It was the unforgettable year of 1982 – Agnelorajesh’s family had to move from a rented four- room, 900 sq. ft. house in Goregoan, Mumbai to a one-room house of 180 sq. in the infamous vicinity of Malwani – Malad, Mumbai.
In an instant, he was deprived from the comforts of a big home where he enjoyed a fruit garden, a front yard, a backyard, a toilet inside the house with 24 hours tap water and was compelled to live in a single room with a community shared water tap and shared toilet.
In Agnelorajesh’s words, “In the darkness of that one night when we shifted to our one-room home, I simply grew up”. In spite of the hardships and struggles, his parents didn’t compromise on education, in inculcating strong work ethics & value system in their children.
Viewing Life Up-Close
He saw the vast contrast life can throw at you, at a very young age – the luxurious lives of his friends at school and the struggle to meet the bare necessities at home.
As he says, “I realized the importance of money, and the situation unknowingly set the impetus to forge ahead to break off from a life of scarcity, achieve success and live a life of abundance”.
His childhood was not confined to toys and games. Rather his little mind was racing how to grow up fast and move out of the circumstances fate had pushed them into.
In the process, he tried to devour knowledge that came his way through observations and daily introspections, which he still continues to follow as a personal success ritual.
Work Ethics Get Engrained for Life
His first stint in working was with a company called ‘Disco Bindiya’ where he learned the first lessons of business – the importance of freedom, time management, team spirit, responsibility and respecting one’s superiors.
At the age of 17, he grabbed the opportunity to be an English teacher to a 45-year-old student who ran a flourishing business. It taught him that learning and teaching have no age limit. The association with this student was nothing less than a practical MBA, as he observed the business skills of his student and in the process, learned the core values of a businessman
His next role as an office assistant in a Pharmaceutical company introduced him for the first time to the corporate culture – decorum, hierarchy, the communication process, use of technology, delivery and deadlines, and training being a part of this new world.
The Budding Entrepreneur
After his 12th grade, Agnelorajesh started his own business of door-to-door selling of various items like clothes, beauty products, perfumes, and so on. He would pitch and persuade the local shopkeepers and share his story on how he wants to help his family.
His vulnerability blended with a deep conviction made them instinctively trust Agnelorajesh, the result being he ended up doubling the sales the shopkeepers themselves made.
The Learning Playfield
His phase as a door-to-door salesman strengthened his ability to see through people; understand their decision-making process; recognize the importance of people management, quality and good selling skills; perceive the power of referrals and appreciate the fact that you need to be good to every person as everyone is equally important.
This door-to-door selling was his biggest learning playfield for entrepreneurship. Loaded with experience and practical knowledge Agnelorajesh was ready to challenge the world as a young entrepreneur.
Pearls of Wisdom
Today, Agnelorajesh a successful Serial and a Social Entrepreneur having business interests in Real Estate Development, Education and Sports; shares his advice to young entrepreneurs, “You have to be a game changer. If you can change the game, you are in it. If not, you are out of it. If you play like others you are one of them. So whatever you do, change the game”.
He further adds, “Live your life to the fullest. Remember the one person who needs to be Happy with what you are doing is You Yourself. Live life on your own terms. There is no fixed formula to wealth creation. You go ahead and create one”.