Life is full of unpredictable beauty and strange surprises. Just when you think it cannot get any better, it does. Today’s story is an apt example of it. Once poverty-stricken Anand Rai is now an owner of two courier firms. His journey of acquiring 51 percent stake in a firm worth Rs 600 crore is an example of Dunkirk spirit.
Born in a village called Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, Anand grew up in a very poor family. His father was a farmer who did not have enough money even to buy a cover for saving the crops. After a few years, Anand fled his village and went to Dehradun in search of a better life. However, destiny brought him to the city of dreams, Mumbai.
As a 14-year-old, Anand used to live in a shared chawl in Kanjurmarg slum where he had to pay Rs 150 as rent. He started working as a delivery boy and earned a mere amount of Rs 250 per month. Even for toilets, he had to queue up every morning to share one. Life was full of struggles for Anand, as surviving in a city like Mumbai without any support was not easy. Once, while walking through a red light area, he was looted by a group of women. All his belongings were gone except for the lab report he managed to save for a customer.
However, Anand never lost hope. He kept working in various cities, learning, and exploring his skills. That was when he decided to start his own logistics company. Taking a small shop in Paharganj, Anand started Pigeon Express. His business came from banking and telecom sectors.
Over the years, Anand’s business grew to crores. Just when he thought his hardship were over, VC funding hit the commerce logistics in 2013. His company Pigeon Express suffered a big loss of Rs 3.9 crore, as the VC-funded companies hired his employees offering a higher pay. However, Anand managed to overcome all the challenges by the previous year’s profits. In the year 2016-17, Pigeon Express earned a revenue of whopping Rs 15 crore.
Anand reached heights when he acquired GoJavas, one of the biggest logistics company then. When Pigeon Express’ sales did not even touch Rs 20 crore, Anand managed to acquire GoJavas, which earned Rs 650 crore. When QuickDel Logistics Private Limited, the owner of GoJavas held a meeting to alter the articles of association, Snapdeal asked for a passive role. Anand, who was in the logistics business for decades told his friend Praveen Sinha, the CEO of Jabong, that he can not handle this business as it was not his domain.
Overnight, Anand turned the director of GoJavas with 51 percent stake in the company. As per the last year reports, Pigeon Express was valued around Rs 600 crore. GoJavas had a revenue of over Rs 650 crore with over Rs 110 crore loss in August last year. The company employs 2,200 people.
Anand’s journey is unbelievable. It shows how far a person can come if he is determined and has the curiosity to learn and explore things. From leaving home, working day and night, living in a chawl as a 14-year-old, to owning companies worth crores, Anand has come a long way.
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