Renuka Aradhya is the owner of the Bengaluru-based car rental service company, Pravasi Cabs. Born into poverty, Aradhya used to accompany his father to beg for ragi, jowar, or rice. They would later sell it in the market. After failing class X, Aradhya dropped out of school and started working at a factory to support his family. Today, he owns a 40 crore turnover company which he built from scratch. Aradhya’s success story from rags to riches is genuinely inspiring to many in the world.
Renuka Aradhya was born in a small village called Gopasandra near Bengaluru. His father was a pandit but did not get a fixed salary. After conducting the pujas, Aradhya accompanied his father to nearby villages to beg for ragi, jowar, or rice. They would then sell the grains in the market. With the money earned, the family of five, Aradhya’s parents and his two siblings survived. After finishing class VI, Aradhya worked as a domestic help in homes to make ends meet. At such a young age, he was doing everything he can to support his family.
After failing class X, he dropped out of school. At the same time, his father passed away. Aradhya was left all alone to take care of his family. At the mere age of 15, he started working a string of odd jobs. He worked at a lead factory, a plastics manufacturing company and later in an ice cube manufacturing factory. Further, he also worked as a security guard. Aradhya’s childhood was filled with hardships and he always gave it his all to overcome them.
Struggles faced by Renuka Aradhya
After some time, Aradhya joined Shyam Sunder Trading Company where he worked as a helper. The company manufactured luggage and soon, he got promoted to a sales position. After working there for a few months, Aradhya thought of starting his own business. He decided to make covers for suitcases and vanity bags. He rode his bicycle around the city, looking for customers who wanted covers stitched for their suitcases and bags. Unfortunately, the business did not work out and he lost 30,000 rupees.
When he turned 20, he got married. His wife started working at a garment family and they earned around 600 rupees per month. While working as a security guard, Aradhya talked to some drivers and decided to become one. He borrowed money from his relatives and pawned his wedding ring to learn to drive and get a license. Unfortunately, within the first few hours, he banged the car into a gate and went back to being a guard. Aradhya lost all hope and didn’t know what to do to earn more money.
His successful journey
One day, he met a taxi operator who gave him a chance. The operator took him to his house and trained Aradhya. On his fourth day, he drove to Gokarna with a few travellers. The trip was successful and the positive feedback from the passengers boosted his confidence. He worked with the operator for two years. Later, he joined a transport company and transported dead bodies from hospitals to their homes for the final rites across India. Once the company started doing well, he got promoted to manager.
In 2000, Aradhya bought his own car. Over the next few years, he bought six more cars and hired twelve drivers. In 2006, a company called Indian City Taxi faced huge losses and Aradhya sold all of his cars to buy the company. The company already had around 80 cars and Aradhya registered them under ‘Pravasi Cabs’. He began operations in 2007 and his first client was Amazon. Slowly, the cab number grew to 300 from 80. He also steadily started expanding his clientele by getting companies such as LinkedIn, Walmart, Akamai, General Motors, on board.
In 2018, the competition from big companies like Ola and Uber led to the closure of his business in two cities. But Aradhya was not afraid to take risks and kept on going. At its peak, the company had a turnover of 46 crores. Aradhya aims to cross the 100 crore mark in the next few years.
Lessons we can learn
Renuka Aradhya’s story is truly an incredible and inspiring one. From begging for food grains to building a 36 crore company on his own, Aradhya has shown that anyone can do anything. If you experience failures, learn from them and start again. Sometimes, failures provide the most valuable business lessons an entrepreneur can learn. Take risks and can create a whole new set of opportunities for the future.
What does Renuka Aradhya's company do?
Pravasi Cabs provide luxury A/C and car rental services.