Indore’s Man of Steel

30 Sep 1988

Indore's Man Of SteelDr. Ramesh Baheti’s rise to fame and riches is classic example of what positive thinking can achieve. It can push a ne’er good backbencher (which is what he was) to the centre stage to soak in the applause.

At only 42 years of age, the short and bespectacled Dr. R.B. Baheti may not be (or may be?) the richest person in Indore, the premier industrial and trading centre of M.P. He is also one of its most respected and renowned citizens. This respect and adulation for Ramesh Baheti is not merely for his entrepreneurial achievements but because of a genuine feeling of care and concern that he has for the city and its people.

The story of this self-made-industrialist could easily pass off as a work of fiction meant to inspire others but for the man, it took years of sweat and toil to cherish his dreams of steel.

Born on the 2nd January, 1946, Ramesh was the second child and the first son of Mr. And Mrs. Babulal Baheti, a teacher-turned-textile businessman (which he is even today) in Indore.

Being a part of a large Marwari joint family, no particular attention or prominence was given to young Ramesh, which he remembers, though with a tinge of sorrow. ” I was just an average boy with no signs of any spark in me. As children, we were brought up under a lot of restrictions-no colours on Holi, no crackers on Diwali and all that. So in terms of specific memories, with due regards to my parents, I would say that I did not enjoy my childhood. In fact, I very much miss those days when I see my kids growing up and the amount of attention we pay to them.”

For three gruelling weeks, he read every word in every single file handed over to him by the outgoing management.

Not much of importance or thought was given to the kind of schools the children were put in as long as it was a school of sorts. Though all the schools that Ramesh studied in were run by private organizations, but there was not much to distinguish them from the Government pathashalas. Ramesh was one of the many faceless students, passing through school without any distinction or detention. Until, 1960. That year in his 10th, he performed miserably and was detained despite a couple of tuitions and also an attempt in the supplementary examinations. ”It was matter of great social humiliation and disgrace for me. I just did not know what to do. Even thoughts of committing suicide flashed across my mind.” It is usually at such decisive and tense moments of life that a person either gives up or resolves to start afresh and fight. Ramesh chose the latter and for good. ”The desire to prove my mettle was so overpowering that I just could not give up. I firmly resolved to give my personality a complete facelift from that of a shy back bencher to that of a confident top notcher. All this did not come to me from any person or book-it all came from within.”

As the first step in the process of metamorphosis, Ramesh decided to change his school to bury his memories of the failure and start from square one.

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