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Kalpana Saroj is an Indian entrepreneur and a Tedx speaker. She is the Chairperson of Kamani Tubes in Mumbai, India.
Described as the original "Slumdog Millionaire", she bought the distressed assets of Kamani Tubes Company and successfully steered the company back to profitability.
Born - 1961 (age 61)
Roperkheda, Akola, Maharashtra, India
Occupation - Chief Executive Officer, Kamani Tubes
Saroj was born in 1961 in Roperkheda village in, Akola, Maharashtra, India, to a Marathi Buddhist family, the eldest of three daughters and two sons. Saroj's father served as a police constable at Repatkhed village in Akola. Kalpana Saroj was married at the age of 12 and lived in a slum in Mumbai with her husband's family. After suffering physical abuse at the hands of her husband's family members, she was rescued by her father, left her husband and returned to her village to live with her parents. She attempted suicide after being ostracized by the villagers. At the age of 16, she moved back to Mumbai to live with her uncle. She started working in a garment factory to support her family. Using government loans for scheduled caste people, she successfully started a tailoring business and then a furniture store.
Kalpana Saroj started KS Film Production and produced her first movie which was dubbed in English, Telugu and Hindi. Khairalnji Movie is produced by Deelip Mhaske, Jyoti Reddy and Mannan Gore under Kalpana Saroj's banner.
Kalpana, Deelip and Mannan Gore at Khairlanji movie shoot in Akola
She built up a successful real estate business and came to be known for her contacts and entrepreneurial skills. She was on the board of Kamani Tubes when it went into liquidation in 2001, and after taking over the company, she restructured it and brought it back to profit.
According to her own estimates, she has personal assets worth $112 million.
Awards and recognition
Kalpana Saroj was awarded the Padma Shri for Trade and Industry in 2013.
She was appointed to the board of directors of Bhartiya Mahila Bank, a bank primarily for women, by the Government of India.
She also serves on the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.