13 Apr 2021 17:38 IST

Night watchman to IIM Ranchi: how Renjit Ramachandran fought all odds

It was sheer hard work and inclination for research that drove him

It was sheer hard word that fulfilled my dream, declares Renjit Ramachandran, Assistant Professor at IIM Ranchi and whose Facebook post on his life’s struggles, has gone viral. “I had nurtured an inclination towards doing research during my college days and I have managed to work on my instinct in such a way as to drive me towards fulfilling a goal I had set for myself,” Ramachandran told BL on Campus from Bengaluru.

The 28-year-old Ramachandran’s inspirational journey from a night watchman’s role in a BSNL telephone exchange in Kasaragod, Kerala, to an academic role in a top institution is the stuff of dreams. “I have posted my life story on Facebook. I would be happy if it goes to inspire others who want to succeed in their life,” he says. “An IIM professor was born here,” his Facebook post said, along with the picture of his un-plastered, tarpaulin-covered hut, announcing the news of his dream accomplishment. But it took him through a long and arduous journey, which he hopes would be an inspiration and lesson for many of his ilk to overcome obstacles in life.

Inspiration to many

His inspirational post on social media, revealing his story of perseverance, went viral with over 37,000 likes and was widely shared. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac praised him and expressed how much of an inspiration he is to the public.

Ramachandran recalls how he almost had to drop out of school owing to financial constraints and later to take an Economics Degree from the Pious Xth College in Kasaragod, while working as a night watchman at the BSNL Telephone exchange in Panathur earning a meagre sum of ₹3,500 per month to support himself and his family. His father is working as a tailor, while his mother is a daily wage worker under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. His sister has completed her BEd course.

It was his fascination towards research that brought him to IIT Madras for a PhD programme in 2016 after post-graduation from the Central University, Kasaragod. However, he had almost come to a point of quitting his PhD midway due to his lack of command over the English language. But with the moral support and motivation from his guide, Subhash Sasidharan, he decided to pursue the course and successfully complete his PhD last year.

Dream on

He has been working as an Assistant Professor at Christ University, Bengaluru, for the last two months and is scheduled to join IIM Ranchi next month.

When asked by this writer what message he wants to convey to the new generation, he said, “Hard work has no substitute, and it alone will give results. With the deluge of information on the latest global developments available on their finger-tips, the new generation should utilise the great potential they offer. They must also make best use of available facilities offered by the internet and other media to create a future for themselves. Everyone should be able to dream and pursue it with all resources available to achieve success and fulfil his or her dream.”