By Ankita Purohit

Rags to Riches – World’s Most Successful Women

The phrase “Rags to Riches” sounds quite soothing and most people just dream being part of that kind of life but no one has a clue how that is possible. Is it just a fate? Are these people “lucky”? What is that which makes them a stand out and you being common folk, despite of following mainstream norms? There is always certain things that make an individual truly unique. Ever heard of everyone being a top rank holder in the country? Certainly not! One gets the top position, others don’t. This is applicable everywhere, whether you try hard to score good marks or struggle for earning unlimited bucks.


Success stories are usually published in order to influence other people so that they get motivation of doing something productive. How about publishing those articles that involve those women who clearly fit in this Rags to Riches definition? Since women face more troubles of continuing their career they need to read such stories so that they get an idea of how it is to start all over again. I am listing some of the world’s most successful women who are capable to inspire millions of others who really need a boost of self motivation, despite of all the odds they face at present.

1. Indra Nooyi – Indra Nooyi was born in 28th October, 1955, in Madras (now Chennai) in a poor Tamil-speaking family background. After completing her high school she opted for doing her bachelor’s degree in subjects Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and completed her graduation in 1974. After that she pursued for Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Calcutta.

Indira Nooyi - India's richest women

She began her career in India at Johnson & Johnson as Product Manager and textile firm Mettur Beardsell – a point where she never turned back. Then she enrolled at Yale School of Management for earning a Master’s degree in the stream Public and Private Management. Being at Yale, she also completed her internship at Booz Allen Hamilton. In 1980, her Masters (M.A.) was completed after which she joined Boston Consulting Group. She was then held as in strategy positions at Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri. She joined PepsiCo in 1994 where being consistently praised of her hard work and determination, she got promoted and reached to the level of CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and Chairperson for more than a decade in the same company. At present Indra Nooyi’s salary is $18.6 million (1 crore 86 lacs in Indian Rupees) a year.

2. J.K Rowling – Who doesn’t know this famous persona, especially those who are big Harry Potter fans? J.K. Rowling (Joanne Kathleen Rowling) is her pen name that she named herself to target her male audience because she believed that boys wouldn’t prefer reading her novels if they discovered she is a woman. Her original name is Joanne Rowling (pronounced as Rolling). Kathleen was taken from her paternal grandmother, but isn’t an official middle name of hers.


She was born in England to a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer and a science technician on 31st July 1965. Her childhood days were complicated. Her mother was permanently ill, suffering from multiple sclerosis, and she had a strained relationship with her father. She was a bright student according to one of her teachers during her teen times, and so later she gave an entrance examination for Oxford University but couldn’t crack it. After 10 years of struggle with multiple sclerosis her mother eventually died that led her to severe depression. Her first marriage didn’t last either. She was unemployed for quite long time. After several times of rejection of her fictional novel Harry Potter (that she wrote journeying in a train, which was delayed to 4 hours and that very idea came into the picture in her mind while waiting for that train), she finally had a breakthrough of successful publish and readers’ attention. She never stepped down then after and now her current estimated fortune is £600 million (approx. 5353 crores!).

3. Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, American media proprietor, producer, actress and philanthropist. She was born in an extreme poverty, on 29th January, 1954, to an unmarried teenage single mother who was a housemaid and used to live in rural Mississippi. Winfrey’s first six years were spent with her maternal grandmother who was so poor that she (Oprah) would wear clothes made of potato sack. She was later raised in Milwaukee neighborhood in an inner-city. She was molested while in her childhood and early teens by her relatives and became pregnant as young as in 14 years of age. Her infant child didn’t survive due to lack of money and healthcare facility.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah’s mother sent her to her grandmother once again who was strict but encouraging and gave priority to education equally well. She hence completed her honors and was voted as the Most Popular Girl in the institution where she studied. She also worked at a local grocery store. At age 17 she participated and won a beauty pageant, Miss Black Tennessee. She then got a chance to do the news as a part-time job at a radio station. There she worked during her senior most year of her high school and first 2 years of college.

There was a half morning talk show telecasted in WLS-TV in which Oprah was given the chance to host in the year 1983, soon after she relocated to Chicago. The show later was known to be The Oprah Winfrey Show since the ratings started rising once she hosted it and brought it to the top. The show was aired till May 25, 2011 and has 25 seasons in its kitty. Winfrey has an estimated net worth of US$ 3.1 billion (14,500 crores!) as per the latest report published in the year 2015.

The Richest Women

The ladder of success isn’t an overnight achievement but a step-by-step process of journey where people face tonnes of failures, still they manage to stand on their own to prepare for a milestone at the end. The will power, determination, positivity and a very strong routine is what needed during this whole process, with a condition of never backing down. These people are not lucky but extra-ordinarily determined for their dreams to make it a reality. When we talk about success there is no short cut.

Now you will ask that what about those individuals who are “Born with a silver spoon”. Well, we don’t choose to take birth in middle class or poor families, nor did these ‘lucky’ ones. You might have heard that Kingfisher is at debt of crores. Why is it so? This is because their present generation doesn’t maintain the previous standards, and there are hundreds of such more examples. Being born in an extremely rich family doesn’t imply they will die rich. Children born in such families must hold the duty of maintaining their family legacy, else it doesn’t require much of time to reverse this whole process, i.e. Riches to Rags!

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