Jupally Rameshwar Rao came from a family of farmers and had to walk several kilometers every day to attend school. He pursued a career in homeopathy rather than becoming a billionaire businessman.

Rameswar Rao’s story is the stuff that inspires Bollywood family movies about rags-to-riches. Despite having to walk miles to school, losing his father at an early age, and choosing a modest life as a homeopath, the Hyderabad-based industrial tycoon is now the head of a massive business empire with a net worth exceeding Rs 10,600 crore ($1.3 billion).

Jupally Rameshwar Rao was born into a farming family in a Mahabubnagar district village with approximately 30 acres of land. He had to walk several kilometers to reach school. In 1974, he moved to Hyderabad to study homeopathy and become a homeopathic doctor. However, his life took several unexpected turns.

Rao’s first turning point in life came during college when he became a student leader and led a strike, which helped him gain prominence and contacts. This eventually helped him establish his homeopathy clinic in Hyderabad’s DilsukhNagar area. Rao recognized the potential of an underdeveloped area and with the help of his realtor clients, he entered the real estate business in the 1980s.

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Rao’s life took a turn when he invested Rs 50,000 in a plot of land on a friend’s advice, which he sold for Rs 1.5 lakh after 3 years. This success led him to abandon his career in homeopathy and dive into business full-time.

Rao established My Home Constructions in 1981 and became one of the most prominent Telugu real estate tycoons in the country. The company builds societies, apartment flats, villas, and offices. Rao also owns the brand Maha Cement, which is one of the largest cement producers in South India. His company has a turnover exceeding Rs 4,000 crore, and most of his four sons and four daughters-in-law work in the group, handling various corporate functions.