Elevator Accident that changed my life forever – (III)

Elevator Accident that changed my life forever – (III)

Shriram Garde

“Elevator Technology and its Engineering are very difficult topics to understand. I have seen many Engineering Graduates passing out from Institutes like IIT, but failing to understand how an Elevator works and the Controlling Logic behind AN ELEVATOR”. (Click here to read part I)

Permanent loss of Arif in an Elevator accident was a big blow to our Company and to me personally (Click here to read how it happened). Entire operations of our Company were closed for around 2 weeks.

After attending his last rituals, we met Arif’s family members. An old mother and Arif’s wife who was 4 months pregnant!  We decided there and there that we’ll go to any extent to help Arif’s family recover from the huge loss of the man of the house that was Arif, himself. Though the family was never going to truly recover from the loss of Arif!

We settled his ESIC, Provident fund and insurance dues within a month. But we weren’t satisfied with just what Arif’s family got ‘legally’. We’ve something called humanity and on the humanitarian grounds, we decided to help Arif’s family by giving some extra compensation.

The point which I would like to mention here is that the MNC for which we were the ‘Main Contractors’ just washed their hands off of this tragic accident. Surprisingly, no one from the Company’s side even bothered to come and meet Arif’s family members, forget about helping out the family with any monitory compensation.

Has the humanity dried up to such an extent that just to save the false name and reputation which the Company had ‘created’ in the market, the officials didn’t even bothered to meet anyone from the family of the person who simply gave away his precious life for them?

I felt pity for the narrow minded thinking of the officials of the Company for whom we were contractors. I decided to withdraw myself as a contractor of that Company and from the Elevator Business itself.

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Was Arif’s accident such a blow to me personally that I decided to withdraw myself from the Elevator Business or rather the Industry itself?

Yes. It was!!!

It was because Elevator was my passion; rather it’s still my passion.

I joined this Company in 1987 as a 5 years trainee. People literally don’t believe me when I tell them that I’ve worked as a labourer on bamboo scaffolding in Elevator hoist way, have carried 60-70 kg of weight on my shoulders up to 25th floor, have cleaned Elevator pits, have painted entire Elevator equipment like guide rails etc. with black paint, have even risked my life many a times as nothing called Personal Safety was even heard of.

I just used to work in those terrible situations during my training period.  Have worked in the hoist way without helmet or even a cap when plastering work was going on at the top of the hoist way and many a times was just fortunate enough to escape from head injury or rather any injury to myself.

Used to work on those under construction sites just with slippers as the MAIN foot ware and had never even heard of things like safety shoes, safety goggles, hand gloves and all. I did all this just because if I’d have refused to work, I’d have been disqualified.

I wanted to learn A to Z of an Elevator. I wanted to complete my Electrical Engineering Diploma course which I was doing part time in the evenings. I wanted to be no 1 in the Elevator Industry. Not no 2 nor 3, but the No 1.

I learnt carpentry jobs, masonry jobs, all types’ of electrical works and what not! Learnt handling workers, clients, government officials. Was the first trainee in the history of the Company to become an Executive in just 7 years, including 5 years of training period. Used to always get awards and certificates for innovative ideas, was given special awards for completing some very important government as well as private projects in record time.

So, in 1996, at a 5 star hotel at Juhu, Mumbai, the Company was going to install India’s 1st VF (variable frequency) Elevators, 100% imported from Malaysia. Company had arranged for a special launching ceremony of these Elevators. All top clients, builders, architects from construction area and the media all over Asia were invited for the launching of this project.

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From among 10K odd workers and executives, the project of the Elevators which India was going to see for the first time was awarded to me as I was chosen as THE HEAD OF THE PROJECT.

Just the strong desire and the dream to be no 1 was fulfilled.

After completing this project, I resigned from the Company at the top end of my career. I’d already decided to become a Contractor in the same Company anticipating prospects of more growth for both me as well as the Company.

The moment I became a contractor by joining hands with an already established contractor in the Company, the sky was the only limit for us. The Company used to give almost all Modernisation Contracts to us, and all of them used to get completed in record time. Even the heads of New Construction and Service/maintenance departments asked us to take few of their jobs too, which we didn’t say no to.

Days were good, income was good, both the Companies were doing exceptionally well and one day we lost Arif in an Accident.

It’s not my good-bye to the Elevator Industry forever. But now I am looking towards owning an Elevator Company which will manufacture one of the SAFEST ELEVATOR ever in the world.

But until then, personally speaking it was my Titanic Story. And The Titanic was built only once!!!

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About The Author: Shriram Garde

My mission is just to share the events in my life sincerely with you; as I have experienced them, not necessarily in that order. I write on various topics. Whether that means - advice, tips, tools, scriptures, or instructions on budgeting, getting out of debt, making some extra cash, investing or anything else, I intend to provide it. I was 18 years old when I started working as a labourer. I had no savings. I had no money left in my bank accounts. I know life through lot of unpleasant incidences occurring day in and day out. But what I realised is that it doesn't have to be always like that. We are not doomed to how we are currently living – we all can change! I know, because over last couple of years my family and me have paid off a huge amount of debt. I have a passion to help people come to this realisation and get started on their own journey to financial freedom. I had owned 2 Companies before moving to Finance Sector about 9 years back. Spending more than 30 years in various capacities taught me quite a lot. I have a diploma in Engineering completed in part time while I was working. I have learned a good chunk from my working background in various fields. But, like most people who are eager to learn, the bulk of what I have learned thus far is from reading magazines, books, blogs, pod cast or whatever else I can get my hands on about Personal Finance, investing, business, personal development, and time management.

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