Saturday, 12 March 2016

INSPIRE TO INNOVATE (I2I) STORYTELLING MOVEMENT : Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 7

My Dear Student Friends,


This is Dr. Ravi Saripalle, Believer and Mentor, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. Welcome to “Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 7”. Hope you enjoyed reading my previous letter. These letters are making all institutions connected across North to South & East to West, for one good cause, Inspire to Innovate. I thank all of you for spending your valuable time reading this letter series and patiently acknowledging the same.  

In the previous issue, I discussed the importance of inspire to innovate (i2i) storytelling movement  and the value it is generating for growth of adolescent students. I also stressed upon the glories of brave hearts guarding our nation in extreme conditions like Saichen region and about the stories of brave kids who won national bravery awards. I highlighted the spirit showed by Rajinder Johar (occupational therapist), how he ran the magazine in spite of paralysis, the amazing standup by Sapper Shanti Tigga, first women jawan, Neerja Bhanot, air hostess, Mahendra Nath Mulla, captain of the INS Khukri who sacrificed lives for the commitment towards duty, Tessy Thomas, an extraordinary scientist of DRDO, how she managed work-life balance, Vivek Vadke, who downsized his daughter's marriage, saved 6 lakhs rupees and donated to farmers who are suffering from drought effected regions, Bideswar Saw,  an ordinary taxi driver, how he symbolizes for honesty, Sanjay Raval, book shop retailer, how he takes another shop on lease to save one shadow giving tree, Sombari Sabar, 11 year tribal old orphan girl, sells firewood every day, to sustain her life and but never misses school are pouring unlimited inspiration to all of us!

Dear Friends, This is the season, students across the nation, testing their last mile knowledge and skills in the form final examinations. Success rate is proportional to the hard work and smart work employed in. Having said that failures are inevitable. Winston Churchill told "success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm". He further states, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Socrates definition to the success is when we want success as badly as we want air, then we will get success. I appeal all students to keep best possible efforts, bring best of your talent and prove yourself. In this issue, I would like to share few stories who have crossed all odds and finally reached the pinnacle. We can learn  the most critical aspect of life- how to manage failures and how failures are stepping stones to the upcoming success.

Entrepreneurship is peak of all the tests. It is life examination. It is masked with risk but projected with reward. However, entrepreneur strives to the core and prepares himself/herself to the battle. These stories buoy our energies. Raises our spirit. They are addresses for learning space. They are identity cards to enter into amazing experiences. They are insurance cards for future hope. Hearing about such stories beautifies our thinking space. In this issue, I would like to share few such stories and about amazing people who tide over multiple failures, sustained their deep commitment and determination and finally reached to the pole with successful flag.     

I believe, Bill Gates is the father of successful-commercial-technology- entrepreneurship. Having said that, before reaching to this height, Gates experienced few critical failures. Bill Gates was a dropout of Harvard University. Bill Gates and Paul Allen started a project named Traf-O-Data in 1970s, to read the raw data from roadway traffic hubs and create reports for traffic employees (wikipedia). It was not great success story. However, they did not stop their endeavor. Had they stopped their efforts after their initial failures, we would have not seen most successful venture, Microsoft! In 2015, Microsoft revenue stands at 93.58 billion USD!! It took 45 years to see this pinnacle! What kind of patience required to reach this stage! How much perseverance needed to reach this level! This story is definitely source of learning and inspiration! wonderfully articulated Thomas Edison's life history. Born in 19th century and proved as one of the greatest inventors of 20th century, holds 1093 patents and created best of the innovations like electric bulb and phonograph. However, this successes preceded with multiple failures. During his early life, had hearing difficulties, eventually led him to near deaf situation. Prone to distractions, he was pulled out of school and started home schooling under his mother's guidance. Of course it helped him to prove as independent learner. At age of 12, He became newspapers seller as well over a period started publishing his own newspaper called Grand Trunk Herald. In 1868, his family became almost destitute because father was out of work and mother got ill. He took job to take control of his family. Edison started magnetic iron-ore processing plant which was commercially failed but used this process to produce cement.   In 1914, Edison's factory burnt and set him huge loss. Edison's attitude towards this incident is great lesson to many of us who worry about small failures. His attitude was "All the mistakes are burnt into ashes and let us start fresh! ". "Although I am over 67 years old, I'll start all over again tomorrow." This kind of attitude brought back him the old glory. Team worked for double shifts and made him to earn $10 million by 1918! When we are enjoy what we do, results are byproducts (

Walt Disney, who founded most creative and imaginative virtual world on this earth called "Disney Land", was initially fired by a news paper editor, for not having good ideas and lack of imagination! What a contrast in life? In 1921, his first animation company, forced to dissolve. Eventually, he was unable to pay rent and had frugal living. However, he didn't deter! His motivation in life never receded. After many failures, finally Disneyland evolved, which is now generating billions of revenue! (

Henry Ford, who made "driving as thing", failed few times in this entrepreneurial journey. The first venture, Detroit Automobile Company, went bankrupt. Later the second venture, Henry Ford Company, came down due to partnership issues. Finally, Ford Motor Co has been evolved which is huge commercial success ( Ford Model T is the first car to cross 1 million units sold (16.5 million)! ( Ford is an inspiration to people who think assembly line!

Recently,  I was reading a wonderful story in Hajabba, a poor orange seller, from a village called New Papdu in Harekala, near Mangaluru, living with wife and three children, worked towards noble vision. In spite of his adversities, he setup a school so that poor children in his village can receive education. Initially, there were 28 students, but started growing. With his savings, he bought 50 cents land and went pillar to post for raise funding. CNN IBN nominated him for "Real Heroes" award with 5 lakh cash. He donated the whole amount towards construction. Now school expanded to 1.5 acres with 150 students benefiting out of his noble mission. Vision never ends! Visionaries never get satisfied. Hajabba is now planning for pre-university in this village! Thank you for sharing such good positive stories.

Oprah Winfrey's life is truly inspiring. Born in poverty-stricken family, during her childhood, suffered from different abuses. However, she had lot of determination and commitment towards academics and proved herself that most popular girl at school level. She showed lot of passion towards media and worked hard to become best speaker.  She became first black female anchor at the age of 20. However, hurdles haunted her! She got fired from the job but not deterred. Joined "AM Chicago" and helped in improving the ratings of the channel through her anchoring and by "The Oprah Winfrey Show". Now she became billionaire anchor. Oprah is making huge donations towards charity and proving herself of noble heart as well. I thank for publishing an inspiring story. Such stories raise hope in this world and lays foundation for better world.

At this point of reading, I want to introduce you an wonderful article published in a website called You may visit this website and read full article but let me attempt to give you the gist of it. Out of 100 (billionaires) richest people of today (as article published in year 2013 Apr, so assume the dates accordingly), 27 are heirs, means, mostly inherited from parents /ancestral etc. 73 of them are self made. I personally recommend don't give much importance to names, locations etc. May be try to understand that large set of them are self-made rich. This is positive news. Out of 73, 18 of them not having no college degree! 36 of them are children of poor parents. But some of them fall into intersection of both adverse conditions- neither college degree nor wealthy parents. They are orphans, children of welder, railroad worker, cab driver, farmer, lumber miller and so on. You will be surprised to see the analysis of the author, Anna Vital. They have few qualities in common and got into different unthreaded approaches. Some invested during hard times, some bought ruined companies, showed empathy towards employees and built good teams, recognized trends and so on! Thank you Anna Vital for brining different perspective. I really amazed to read that King of database, Oracle founder, Larry Ellison is an orphan, Li Ka-Shing, Hong-Kong famous investor is an orphan, John Fredriksen , is son of welder father,   Francois Pinault, French art collector is a son of lumber miller.

Often, we attribute success or failure to various parameters. You will be most successful if you are having wealthy parents, very good education, born in elite family and famous location / city, holding good network, supportive horoscope or stars etc. However, many of these great self made people proved that they can succeed without these qualifications as well. Then, what are you waiting for? Think about great idea, incubate, inspire and verify it in the market. I am sure you will be most successful. I wish I will write about your story after few years in another volume and issue! Yes, I am serious, my dear friend. Don't delay in dreaming. Time has come to act. Hope you agree?

My Dear Friends, Hope you found useful reading these inspirational stories! Hope you got inspired to do good for better society! Inspire, Inspire and Inspire!!! Friends, I appreciate your valuable time. I wish this is informative and useful. I will again see you in my next letter. Thank you for giving me this great opportunity to write to you and help me to learn, unlearn and relearn in this process. I personally thank all websites, authors who are publishing / writing such an inspiring stories for common good and contributing for better world. Thank you Authors and Websites.

With Best Wishes
Dr. Ravi Saripalle

About Author:    Dr. Ravi Saripalle is Mentor and Believer of Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. He is also Director, Center for Innovation, GVP College of Engineering (A), Vizag, AP, India. As part of Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement, Dr.Ravi is trying to spread inspiration through real time case studies in the form of short stories and conducting Storytelling Workshops to inspire students. Also providing customized mentoring to specific inspired students. Dr. Ravi is having more than 17 years of experience in Industry, Consultancy, Training, Mentoring and Research. Prior to this current role, Dr. Ravi worked with Wipro Technologies for more than a decade. Dr Ravi can be reached at saripalle.ravi@gmail,com or or

Links to previous letters

1.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 6 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

2.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 5 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

3.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 4 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

4.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 3 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

5.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 2 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

6.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 1 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

Disclaimer: The goal of this i2i letter series campaign is to inspire students / youth through storytelling and develop innovative leaders to build strong nation. In this process, I have taken several data points from various websites, NEWS articles, books, videos etc. I sincerely thank all the editors for providing such an insightful stories and information. To the best of my knowledge, I tried to acknowledge all the sources. I sincerely apologize for any omissions, grammatical mistakes and hurting any reader’s sentiments. I request all the readers to understand the spirit behind this effort. This effort doesn’t involve any commercials. Letter series is for free distribution.