Kalpana Saroj
Kalpana Saroj receiving Padma Shri Award in 2013
Born1961 (1961) (age 63)
Roperkheda, Akola, Maharashtra, India
OccupationBusiness woman & Entrepreneur
EmployerKamani Tubes
Samir Saroj
(m. 1980; died 1989)

ChildrenTimon Saroj, Amar Saroj
AwardsPadma Shri (2013)

Kalpana Saroj (born 1961) is an Indian business woman, entrepreneur and a TEDx speaker,[1] and the chairperson of Kamani Tubes in Mumbai, India. Known as Indian Woman entrepreneur, she bought the distressed assets of Kamani Tubes Company and successfully steered the company back to profitability.[2]

Early life

Saroj was born in 1961 in Roperkheda village in, Akola, Maharashtra, India, to a Marathi Buddhist family, the eldest of three daughters and two sons. Saroj's father served as a police constable at Repatkhed village in Akola. Kalpana Saroj was married at the age of 12 and lived in a slum in Mumbai with her husband's family. After suffering physical abuse at the hands of her husband's family members, she was rescued by her father, left her husband and returned to her village to live with her parents. She attempted suicide after being ostracized by the villagers.[2] At the age of 16, she moved back to Mumbai to live with her uncle. She started working in a garment factory to support her family. Using government loans for scheduled caste people, she successfully started a tailoring business and then a furniture store.[3]

Entrepreneurial ventures

Kalpana Saroj started KS Film Production and produced her first movie which was dubbed in English, Telugu and Hindi. Khairalnji Movie is produced by Deelip Mhaske, Jyoti Reddy and Mannan Gore under Kalpana Saroj's banner.

Kalpana, Deelip and Mannan Gore at Khairlanji movie shoot in Akola

She built up a successful real estate business and came to be known for her contacts and entrepreneurial skills. She was on the board of Kamani Tubes when it went into liquidation in 2001, and after taking over the company, she restructured it and brought it back to profit.[4][5][6]

According to her own estimates, she has personal assets worth $112 million.[7]

Personal life

Saroj is a Buddhist. She is inspired by and follows teachings of Dr. Ambedkar.[8][9][10] In 1980, she remarried Samir Saroj at the age of 22, with whom she has a son, Amar Saroj (b. 1985), and a daughter, Seema Saroj (b. 1987).[11][12][13] In 1989, her husband died, and Saroj inherited his steel cupboard manufacturing business.[14]

Awards and recognition

Kalpana Saroj was awarded the Padma Shri for Trade and Industry in 2013.[15]

She was appointed to the board of directors of Bhartiya Mahila Bank, a bank primarily for women, by the Government of India.[16]

She also serves on the board of governors of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.


  1. ^ TEDx Talks, The Power of 2 | Kalpana Saroj | TEDxHyderabad, retrieved 3 January 2019
  2. ^ a b "From child bride to multi-millionaire in India". BBC News. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  3. ^ Choudhury, Snigdha. "Child Marriage, Domestic Abuse And Padma Shri: Kalpana Saroj". www.india.com. Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  4. ^ "Former child bride grows up to be millionaire CEO". MSN. Archived from the original on 9 March 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Dalits seek escape from India's caste system". Al Jazeera News. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  6. ^ "India woman is an 'untouchable,' with a Midas touch". LA Times. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Remarkable Climb for Self-Made Dalit Millionaire". India Real Time-Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  8. ^ Pronoti, Datta (29 May 2010). "Caste No Bar". The Crest Mumbai. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Kalpana – Symbol of true grit". The Hans India. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Meet Kalpana Saroj, Dalit entrepreneur who broke corporate hegemony". The Indian Express. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Kalpana Saroj - slumdog billionaire and more". Thaindian News. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  12. ^ Sengupta, Hindol (18 November 2014). Recasting India: How Entrepreneurship is Revolutionizing the World's Largest Democracy. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9781137474780.
  13. ^ "Meet Kalpana Saroj, Dalit entrepreneur who broke corporate hegemony". The Indian Express. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Saga of steely resolve". dna. 22 July 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  15. ^ "From grinding poverty to the Padma Shri". Rediff.com. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Bhartiya Mahila Bank will offer higher interest rate on savings a/c: Highlights". firstpost.com. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.