From ration rice and torn shoes to top performer in the oil and gas industry

Published: September 23, 2021 at 8:32 am

We have an incredible rag to riches story in this episode of “how I increased my income”.  If ever we needed proof that it is possible to change our social station by grit, sacrifice and perseverance, this is it.

About this series: We all appreciate the importance of a higher income but increasing our income is not easy. It requires time, effort, sacrifice, dedication and opportunities. In these articles, we showcase inspirational stories about people who have increased their income, their station in life via self-improvement, upskilling or side-hustles.

This idea started when I had asked members of Facebook, Asan Ideas for Wealth, to share real-life stories of how they or someone they knew increased their income by upskilling, self-growth (personal development), or side-hustles.

Many of the accounts were quite extraordinary. These are the stories published earlier:

We have similar stories lined in the coming weeks. If you have increased your income and changed your station in life, please share it with our community. It will inspire and motivate many. Contact us at freefincal {AT} Gmail {DOT} com with a short outline to take it forward. It can be published anonymously if you prefer.


The following is essentially a comment shared on the thread mentioned above. Although telegraphic in style, it is pretty straightforward. Therefore we have not edited/expounded it further.

This is my wife’s story:

  • She lived on ration rice, one pair of jeans and three tops and a torn shoe.
  • 1996 – finished college. 1st job was for a day, selling encyclopaedia/dictionary in Chennai’s Parry’s corner.
  • 2nd job – joined a Medical college as an office assistant – her job was to source and get dead bodies from govt hospitals to use in the college class. Paid her Rs. 1500 a month for three months.
  • 1997 – joined a pizza co as a project assistant. She grew in the role.
  • 1999 – joined a famous textile showroom as a manager. The company went bust in 2000.
  • 2000 – joined a textile manufacturing co as MD’s PA grew to become a garment merchandiser.
  • 2001 – got married and quit the job.
  • 2003 – after our child was born joined a BPO as a training assistant for 18000.
  • 2005 joined a bigger BPO, Chennai. 28k/month
  • 2007, when our child was four took the call to shift to Pune alone (family stayed in Chennai. My mum took care of daughter)(air Deccan was a blessing with low fares). The salary jump was excellent. She got promoted to Manager of the training dept in six months.
  • 2009 – joined a global Oil & Gas co in Chennai. At home with a better salary.
  • 2012- seeing her potential – transferred abroad. 2 promotions in 4 years.
  • 2017 – She was transferred to another country and promoted again. (Salary is 150x of what she started in 2009). Now, senior-most Indian in the location.
  • Top performer bracket every year since 2010
I am proud of her. Sheer hard work; Her mantra – Always give 150% of what is expected of you.
Everyday question – what have you done extra & have you helped anyone else grow?
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Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower
Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower.
Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision making. We have all made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but for any aspect of life, what would it be? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parent’s plan for it and teach him several key ideas of decision making and money management is the narrative. What readers say!
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower (small version)
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower!
Must-read book even for adults! This is something that every parent should teach their kids right from their young age. The importance of money management and decision making based on their wants and needs. Very nicely written in simple terms. - Arun.
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About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18), Gamechanger, Chinchu Gets a Superpower! and seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations based on money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association, IIST Alumni Association. For speaking engagements, write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
About freefincal & its content policy Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News. Freefincal serves more than three million readers a year (5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any paid articles, promotions, PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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