Mr.Ramesh – The Rolls Royce barber
Once what had been looked down as odd jobs are acquiring respectability. For example, hair-cutting and shoe-making were considered as unskilled professions only to be performed by poor and uneducated persons. But handled with some professionalism and artistic touch by educated people, these odd jobs have become not only respectable, but also money-making professions. Fashion business has given fillip to these professions.
If you want a “good haircut”, Ramesh Babu can give you one for Rs. 65. That is, if he hasn’t already driven off in his Rs. 3-crore Rolls Royce Ghost.
Babu, after all, is no ordinary barber. He is a billionaire barber, who owns a rent-a-car fleet of 60 cars. He is also the subject of an upcoming film, likely to be released in three languages. “Somehow, things have clicked for me,” says the 41-year-old. Thirty-two years ago, everything seemed to be going wrong. His father had just died, leaving the family his barber shop. His mother leased the shop for Rs. 5 a day and took up work as a domestic help to make ends meet. His mother made the decision for him. He completed his schooling at St Patrick’s High School and then finished his high secondary in St Joseph’s College of Commerce. In 1991, he decided to run his father’s salon. The salon, named Inner Space, was in a shopping complex by the school where he studied. It soon became a trendy styling outlet for youngsters.
Within three years, Babu had enough spare cash to buy a Maruti Omni people carrier for personal use. Then someone gave him the tip that changed his life. One of his mother’s employers advised him to lease the Omni to Intel, the company she worked with. “It all began from there and, by 2004, I had six cars all engaged in the same business,” Babu says. After he lost the Intel assignment in 2004, Babu floated Ramesh Tours and Travels and scouted for clients.
To tap high-end clients, he invested in a Mercedes E Class luxury sedan that cost him Rs. 38 lakh. Three more Mercedes cars and four BMWs were added to the fleet, which is, however, dominated by 48 Toyota Innovas. His clients have included actors Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Aishwarya Rai.
The Rolls Royce, a recent addition, came with a bank loan for which he is paying Rs. 7 lakh every month. When not leased out, Babu drives the white beauty to work. At Rs. 50,000 a day, his Rolls Royce is rarely hired, but Babu is a contented man. “I can at least drive this dream car and take my mother and family out on drives,” he says. Babu owes his success to doing what he thought was best. “Whatever I did, I did well, that’s all I can say,” he smiles.
His bank balance and social status have changed for good, but Babu – now married with three children, two girls and a boy – has stuck to working at the salon without fail. “That’s my bread and butter,” he says about Inner Space. An early riser, he checks his fleet before reaching the salon at 8 in the morning. “Whatever I have achieved, there’s nothing like giving a good haircut,” he says.
An avid football fan, who counts former India and Mohun Bagan player Babu Mani among his friends, Babu can’t hide his disbelief that a film is being made on him. “Now someone wants to make a movie on me,” he says.Director Suresh Reddy is likely to cast southern actor Ramesh Arvind, who has an uncanny resemblance to Babu. The film is titled as Kshourika Ninentha Sadhaka.
Thanks : Indiatribune