‘I Failed And I’m Ok’

By Lavina Mulchandani
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Lavina Mulchandani of the Hindustan Times shares the stories of three young people who found success after a stumble (or two).

Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Right now, people are likely asking you your score, discussing cut-offs, panicking about admission lists. A red line on your marksheet can feel like the end of your world. It’s not.

In a few weeks, people will stop asking; in a few years, they’ll stop caring.

When you’re out there, doing what you love, and doing it well, no one cares if you once failed in math or had to repeat a year in some distant past. So don’t freak out if you’ve got red in your ledger. Meet four people who failed but pursued their dream anyway.


Pravin Ladkat, 28

“No one has ever asked me about my education, and if someone did, I would tell them that I failed in Class 12. I am not ashamed of it,” Ladkat says.

I was bad at Mathematics and failed it in Class 12. I did not wish to continue my studies.

The education system scared me. In 2008, I dropped out and started working as a junior website developer at a travel agency.

I loved the idea of cracking deals, and discovered an interest in real-estate. That got me to research the industry online and study how real-estate agencies in developed countries work.

Google became my best friend and YouTube videos became my teachers.

I quit the travel agency in 2010 and co-founded to real-estate agency called SpaceOrbeat with a partner and co-ran it successfully for over six years; I just launched my own consultancy firm, Proprera, this month.

The Lodha Group, Runwal and other major developers have tied up with me to help sell their inventory. I act as a link between them and customers. I also bought a home in the city last year. From my failure, I learned that you do not need a formal education to craft a successful career.

No one has ever asked me about my education and if someone does, I will tell them that I failed in Class 12! I am not ashamed of it because I am on my way to becoming a successful entrepreneur with hard work and good services on offer.


Riddhi Memaya, 27

“It’s been three years since I began my career. My biggest lesson? That it’s okay to be confused,” says Memaya.

I failed Class 9 in 2006, took the Class 10 exam privately and failed. It was depressing to see my friends enjoy college life while I prepared for my school exams, again.

I had almost decided to quit studies. My mother was furious and didn’t talk to me for days.

What kept me from quitting was the motivation to go and live the college life. In my second attempt, I passed but did not get into a good college.

I had always wanted to be a financial advisor but I had to take up home science instead.

It was not the dream I had had of college life. But my friends kept motivating me to study and focus, instead of goofing around. I eventually graduated in Science with a major in human resources.

I found my calling in public relations and event management.

I got a post-graduate diploma in PR from KC College, and did a certificate course in event management. I now work with a reputed PR agency and handle public relations and events for several restaurants and food and beverage clients.

It’s been three years since I began my career. My biggest lesson? That it’s okay to be confused. Try new things and find your calling. Once you do, pursue it with your whole heart.


Hirdyesh Mordani, 29

“I was creating and curating content for digital platforms, generating metadata and making memes for a living, because at the time not many people could do these things,” says Mordani .

I was born and raised in Nigeria and when I could not pass my board exam there, my parents sent me to India to study. Guess what? I failed here too.

After failing Class 12 in 2008, I lost hope. I did not wish to reappear. But without the goal of graduation, I felt directionless. I used to browse the internet all night. Little did I know this would soon earn me a living.

A friend suggested I apply for a job at Rajshri Media, the digital arm of a leading film production house, in 2009, since the profile involved uploading and sharing videos, songs and clips from their popular movies onto popular internet platforms. I got the job. And I loved it!

I was creating and curating content for their digital platforms, generating metadata and making memes for them, at a time when not many people could do these things.

All this gave me my first taste of success. Two years into Rajshri, I began getting offers from other production houses in the city.

That’s when I decided to take the next step. I launched a takeaway service called Parathawala last year. I do not plan to get a degree. From my failures, I learned that you can actually make a career of what you love to do. Just be persistent in chasing your dreams.


Srinivas Jakkani, 27

“My troublesome period began when I scored 47% in Class 10. All I could manage was admission to a blacklisted college in Navi Mumbai,” says Makkani .

I failed Class 12 twice, now have two Master’s degrees, teach in a college, and am preparing to take the civil services exam.

My troublesome period began when I scored 47% in Class 10. All I could manage was admission to a blacklisted college in Navi Mumbai.

I hated the company I was in and the subjects I was studying. Then I failed two subjects in Class 12, in 2007, and failed them again in 2008.

It was a painful time and led to a blame game at home. I decided to step out of that atmosphere and meet people, try new things. That decision changed my life. I cleared my pending papers and gained admission to a college near my Chembur home, in 2009.

Then I signed up for a BSc with majors in chemistry, biology and zoology. I discovered that I loved studying about animals, and so I joined a dog behaviourists’ club in Dadar. I met people with similar interests, took up courses to study dog behaviour and started becoming happy again.

Because I was doing what I loved, my marks started getting better and my family started approving of me again. After graduation, I got a Masters in operations management since I intend to launch a pet-parenting startup. I am currently conduct sessions in pet parenting and teaching at a commerce college in Ghatkopar.

I learned through my experience that failing, however undesirable, should not end your life. Staying self-motivated, upskilling yourself and meeting new people is important.

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