Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani visited the Palanpur Vidyamandir in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district and shared with students the memories of his early days of struggle and the learnings.
Addressing the celebrations of 75 years of Vidyamandir Trust on Sunday, Adani said the trading done by his father just through oral commitments, which he claimed never failed, were his initial lessons on the power of trust, and drive every action that the Adani Group takes as a conglomerate.
Being a first-generation entrepreneur, he inspired students to take daring strides: “I had nothing to lose when I started off. This belief was my strength. We have to have the mental conviction to create legacies, not just follow one.”
He also shared his views on India having the potential to build 100 more Adani Groups. “India has arrived. Our country is, and will increasingly be, a land full of incredible opportunities. The Adani Group is just one manifestation of India’s entrepreneurship story,” he stated.
Adani, after having spent the initial days of his childhood in Banaskantha, moved to Ahmedabad and spent four years completing secondary education at the age of 16. He later moved to Mumbai.
He also recalled how the dry and tough living conditions of Banaskantha shaped his social behaviour and gave him a sense of family bonds and trust. He said his parents shaped his core values.
“My father was involved in what the bankers today describe using a sophisticated term – they call it ‘forward trades’. In those days, these trades were just oral commitments between the parties and these commitments never failed, and were my initial lessons on the power of trust,” Gautam Adani shared with the students.
The biz tycoon recounted his meteoric rise which has seen the conglomerate helm solar power companies, become the largest integrated energy player, largest seaport and airport operator and become the second largest cement manufacturer. The Adani Group commands a market capitalisation of over $225 billion.
On why he moved to Mumbai, his answer was ready: “The optimism and desire for independence by a teenage boy are hard to contain. All I knew was that I wanted to do something different, and do it on my own. At 16 years of age, I purchased a train ticket at the Ahmedabad railway station and boarded the Gujarat Mail to Mumbai with nothing much in my pocket.”
In Mumbai, he started working at a diamond unit and quickly went on to pick up the nitty gritty of the diamond trade business. After having worked for about three years in the diamond unit, he left to start his own brokerage in diamond trading at Mumbai’s famous Zaveri Bazaar.