A boy who worked as a mechanic at the age of 13 now has his name appear on a list that starts with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. A boy who sold puppies for money in his teenage is now the tenth richest person in the world under the age of 40, according to Wealth X. He did not have a family fortune to start with and built everything on his own, from scratch. This is an extremely inspiring journey of Arun Pudur.
Born in Chennai to a housewife mother and a cinematographer father, Arun had a very normal childhood. He recalls growing up with little money as his father’s earnings depended on Fridays – the day his father’s movies released. “The tough times made me realize that if I want to succeed at anything I would have to give 100 percent,” he says.
On His Own
Arun grew up in Bengaluru and had humble beginnings. But he made up for it by utilizing his time well. At the age of 13 he begged his parents to let him work at a nearby garage. Without Google or any manual he began learning to mend bikes by looking at the fellow mechanic. After the owner left the store abruptly, Arun persuaded his mother to give him a few thousand rupees and took it over. He became so good that he could open and fix back the engine, almost the entire vehicle, in about one hour and fifteen minutes, without any specialised tools. The garage became famous and even ISRO scientists began visiting his garage to get their vehicles fixed.
“While my friends were chasing girls, I was learning to be an entrepreneur, learning to sell.”
By now the wolf had tasted the blood. Arun loved to be in business and jumped to his garage after finishing with school and homework. It was thrilling for him to learn about sales, marketing, customer handling, managing human resources but when his father asked him to concentrate more on studies he shut the garage. After running the garage for five years he sold it to a local company for more than Rs 1 crore! He had borrowed Rs 8,000 from his mother therefore gave all that money to her as a return on her investment.
Once bitten by entrepreneurial bug is never shy to start again. He now started breeding champion dogs and sold the puppies. He bred boxers and Rottweilers, delivered hundreds of puppies, took care of them and even cut their umbilical chords. He used his marketing skills and sold each pup for up to Rs 20,000 which was a handsome amount in the 90s. He asked his father to retire as the movie industry is a really tough business and every Friday fortunes are made and lost. “I didn’t want him to be stressed out,” he says.
Arun was very studious and attendance was important for him. He was a kind of student who looked forward to examinations. His curiosity and zeal to solve problems made him take on challenges. His mother was a disciplinarian and made him to all his daily chores himself like washing clothes and utensils.
It was only one time that Arun worked for someone else. He joined a company in Jayanagar which clocked a turnover of Rs 5-6 lakh every year. He worked hard and to open franchises for this training centre. His boss had promised to give him commission but later refused. This taught him that it is crucial to have important deals on paper. When he left after nine months was doing a turnover of Rs 1 crore.
After this Arun started a venture with his brother which failed. But all he took from this episode was learning. By this time he had realized that technology was going to be game changer in times to come and therefore laid foundation for his company Celframe. As per reports, it makes the most popular word processors after software giant Microsoft.
“Celframe is now considered to be the Number 2 office suite in the world by way of sales,” Arun says. He focused the business more on the public sector and got several clients in Asian and African governments. Arun did not limit himself to technology and bought a gold mine in south Africa. He aims to become the world’s third-largest platinum producer in five years.
Arun (39) did not have a tag of big family name behind him but successfully made his first million at the age of 21 and first billion at the age of 26. A plain commerce graduate owns 85 percent of his Kuala Lumpur-based company along with his wife. Pudur Corp. claims it operates in 20 industries and 70 countries–generating $13.4 billion in revenue last year and reaping $3.6 billion in net profits.
From a boy who worked as a mechanic he became the tenth richest person in the world under the age of 40. Building everything on his own from scratch his journey is extremely inspiring.