They say hard work takes you places and every word of it stands true. But there are some souls who have to work extra hard. One of them is this Mumbaikar, hailing from Virar, who stands as a true example of how hard work and success are part of the same equation.
Meet Devendra Dave, fondly called as Dev by his peers. This 27-year-old and his journey will make you believe in how investing in one’s education always pays off. From a courier boy earning ₹ 500 per month to an MBA with an enticing job offer (read ₹ 55 Lakhs), here’s Dev’s inspiring story.
“To All Future Aspirants,
Some journeys are worth experiencing, however difficult or traumatic they may be. My name is Dev Dave and I have seen struggles from close quarters right from a young age. My dad was affected with polio right from his childhood and this made it difficult for him to keep jobs on a regular basis.
I realised during my 10th standard that the only way I could attend college would be when by taking care of my own fees and expenses. So, in order to support my family, I worked various odds jobs as a courier boy, a waiter, a promotion executive, and a chess coach.
For 5 years of my life, where usually kids of my age attended college, I was busy working. I was a chess player for my college, so attendance was never a problem. But the frustration of not being able to attend classes made me realise how important education is. That is when I decided that if not Graduation, then I will definitely do my Post Graduation from a premiere college.
I attempted CAT like every MBA aspirant and after failing miserably for three consecutive years, I managed to clear the entrance exam of MICA (Mudra Institute Of Communications, Ahmedabad) in my first attempt in the year 2014. After securing admission place, I thought that my dream of getting a college education was coming true. But little did I know, that fate had some different plans for me.
My education loan was rejected by banks since my dad had a bad credit rating. He was duped of ₹ 8 lakh in a Nigerian scam. And, this scam not only resulted in us selling our only asset (Flat) to pay back the loan but it also permanently got my dad blacklisted. I still remember the day and how I had cried like a child. Imagine: For years you have wished something and finally, when it is about to come true, it is snatched away. And, when it wasn’t even your fault.”
He tried all means possible to get some sort of funding,
But he didn’t get in that year. To overcome this setback, he started working seven days a week.
“The intent was to exhaust myself so much that I don’t fall into depression.”
In September 2015, during an informal conversation with a student’s parent who came to know how his struggle, Dev was asked,
‘”what if you get a chance to get in MICA once again?”
He said that though it was his dream college, he didn’t think he could’ve afforded the fees.
Dev took the advice of his well-wisher and started preparing for the entrance.
“I started working even harder. Whatever free time I used to get in the week, I spent it studying. I was really paranoid and didn’t want to lose out on this opportunity. Not only did I consult with a professional coach, but each day I used to write on a piece of paper, ‘I will get in MICA 2015 batch and my loan will be sanctioned’.
I managed to clear the written exam, and also got spot offer admission. My sponsor asked me to apply for the loan. But I didn’t have any collateral and both, my dad’s and my sister’s CIBIL rating were bad.”
Till the day of fee submission, the bank hadn’t sanctioned his loan. Luckily, a sponsor stepped up and paid the first installment. Later, much to his surprise, a bank sanctioned a ₹10 lakhs loan.
And, in his own words, the last two years have been the best years of his life.
“I recently graduated and the journey was definitely not easy. I had to take care of my family and my expenses in college with a limited savings of ₹2.5 lakh. I won many competitions and cash rewards which were solely based on my performance. I also got a ₹4 lakh need-based scholarship from my college.
I started my own start-up which mentors young people to crack the entrance exam of my college. And, I managed to secure second place in a National Level Case Study Competition that got me the desired ₹55 lakh package. I am joining Tolaram’s office as Business Development Manager in a couple of months.
The sole idea behind sharing this journey is that no matter what obstacles you face in life, continue working towards your dreams. Your thoughts are what you turn into reality and of course, hard work never goes unrewarded. The idea is to inspire other people to invest in education.
Now, that’s something, huh?
The story has been edited for brevity and due permission has been taken from the author.