Prem Watsa, an Indian businessman, embarked on his journey to success in Canada with just Rs 64 in his pocket, eventually becoming the wealthiest Indian in the country.
Every year, Canada welcomes numerous Indian students who choose to pursue higher education in the country. However, it is fascinating to discover that one of these Indian students, who graduated from IIT, ventured to Canada and ultimately became the wealthiest Indian in the nation. This remarkable individual is none other than V Prem Watsa.
V Prem Watsa, an Indian entrepreneur and a graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, embarked on a remarkable journey to Canada with minimal resources. Through hard work and determination, he climbed the ladder of success, ultimately attaining the status of the richest Indian in Canada and establishing himself as one of the foremost business figures in the country.
Prem Watsa, hailing from Hyderabad, was raised in a middle-class family. Showing immense promise, he pursued a degree in chemical engineering at the renowned IIT Madras. Fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit and a determination to establish his own business, he made the decision to further his education in Ontario, Canada.
Despite facing financial constraints, Prem Watsa’s determination pushed him to make the bold move to Canada. With a mere 8 dollars in his possession, equivalent to Rs 64, he embarked on his journey. To support his studies, he began selling furnaces and air conditioners within a small local community.
Following his entrepreneurial aspirations, Watsa seized the opportunity to acquire a Canadian trucking company, which he transformed into his own enterprise. Renaming it Fairfax Financial Holdings, he assumed the roles of chairman and CEO in 1985. Remarkably, at the age of 72, he continues to hold these positions, guiding the company to continued success.
Throughout the initial 15 years of his company’s growth, Watsa steered it towards reaching a remarkable multi-billion dollar status while consciously maintaining a low profile. In 2012, his company recorded a staggering revenue of USD 8 billion, equivalent to Rs 65,717 crore.
Recognized for his contributions, Prem Watsa has been bestowed with the prestigious Padma Shri award in India, alongside the esteemed Order of Canada, the country’s second-highest civilian honor. Notably, his company reported a revenue of Rs 1.46 lakh crore in the previous fiscal year.
Moreover, Prem Watsa’s substantial net worth of USD 1.2 billion, which amounts to Rs 9,857 crore, solidifies his position as the wealthiest Indian individual in Canada.