Offensive Defence

From a failed start, empty pocket, and mortgaged jewellery to raking Rs 2,500 Cr revenue: the story of Solar Industries

Behind every success story that comes into the limelight, there are countless behind-the-scenes failures, challenges, and disappointments. It takes patience, perseverance, and grit to overcome these thorns in your path to taste.

As India celebrates its 71st Republic Day, a day that commemorates the sweat and tears of many men and women of the freedom movement, we at SMBStory bring you the inspirational story of Satyanarayan Nandlal Nuwal, a 67-year-old entrepreneur who laboured under a lot of struggles when he started his business journey in the 1970s.

Little did he know that over the years his company, Solar Industries, would become one of the leading manufacturers of explosives, detonators, and get a license from the government to make explosives for India’s Armed Forces.

“I belong to a small village in Rajasthan. I dropped out of school when I was in Class X to find my luck in the business. But, at that time, I was too innocent to understand that business is gruelling at times. I tried my hand at many things, including a leasing business and a transport company but everything failed,” he recalls.

Satyanarayan then moved to Nagpur to work with a relative. He didn’t have enough money to rent out a house and spent his initial nights in the big city sleeping in the railway station.

But the dark clouds soon parted after months of struggle when Satyanarayan got a licence to trade explosives and a warehouse to store them, paying a monthly fee of Rs 1,000 rupees to the licence holder.

The entrepreneur spent several years supplying explosives to the state-owned coal mines and as a consignment agent for Imperial Chemicals Industry. Yet things were rough, and money was tight. By the mid-1990s, the competition had picked up as several companies had come in as consignment agents.

With margins getting squeezed, and his wife mortgaging her jewellery to raise funds to survive, Satyanarayan decided it was time to go beyond trading and start manufacturing explosives.

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