From a Ticket Booking Clerk He Grew To Become the Owner of a Bus Fleet in Ranchi
He started out as a clerk at the ticket booth of a small bus stand in Ranchi, but Krishna Mohan Singh (51) rode his way to success through sheer hard work and determination. Today, he is the owner of several inter-city buses and his company, New Chandralok, has registered an annual turnover of Rs 30 crore.
Success didn’t come to him easy, though – he built his business bit by bit with hard work and wise investments. Krishna Mohan bought his first bus 24 years ago, in August 1993, and slowly scaled up the business one bus at a time.
Now he runs 15 buses across the state, owns a petrol pump in Ranchi, and has properties worth crores. He employs around 60 people.
All this was unthinkable up until three decades ago.
Born on February 3, 1966, at Dhurwa in Ranchi, Krishna Mohan is the second of six siblings. His father Janardan Prasad Singh was a Class III employee in Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC), a central government undertaking in Ranchi.
“His salary was around Rs. 200 which did not suffice,” says Krishna Mohan. “He toiled for several hours just to arrange food for the family.”
He sits in his posh house at Ranchi, where he stays with his wife and four children, as he recalls his days of struggle. Krishna Mohan studied in government schools and completed his graduation and post graduation (in Sociology) from Ranchi University.
“My father could hardly afford school uniforms for all of us,” he recalls, “the school fee was nominal and my tutorial fee was waived off because my father was an HEC employee, so I managed to study.”
They had a couple of cows, which added to the family income. “We used to milk cows and sell it door to door in our village,” remembers Krishna Mohan.
Even after completing his post-graduation in 1988, he couldn’t find a job in the private sector. His elder brother Pawan Kumar Singh worked as a ticket booking clerk in the bus stand near their house and he decided to assist him.
“The financial condition of the family was not good and after failing to get any job, I decided to assist my brother in booking tickets,” he says. “I used to get a cut out of the commission for every seat sold.”
For the next six years, Krishna Mohan and his brother continued to book bus tickets and over that time they managed to save Rs 2.40 lakh.
“During this time I also got considerable experience in the transport business,” he explains. “This helped me immensely in the future, when it came to starting my own transport business.”
Then, in 1993, he got married to Suman Devi, who hailed from Vaishali in Bihar, also the hometown of Krishna Mohan.
He decided it was time to earn more and the brothers decided to invest in a bus. The price of a chassis was around Rs. 4 lakh, which was more than they could afford. “We deposited 1 lakh and took the rest from a private financier at the monthly interest of 12 percent,” Krishna Mohan says. “It cost around Rs 2.30 lakh to build the body of the bus. We gave 1 lakh to the builder and paid the rest later, from the profits made from the bus.”
The first route was from Ranchi to Patna and they registered the bus service under the name New Chandralok.
In March 1994, he purchased his second bus. “I had earned the confidence of the financier and the bus builder through timely payments so they agreed to give me a bigger loan,” says Krishna Mohan. “The second bus was completely financed at around Rs 8 lakh, which I later paid off through the money earned.”
By 1997, he had three buses and the turnover was around Rs 12 lakh. He financed another two buses in 1998 for around Rs 16 lakh, again by paying 12 percent per month as interest. This time they started operations between Ranchi to Siwan (in Bihar).
"New Chandralok had built a good reputation through our quality service and there was no problem in getting loans from private financiers,” explains Krishna Mohan.
In 2000, he purchased two more buses for Rs 19 lakh. The buses were put on the Ranchi-Siwan route because of the heavy rush of passengers. He was running seven buses by then and the turnover had reached around Rs 50 lakh.
By 2003, he had 10 buses and started to run them on new routes. This was also the year he became the president of the private bus owners association in Jharkhand.
“Our fortunes soared after owning 10 buses,” says Krishna Mohan. The turnover now crossed Rs 80 lakh.
His brother Pawan shares: “We started to exchange buses, as maintenance was costlier than paying instalments. New buses not only helped us in building our reputation but were also good for passenger safety.”
Slowly, the buses were changed from seaters to sleepers and the number of seats increased to 60 per bus, which also increased the income.
By 2015, Krishna Mohan had 13 buses running in different routes across Bihar and Jharkhand, and the turnover crossed Rs 10 crore.
“Now we have a turnover of around Rs 30 crore annually,” says Krishna Mohan. “We have also purchased 35 acres of land worth around Rs 8 crore in Vaishali district and the petrol pump I bought last year brings me a profit of around 1 lakh every month.”
In the future, he says, the priority is to purchase another six buses and run them in rural areas. “Our company has earned a good reputation because of good and timely services,” he says proudly, “and we aim to thrive on that.”
By way of giving back, Krishna Mohan does philanthropic work and often funds surgeries of poor people who cannot afford the required treatment.
His message to the young generation is simple: “Honesty, hard work and commitment have the power to turn our dreams into reality.”
This Article is Part of the 'Amazing Entrepreneurs' Series
More Amazing Entrepreneurs