The Man Who Built A 500 Cr Business That Started With A Single Fax Machine

After India’s independence in 1947, Indian society has shown rapid changes in terms of ways of life. Today, when Millennials seem to be leading the transformation and the “Gen Z” waiting, we cannot forget the struggles of the “common man” era in India dating back to the 70s, 80s and 90s. Indians born in the decades adjacent to India’s independence were substantially different from the struggles of today.

Completing education was not easy in a poor family and finding a job after school was exhausting. A major transformation was taking place in the socio-economic economy of India, leading to the rise and fall of business, and the subsequent loss of jobs.

Ravindra Jagtap, 56, was born in Pune to a typical middle-class Indian family. One of the four children of his proletarian parents, an engineering degree was Ravindra’s only hope: he finished his engineering in the midst of great difficulties. After a job search that lasted a few years, Ravindra got a job at a company called Metachem and married the following year. Life continued to move steadily, but a business fire burned within Ravindra, however setting up his own company was unimaginable for a young man back then, both financially and psychologically.

While traveling to the office and back, Ravindra frequently observed Aditya Birla (Birla Group) in a luxurious car at the signal. He was so fascinated by a business career that he named his newborn son “Aditya”, which was the best he could do to satisfy his business ambitions.

Turning point of life

In a sudden development, the owner of the Ravindra’s company passed away in 1995. The new management decided to take the company in a new direction: the loss of his mentor and the rapid changes in the company caused Ravindra to leave his position. His paltry salary of Rs 5000-10000 never allowed him to save anything for the future in a city like Mumbai. That was the most crucial moment in Ravindra’s life. Finding a new job and caring for the family was a burden, but I was hopeful. It was Ravindra’s hope that convinced him to consider self-employment. The biggest challenge was starting without working capital. Ravindra had to do something innovative. After the initial investigation, Ravindra understood that the pharmaceutical sector can offer the API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) trade.

The early fight – 1995 to 1997

AASTRID International

Ravindra started his company “AASTRID International” in 1997, they dealt with only one product called Metformin HCL. Ravindra continued investigating API products that could be exported to other nations. Simultaneously, he continued to visit libraries to explore business directories and find national suppliers and international clients. It was the pre-email era and the wait time for a post to receive a response from an international business was two months, and not everyone responded. Ravindra continued to rush, finding small to large clients. The activity started for survival in 1997, it made a rotation of Rs. 20 lac in its first year.

Growth from 1997 to 2020

Today, the AASTRID group has an annual turnover of Rs 150 cr and a valuation of 500 cr. While its commercial wing is still operational, AASTRID now has its own manufacturing plant in Mahad, Maharashtra. AASTRID’s R&D wing continually investigates new innovative products. With its own offices in India, China and Dubai, AASTRID is exporting to more than 50 countries worldwide. The company also began work on a new Greenfield manufacturing plant with the intention of achieving environmental sustainability. The new facility is being built from scratch at a cost of Rs 50 cr.

Ravindra Jagtap is a respected and recognized name in the pharmaceutical industry. His company deals with almost all the major pharmaceutical companies in India and around the world. In honor of its work in the pharmaceutical sector, the company receives the “Make In India” rating award from the Government of India for its work on import substitutes. Ravindra’s inspiring journey is a living example of the uncommon accomplishments of an ordinary man.

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