It is amazing how some things have an impact on your life and you don’t recognize it until years later. As a kid, I used to wear American Eagle t-shirts all the time and as I grew up I started wearing Louis Philippe casual shirts during my undergrad. Later, when I set out into the corporate world as a fresher, I took to wearing Van Heusen formal clothes. The reason I loved these particular brands is that the fits were so comfortable and the cloth was smooth. Imagine my surprise when I found out that all these brands were associated with a single company namely Aditya Birla Group (ABG). ABG has impacted a large number of people through its multiple brands and would have left these people with many memorable events. It is important to note that ABG impacts people through many ways not just its brands. In India, there are many people who cannot afford proper education or healthcare. ABG, through its multiple initiatives, has impacted 5000 villages reaching out to 7.5 million people annually by providing quality education to kids (over 46,500) and treating patients at medical camps and hospitals. I, myself, have a few memories associated with these brands. For example, I remember the time I wore my first American Eagle t-shirt for my 7th birthday. That shirt lasted only a day because it had ended up getting spattered with cake when my friends and I started an impromptu cake fight. It later got torn when one of my friends tugged hard on my shirt when we were running around. This is how ABG has impacted my life.
In 2009, my father had unexpectedly passed away. My family found itself in a situation where we had loans needing to be cleared with no working person in the house and 2 minors who were still in the middle of their education. We got some breathing room from the pressure when some of our immediate family members helped to pay off the bank loans. They were willing to give us as much time as we required to pay them back However, the burden of expectations was placed on the shoulders of my brother and myself. We knew that we needed to focus on our education and take care of our mother and ensure that we got respectable jobs once we had graduated. We needed to ensure that once we got jobs, we could clear the family debt. I was 14 years old when this burden was felt. Every school or college exam that I sat for I felt extra pressure knowing that it would play a part in my future. I needed to learn how to be responsible with whatever money my family had while I saw some other kids my age spend money without much care. I had to grow up faster and lost the last of my childhood innocence while my friends have fun without a care. I used to get sad and sometimes jealous whenever I saw my friends getting expensive birthday presents from their fathers. Even after graduating from college and getting a job, I still couldn’t relax knowing that I had certain responsibilities towards my family. Every month, my brother and I would put aside our savings and clear the debt in installments. This entire journey was a grind and at times, I felt like the world had wronged my family and I. However, as of 2018, my family had cleared all our debt. It was only then I relaxed and realized the 10-year long journey, the way it had shaped my character and helped me become who I am now. At this point in time, I realized how much I had achieved during this difficult period.