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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Meet Ashvini Jakhar the 26/11 Indian Navy Hero who built Rs 25 cr business Prozo for e-commerce

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Ashvini Jakhar served in the Indian Navy before he built a company to serve the e-commerce industry. Prozo now clocks a turnover of Rs. 25 crore.

The story of Ashvini Jakhar is about a boy who studied in a village school and became a navy doctor before building Prozo, a cloud supply chain company. Ashvini, who is 38 years old now and hails from Haryana, completed his medical studies at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) in Pune. He reached to the level of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander in the Indian Navy before returning to civilian life and starting a business for the e-commerce industry. Ashvini founded Prozo, a cloud supply chain firm, with just five people about six years ago.

“I experienced a knee injury while playing volleyball for my college team in a zonal competition,” recalls Ashvini Jakhar. He had two operations on the same knee, which jeopardised his chances of promotion in the navy, so he chose to leave.

During the 26/11 Mumbai incident, he participated in anti-terrorist operations as a member of the navy. Ashvini was in charge of the Naval Helicopter facility in Colaba as a medical officer. It had been his ambition to become a doctor, and he had felt vindicated at the time.

For his service in the navy, Ashvini was awarded the renowned Sainya Seva medal. I chose to join the AFMC as a medical cadet because I wanted to be a doctor and serve my nation, he says. Aside from the 26/11 operations, he was instrumental in establishing a specialised 20-bed hospital in Campbell Bay in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands during a post-tsunami rehabilitation project in 2007.

The President also presented him with the Sainya Seva medal for his efforts in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Ashvini left the navy at the age of 28 and relocated to Gurugram. He took the GMAT exams and passed them. In 2012, he pursued an MBA at the Indian School of Business, Mohali campus in Punjab.

Ashvinoi says, “But I ended up working as a strategic consultant for McKinsey.”

He worked for the company for about 18 months and travelled to Paris throughout that time. He claims that the elders were helpful and that he learned a lot while working for the company.

“My time at McKinsey inspired me to establish my own business,” Ashvini says.

Ashvini explains, “I wanted to do something on my own and make it big.”

In January 2015, he left from McKinsey and invested Rs 1 crore in Prozo, an e-commerce enabler and accelerator for SMEs, direct-to-consumer companies, and corporations.

Ashvini founded Prozo in 2015, and the company made Rs 2.6 crore in its first year. It provides comprehensive supply chain technology, a pan-India warehouse and fulfilment network, and plug-and-play e-commerce seller services on more than 20 online platforms, including Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, and Myntra.

“Prozo provides a network of omni-channel fulfilment centres across India on a pay-per-use basis to support brands and enable 1-2 day delivery for end customers,” says Ashvini.

In its first year, the company had a revenue of Rs 2.6 crore (during FY 2015-16).

Ashvini, the youngest of four siblings, was born in Bhurawas village in Haryana’s Jhajjar district.

His father was a minor commissioned officer in the army, while his mother worked as a teacher in the village’s government school.

Ashvini began his schooling at a country school before enrolling in a boarding school in Sonipat, a tiny city some 56 kilometres from his village.

He attended this school from Class 5 to Class 8. In a meeting with his senior brass, Ashvini

He attended a school in Rohtak for Classes 11 and 12, and then moved to Delhi for a year to study for the medical entrance exam.

He exceeded his family’s expectations by passing both the NDA and AFMC tests.

“My parents were overjoyed,” recalls Ashvini.

Ashvini and his wife, who is an orthodontist, have a four-year-old daughter.

Ashvini Jakhar’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to pursue business for the right reasons and not just to make money.


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