Closer home, consider what AM Naik has achieved in terms of making Larsen & Toubro (L&T) one of the most respected engineering conglomerates in the country. Now, consider his initial experience at L&T.
Apart from the fact that he was not from any of the Indian Institutes of Technology (Naik did his mechanical engineering from Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya Engineering College in Vallabh Vidyanagar in Gujarat), his poor knowledge of English led him to make seven to eight mistakes in the first employment form he filled.
When he applied to L&T, he got a job, but the company reduced its initial offer by Rs 90 to Rs 670 a month and offered him a lower designation than what it had initially promised - all because the final interviewer thought he was a bit arrogant.
Years later, Naik attributes this to a communication gap between him and the Englishman, who was the final interviewer.
"I used to think in Gujarati and then translate it into English; the Englishman perhaps misunderstood what I had intended to say," Naik said.
Naik could have easily given up on the L&T job, but didn't, just to prove a point. He joined L&T on March 5, 1965, and became the workshop in-charge within one and a half years of joining the company. When he was not even 25, some 800 people reported to him. The rest is all too well known.
An HR expert attributes Naik’s success to his fierce desire to succeed and not let failures bother him much.