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Car washer to crorepati, entrepreneur narrates success journey

Vellore 22 Sep 2016, Vol 7 Issue 38
For a man whose first job after a diploma in automobile engineering was washing cars for a monthly salary of Rs 500, 34-year-old Battala Munuswamy Balakrishna’s growth in the last twenty years has been phenomenal. 
Constantly looking for ways to grow, he switched from one job to another, mainly in the marketing field, until he acquired enough confidence to take that bold step to quit his job and start a business.  

B M Balakrishna, founder, Aquapot, narrating his success story after receiving The Weekend Leader - VIT Amazing Entrepreneur trophy (Photos: H K Rajashekar)
“If you are content to remain in your comfort zone, you won’t take any risk,” said Balakrishna, founder of a Rs.20 crore turnover company, Aquapot, manufacturers of domestic and commercial water purifiers, after receiving The Weekend Leader – VIT Amazing Entrepreneur Award at a function in VIT University, Vellore, on Wednesday. 

Balakrishna’s success story was featured in the Amazing Entrepreneurs series in The Weekend Leader. (Read Article: “All I knew was that if a man has an easy option he will never progress”

Aquapot is a Hyderabad-based company, whose rivals in the market include big names like Kent, Livpure and Eureka Forbes. But Aquapot has held its ground and expanded its market in the last couple of years. 
A section of the crowd

Addressing the students of VIT University after receiving the award from VIT Vice Chancellor Dr Anand A Samuel, Balakrishna claimed his company was selling more products in Hyderabad than the brand endorsed by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. 

Elaborating on why it is important to take a risk and step out of the comfort zone to succeed, he said when he quit his job he was drawing a salary of Rs 40,000 and had a six-month-old child and wife to take care. 

With nearly ten years of marketing experience behind him, having sold products ranging from water pumps to industrial air pollution equipment, he was confident he could start some business and survive.
Balakrishna with The Weekend Leader - VIT Amazing Entrepreneur trophy

“I was prepared to even sell paani puri,” he said, and recalled that when he took an office on rent paying an advance of Rs. 1.5 lakh, he had no clue what business he was going to do. 

However, in less than three months, he established Aquapot. “I chose the name Aquapot because traditionally water is stored in pots in India,” he said. 

Later, during an interaction with VIT Business School students, Balakrishna said the company accorded top priority to customer complaints and cited an instance when they had flown an executive to a customer’s place spending Rs 8,000 to replace a part worth Rs 300.  
Dr Anand A Samuel, Vice Chancellor, VIT University presenting the award to Balakrishna. Also seen is P C Vinoj Kumar, Editor, The Weekend Leader to his left

Balakrishna was accompanied by his family from neighbouring Chittoor. His father, a farmer, and mother, an anganwadi teacher, said they were proud of their son’s success.
Balakrishna with his parents and mother-in-law (extreme left)

Earlier, felicitating Balakrishna, Dr Samuel said the country needed more entrepreneurs and encouraged the students to seriously think of entrepreneurship. - TWL Bureau
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