Once a night watchman, he now lights up lives
†A night watchman in a cotton mill transforms himself into an entrepreneur ready to invest Rs 100 crore in an industry at his place of birth. This one is not the central character of a typical Indian movie. But the true life story of a youth, who is today the owner of a group of companies catering to a variety of industrial needs.
Kadappa M Mysore, the determined youngster from the Bhovi Colony of Belligatti village of Kundagol taluk in the district, has built from scratch the Shantala Group of Companies. The foundation stone for an industrial complex of the group, on 40 acres of land, on the national highway passing through the village was laid recently.
The complex will house a plant that generates six MW of power from biowaste and a manufacturing unit for laboratory equipment needed for the engineering and heavy industries sector. Kadappa is the last of the 14 children of Krishnappa Mysore and Shantavva. The responsibility of taking care of the family fell on Shantavva, by doing menial jobs at others’ homes, as her husband died when Kadappa was in class three.
The boy studied in various schools in Tadasa, Kundagol and at his mother’s native place, Hiriyur in Hassan district till class IX. He did his SSLC at National School at Ghantikeri in Hubli. Kadappa went to the school in the morning and worked as a watchman in the night. With 71 per cent of the marks, he had scored the highest marks in his school.
With a percentage of 54 in the PUC, he joined the Siddaganga Engineering College in Tumkur for his engineering degree in instrumentation technology. He worked as a teacher in a private school to fund his studies. Having worked in a private company in Bangalore, which manufactures lab equipment, for a paltry salary, he had gained expertise in the field.
The four-year experience in the firm came in handy for Kadappa, to set up his own company. He drew his provident fund money of Rs 30,000 and availed a loan of Rs 65,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana for his industry. Thus was born the Shantala Group of Companies in Shivaganga Colony of Hubli in 1999. The company became a provider of quality testing services for clients like BHEL, NTPC, Suzlon, Enercon and other wind power plants, cement companies like ACC, Ambuja and Jindal company.
Kadappa’s wife, Sumangala, quit her job as a doctor in the Railways and involved herself in the activities of the company. The company is presently functioning out of its premises, Shantala Bhavan, on Gokula Road in Shivaganga Colony. The firm employs 360 people, including 200 engineers, and has made a profit of Rs 15 crore each in the last two years. It is expanding its activities with its new facility at Belligatti.