Is IIT Everything? – 8 Non-IITians Who Became Very Successful and Inspiring

Let me start this article with a quite simple sentence, IIT is NOT Everything.

Yes, you heard it right. It’s not the IIT which makes people successful, it’s their talents and a strong determination. Many people see failing in IIT-JEE as an ultimate failure in life.

But, it’s not like that. There are many people who couldn’t make themselves into IITs but, still, emerged as quite successful in their lives.

You won’t believe, some of the most successful and inspiring people that we have seen haven’t even appeared for the IITJEE exams!

Ironic, right?

Well, in this blog post, I will be talking about the 8 such successful and inspiring personalities who did not attend IIT but still, they made it quite big in their lives.

Non-IITians Who Became Very Successful in their Lives

No doubt, this is a never-ending list but, for now, I have included 5 such people in the list. So let’s get started…

1. Satya Nadela (CEO, Microsoft)

Satya Nadela, who served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the tech-giant Microsoft, is NOT from any of the IITs. And, it’s quite a big achievement what Satya Nadela has achieved today – CEO of a Billion-Dollar Company. He became the CEO of Microsoft succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014.

Satya Nadela - CEO Microsoft

Before he became the CEO, he was Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools, and cloud computing services.

Satya Nadela was born in Hyderabad, India. He attended Manipal Institute of Technology (then part of Mangalore University) in Karnataka in 1988 to complete his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering.

In 1990, Nadella subsequently traveled to the U.S. to study for an M.S. in computer science at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

2. Kalpana Chawla (Astronaut, First Indian Female to Go to Space)

Kalpana Chawla was the first female of Indian origin who went to space. She had appeared for the IITJEE exam but couldn’t qualify. In 1997, she first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator.

Kalpana Chawla - Indian-American Astronaut

But, unfortunately, on the second mission, in 2003, Chawla was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster when the spacecraft disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

She got a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, India.

Later, in 1982, she moved to the United States and obtained a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984.

She began working at NASA in 1988, where she did Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research on vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) concepts. Kalpana Chawla spent a total of 31 days, 14 hours, 54 minutes in space.

3. Venkat Ramakrishnan (Nobel Prize, Chemistry in 2009)

Venkatraman “Venki” Ramakrishnan is an American and British structural biologist of Indian origin. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath, “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome“. And, he is not from the IITs.

Venkat Ramakrishnan - Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner in 2009

Venkat Ramakrishnan completed his schooling and undergraduate studies at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujrat.

Immediately after graduation, he moved to the U.S., where he completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Physics from Ohio University in 1976 for research into the ferroelectric phase transition of potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP).

Ramakrishnan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 along with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath. Later, he received India’s second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2010.

4. Indra Nooyi (Chairperson, PepsiCo)

Indra Nooyi is an Indian-American business executive, serving as the Chairperson of the second-largest food and beverage business in the world – PepsiCo, and as the CEO for 13 years from 2006-2019. She isn’t from any of the IITs either.

Indra Nooyi was born to a Tamil-speaking family in Chennai, India. Nooyi did her schooling at Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in T. Nagar.

Indra Nooyi (Chairperson, PepsiCo)

Later, in 1974, she completed her bachelor’s degrees in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics from Madras Christian College of the University of Madras and a Post Graduate Programme Diploma from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta in 1976.

In 1978, Nooyi got admitted to Yale School of Management where she completed the master’s degree in Public and Private Management.

Indra Nooyi was named the 3rd Most Powerful Woman in Business by Fortune in 2014 and she has also been consistently ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women.

5. Shiv Nadar (Founder & Chairman, HCL)

Shiv Nadar, who is an Indian billionaire industrialist and philanthropist, is the founder and chairman of HCL and the Shiv Nadar Foundation. He too is not from the IITs.

In the mid-70s, Shiv Nadar founded HCL and transformed the IT hardware company into an IT Enterprise over the next three decades by constantly reinventing his company’s focus.

Shiv Nadar - Founder and Chairman HCL

Nadar was awarded Padma Bhushan (3rd highest civilian award in the Republic of India) for his efforts in the IT industry, in 2008.

Shiv Nadar completed his pre-university degree in the American College, Madurai, and a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, India.

Read: How to Deal if You don’t Get Selected in IITJEE

6. E. Sreedharan (Metro Man of India)

E. Sreedharan is a civil engineer who has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others. He is known as the “Metro Man,” and he served as the managing director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) between 1995 and 2012.

Born on June 12th, 1930, Sreedharan was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2001, the Padma Vibhushan in 2008, and was named one of Asia’s Heroes by Time magazine in 2003.

7. Ritesh Agarwal (Founder of OYO)

Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian businessman, best known as the founder and CEO of OYO Rooms.

Born in Bissam Cuttack, Odisha, India, and brought up in Titilagarh. His schooling was completed from Sacred Heart School in Rayagada. He dropped out of college and was selected for the Thiel Fellowship (started by Peter Thiel) in 2013. The company was launched as OYO Rooms in May 2013. His net worth in 2020 was estimated to be approximately $1.1 billion (₹7253 crore) according to Hurun Rich List 2020.

As of February 2020, he is the second youngest self-made billionaire in the world after Kylie Jenner. He is listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Asia.

Azim Premji (Founder of Wipro)

Azim Premji is an Indian businessman, investor, engineer, and philanthropist. He was the chairman of Wipro Limited between 1981 and 2013.

He was informally known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry. In 2001 Permji was listed among the 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He is awarded Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civillian award by the Government of India.

Final Words

Hope this article added some value to you. Don’t be hopeless if you don’t get into an IIT because there are many such people who have achieved a lot in their lives without attending into the IITs.

If you want to be successful like this person you can read the following books related to “Personal Growth & Wealth”.

Personal Growth & Wealth Books

Buy the Book from Amazon

If you wanna add a few more people to the list then mention them in the comments and I will try to add them to the list.

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