Justin Fernandez may only be 27, but his story is nothing short of inspirational. Born to a tailor in Kollam, Kerala, Justin grew up fighting battles most kids his age didn’t.
His grandfather was a tailor. So it was a natural choice for his father to join the family business. But once the readymade garment market bloomed, it severed the income of the Fernandez family.
“There wasn’t enough work, and my father started finding it difficult to earn for our basic needs,” recalls Justin in an interview with The Times of India.
While the family was dependent for food on the government subsidised ration through Public Distribution System, their annual income was a merely Rs 50,000.
Even in the face of abject poverty, Justin did not lose hope in the power of education to turn his life around. His aunt was a strong pillar of support to him and his sister. “She took care of our studies till Class 12,” says Justin.
He moved on to complete his BTech from the Government College of Engineering at Trivandrum and toiled to achieve scholarships which covered his academic expenses.
He worked for two years with a software company. While his original plan was to qualify and pursue an MBA from IIM-Kozhikode, he couldn’t make it in his first attempt.
“I was getting older, so finally enrolled for Nagpur after the second attempt,” he told TOI.
Today, this son of a humble tailor is making history. His hard work, especially at IIM-Nagpur, bore fruit. Justin today has been offered the post of an Associate Director at Hyderabad-based ValueLabs.
His annual package is going to be a whopping Rs 19 lakh! What makes his feat commendable is that both the profile as well as the salary package is the highest offered to any IIM-N student.
We congratulate Justin, who is a worthy example for today’s youth to pursue education even in the face of crisis! It is education, and education alone that can help an individual to turn lives around–their own and those of their family members.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)