bumpy ride. Discomfort or troubled times has given me powerful instincts. On the contrary having enough money and planing this and that … gives birth to non starter.
thanks for sharing your story!
Its amazing that through rodinhoods we can meet such awesome people with such humble backgrounds!
Thanks alok and thanks Ruchit 🙂 You sparked a little thing in my heart today!
Love goes out to this whole forum :).
I could so relate to you in the first paragraph, as I too lost my father to cancer and had an exact saturday morning like yours when the news was passed onto me.
Coming to your life journey, it’s truly inspiring that you have battled against all the odds stacked up and have come out as a winner in your life.
Knowing this persistence and commitment to fight until victory, you are now a role model to me..
Hoping to read more stuff from you in the future…
dear all, ruchit’s company 9slides just got acquired!!!!!!!!!!
what a commitment to win, ruchit, many many congrats!! keep making us proud!!