Bikash Kumar with his parents at their Jamshedpur home on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
In January 2011, Bikash Kumar (23) was a nobody, a struggling Ranchi University graduate from an extremely humble background. This year, he’s a youth who has cleared every banking exam he appeared in since 2011.
The eldest son of a vendor — father A.P. Gupta of Jamshedpur’s Sankosai fringes still goes cycling to the outskirts with a stack of saris, making just Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 a month — Bikash has cleared five bank clerical cadre exams.
His success calendar — Punjab and Sind Bank and UCO Bank in July, Central Bank of India and Corporation Bank of India in August, State Bank of India (associate bank for Maharashtra) in September and Dena Bank in January.
Finally, he opted for a posting at Central Bank of India in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
“2011 was my golden year. I cleared five banking exams back-to-back. In 2010, I couldn’t clear even one,” Bikash said.
In fact, he topped the state in the written exam for Corporation Bank of India, getting 240 out of 260.
This success was not without its quibbles. “At the interview, when they asked me my hobby, I said I loved spending time at home. My interviewers said it was a luxury in a transferable job. I didn’t get the post,” he confessed.
He could not join State Bank of India in Aurangabad as he did not have Rs 1,200 to pay as deposit for the medical test.
Though he got a Dena Bank job in Calcutta, he couldn’t get his character certificate from alma mater Jamshedpur Workers College within the January 3 deadline.
But this youth has seen both success and failure from close quarters and knows the fine art of equanimity.
“I had failed in math during matriculation in 2004. But I went on to get a first class both in plus two and graduation (commerce),” he said.
With three younger sisters and a brother, he did odd jobs to add to his family’s meagre income — gave tuition, worked as a salesman and receptionist, operated computers at a coaching institute. His tutor Shriman Trigun also helped him out to arrange money for competitive exam forms.
“Now I will try my luck in the probationary officers’ exam. That will bag me an executive post,” Bikash said, adding his five successes had helped him gain confidence.
Will his lucky streak continue? “Luck is what you make of life through hard work,” said the spunky youth. “When I failed in all exams in 2010, I thought I had no future. But I quickly bounced back, thinking, let me try again,” he said.
He tried and succeeded. Five times in a row.
Is success sweeter when it is self-made ?