Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Entrepreneurs have been growing in this world since the Stone Age. Whether it was the Neanderthal Man of yesterday trying to build houses with animal bones or the Mark Zuckerberg of today trying to enhance social interactions amongst people, businesses have always been growing in the market. In fact, it is the ever growing business sectors of the world that have made humans reach sky-high today! Behind each of these giant endeavors lies a master mind without whom the thought of starting a new process was unimaginable. Every business is nothing without the person who started it! It is these entrepreneurs who are the leading personnel of the world today. Now, their achievements makes us imagine them to be having extraordinary educational backgrounds. But surprisingly, if we look over the history of these enchanting personalities, we will find that some of the leading industrialists of the world have actually never received any formal education! Some have dropped out of high school, some out of college and some have not even attended a single lecture in their lifetime! Yet, their achievements are sky-high!
Here are some of those legends for whom formal education was never a priority. These leaders lived their dreams to the fullest without bothering about filling their shelves with high-profile certifications!
July 18, 1950 marked the beginning of the world famous British business tycoon Richard Branson in Blackheath, London. Being the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group which is spread over 400 companies today, he has been one of the richest laureates of the world till date. Forbes records his fortunes to be amounting to $4.6 B as on March 2013. The wondrous fact about this billionaire is his passion for growing even under the toughest circumstances. Richard has been dyslexic since childhood and had dropped out of school at the age of sixteen. He started his career with a student magazine named “Student” which later revolutionised into the Virgin Group- the audio record mail order business. Today, he has incorporated his adventurous passion through his Virgin Atlantic Airways! This man is growing each day with nothing to look back on!
The magic in the world of animation is unimaginable without a Walt Disney cartoon. The father of Mickey Mouse and Snow White and many other wondrous fictional characters, The Walt Disney Company has given the world what any other individual of his time could not even think of. Fantasy and fiction was what Disney always lived with and it is probably because of this reason that he never performed well in school. Dropping school at the age of 16, Disney joined Red Cross in order to serve his nation. But little did he know that in the coming years of his life, he would be gifting his nation with the largest Theme Park of the world, DisneyLand. In his 65 years of life, he had managed to grab 4 honorary Academy awards, 22 Academy awards and 59 Oscar nominations. With his Theme Parks and his animation studios flourishing in the market, Disney is definitely running all the globe even today!
Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani ( alias Dhirubhai Ambani )
The first Indian to be featured in the Sunday Times list of top 50 businessmen in Asia; Dhirubhai Ambani was a man who never believed in a stagnant life. In his 69 years of lifespan (1932-2002), Ambani has managed to bring up his family fortune to $60 billion and grab the title of the “second richest family in the world” in 2007. This man was forever keen in growing as an industrialist and it is this zeal that had made him leave his education at the age of 16 and work with a firm in Yemen in the 1950s. He started his career with a small scale spice business in 1958 and eventually landed as the founder of the Reliance Industries in 1966. As of 2012, the company has over 85,000 employees and provides almost 5% of the Central Government’s total tax revenue in India. Not only this, Reliance has also managed to feature in the top 100 firms list of Fortune 500 in 2012!
Born as the only surviving child of William and Mary Litogot Ford on July 30, 1863 near Michigan, this man gave America its’ first automobile for the middle class. Right from childhood, Ford had a keen interest on machines which led him to leave his father’s farming business and travel to Detroit in search of good work. With formal education continued only till the age of 16, Ford did not get a high-collar job right from the beginning. He started working as a steam engine serviceman for quite a few years. It is this ordinary American who later founded the Ford Motor Company which is still running speedily even today! His ultimate passion in automobile engineering never stopped him from learning about machines even with no formal certificates!
Amancio Ortega Gaona
Ranked as the 3rd richest man by Forbes on 2013, this fashion executive is the owner of $57 billion today! Born on March 28, 1936 in Leon, Spain, this living legend has only managed to attend 14 years of school-life. Starting his career in a local shirtmaking shop called Gala in downtown La Corona, he moved on to become the founding chairman of the Inditex Fashion Group, mostly known for its’ chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail outlets. This humble gentleman has always believed in maintaining a low profile and had kept himself away from the media till 1999. He never flaunts his success even in his attires which is nothing but a simple pair of grey pants, white shirt and blue blazer. A simple man with high thinking!
Thomas Alva Edison
Known as the inventor of the long-lasting light bulb, phonograph and the motion picture camera, this American inventor and businessman had revolutionized scientific research in the late 19th Century. Born on February 11, 1847 at Ohio, U.S, Edison went on to become one of the pioneers in industrial and scientific research. With only 12 weeks of formal education in his entire career, this genius became the owner of the Edison Illuminating Company (better known as General Electrics today) in order to light the nation with his light bulb. He never stopped with this. Edison Records, Edison Ore-Milling Company, Edison Portland Cement Company and Edison Studios were some of his other noteworthy business endeavors. In his 84 years of lifetime, he managed to broader the dimensions of business to a large extent!
Born as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883 in Saumur, France, Coco Chanel is the
only fashion designer to feature in Time magazine’s “100 most influential people of the century”. Enduring a dark childhood as a seamstress with no formal education, she went on to become one of the trendsetters in the women’s fashion industry. She got the name “Coco” from her brief career as a singer in clubs Vichy and Moulins as a token of endearment. Starting from a hat shop in 1910, she went onto starting a new era of her own with her Little Black Dress, Chanel Suits, collared shirts with ties and bowler hats for women. She believed in comfortable dressing and wanted to take women out of tight fitting corsets. Also, she happens to be the first designer to lend her name to a fragrance! She revolutionized the world of fashion with her “luxury fashion” business spread over 300 Chanel shops today. This epitome of elegance and taste had always refused to follow trends and probably this is why she is still a legend today, 40 years after her death!
There is hardly any chocolate lover today who has never had the taste of a Hershey chocolate! An American confectioner, inventor, philanthropist of his time, Milton S. Hershey gave the world the best candies ever imaginable. Born on September 13, 1857 in Pennsylvania, United States, Hershey had never seen money in his early life. Having had to drop his education at the age of 13, he continued his living by working as an apprentice with a leading confectioner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After a while, he went on to start his own business with his Lancaster Caramel Company which was not a very large success. Hard times never parted his way throughout his early career. But this legendary personality never lost hope! He managed to travel overseas and bring back one of the most coveted candy ingredients of that time – chocolate! With his Hershey Chocolate Company, he never had to look back anymore! “Give them quality” was his ultimate motto forever which has made him the ultimate “Chocolate King” of all times!
The richest person of Asia and the eighth richest man of the world by Forbes, as on March 2013, Li Ka-shing is one of Hong Kong’s leading business tycoons of today. Believing in a happy and simple lifestyle, Shing happens to be the world’s largest operator of container terminals and health and beauty retailer. Born on June 13, 1928 near Guangdong province of China, Shing was not able to afford higher education after the age of 15 because of the sudden death of his father. He started working at that early age in a plastic trading company where he had to toil for over 16 hours a day. But it is this ordinary man who turned out to be an extraordinary achiever in sometime. Today, he happens to be the owner of two leading companies Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) and Cheung Kong Holdings with his personal wealth amounting to US $31 billion!
Asa Griggs Candler
The man who made Coca Cola what it is today is Candler himself. Though he was not the original man behind it, he was definitely the best marketeer of Coca Cola. $550 is what he paid to the original inventor of Coca Cola John Pemberton in order to start building the biggest soft drink empire of that era! Born on Dec 30, 1851 near Georgia, Candler had had an early life of education turmoil due to the Civil War which eventually never led him to college! Starting his career as a pharmacist, Candler went on to become the ultimate owner of the fortune product Coca Cola. Along with being a leading industrialist of his time, Candler was also a popular philanthropist. Due to his various endowments to schools, universities and hospitals, he had been commemorated with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport named after him as the Candler field with Candler park to go with it!
Ramu Govindan, the founder and the Ideator of 3D Talent Services, is passionate about talent and human development. Appreciative of the prowess of technology, he believes in democratizing talent development and taking it to the masses.Ramu relaxes by solving crossword and sudoku puzzles. Once in a while, he revisits his dream of opening a restaurant exclusively serving potato based cuisine.