The Story of an Entrepreneur – Part 1 – Mr. Prasanna Rai (Star Express)

I feel delighted to bring forward you an interesting story (Which i call a journey) of an Entrepreneur while i keep reading articles. I will keep writing of their journeys which i am sure will inspire the readers and all budding entrepreneurs.

Prasanna Rai heads the courier company, Star Express with a turnover of Rs 12 Crores and a net profit of Rs 1.5 Crores is quite a simple man to this day. He hails from a financially weak family who started as a courier delivery boy earning Rs 700 a month while he was just 16 years old. Prasanna had never thought that this temporary job in summers of 1995 will turn into a lucrative career option for him one day.

In 2002, he decided to venture of his own and with Rs 30,000 as investment (mostly borrowed from friends) and thus was born “Star Express”. He rented a small table space at the Vashi Plaza in Navi Mumbai for Rs 1000 a month. Prasanna tied up with local companies based in and around Navi Mumbai for their courier deliveries. The business model was simple; the local deliveries were taken care of by Star Express while the outstation ones were outsourced to big companies like DHL and Blue Dart for a smaller margin.

The big break came in 2007 when he won a contract of Rs 4 Lacs from Procter and Gamble (P&G) to deliver their promotional campaign to malls in Mumbai. The few management trainees he built as contacts while he used to be a courier delivery boy helped him. Similar contracts later poured in and by 2007 helped Star Express turnover increase to a whopping Rs 1.5 Crores with a net profit of Rs 35 Lacs.

By recession (2008) Prasanna had bought his own office space at Sanpada in Navi Mumbai for Rs 80 Lacs. Further the recession brought him good business as the FMCG companies increased their spending on brand promotions. His clients included L’Oreal, Wella, Gillette, Cadbury while his presence also increased in 9 other Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.

Prasanna has recently invested Rs 9 Crores to acquire a 60,000 square feet space in Navi Mumbai and is planning to start a manufacturing unit for branding and promotional materials at an investment of Rs 10 Crores. He expects to double his turnover from Rs 12 Crores in a couple of years.

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