Name: Subramani Ramachandrappa

Occupation: CMD, Richcore Lifesciences

Father’s Name: Ramachandrappa

Occupation: Silk weaver

Subramani Ramachandrappa has seen a lot of hardship in his life. But none of it, he insists, matches what his father underwent. The latter (and late), Ramachandrappa, came from a poor family in a village in Hosur on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. He moved to Bangalore in search of work and became a daily-wage weaver in a silk sari loom.

Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Often, if something essential had to be bought—a new pressure cooker, for example— the budget had to be allocated. Subramani remembers how his mother would set his father small targets per week or per month to achieve. “She would calculate and tell him the extra number of saris that had to be woven per week or per month, so that she could apportion the money to buy a new cooker. If he was weaving a certain number of saris per week, she would push him to do more. Really, my education in human resource management began at home with my parents," Subramani says.

Though his parents hadn’t gone to school, they wanted their children to get a good education. In time, his father established a small silk loom of his own. That inspired Subramani to study textile engineering.

His father passed away when Subramani was 22 and still in college. He got his engineering degree and had to take over family responsibilities.

Various jobs followed. For some time, it seemed, he was leading a life that resembled his father’s early on. Jobs included one in a waterproofing company to selling credit cards for Citibank. The first job (waterproofing) landed him a salary of Rs1,500 and the next one Rs3,000 per month, not enough to sustain the family—his own and his uncle’s, who lived together. It was in the late 1990s that he got a break with Biocon. He worked there for two years and formed Richcore in 2000, having borrowed Rs25,000 from friends.

Richcore began as a distributor to Biocon. An MBA from the International School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad followed. Gears had shifted. In the midst of it all, the memory of his father and the confidence his mother gave him kept him going. “Whenever I felt low, I didn’t have to look beyond home for inspiration."

Rahul Jayaram

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