How this Kerala youngster, once denied loan, came to own a BMW, house and more

First Published 24, Jul 2018, 8:20 PM IST
How this Kerala youngster, once denied loan, came to own a BMW, house and more
Highlights

The bank’s rejection fired up Jawad, who now owns a web designing company. He started working day and night, took more projects, expanded the team and in the next 6 months, got his own home without a single penny from the bank

The turning point in the life of Mohammad Jawad TM struck when he was only 19-years-old.  Jawad from Kerala’s Kannur went to his bank with about Rs 5 lakh in his savings account. He decided to apply for a home loan with an aim to fulfil his childhood dream of owning a house.

To his utter dismay, Jawad was told that the loan could not be approved because of his age. Cut to present, and the once dejected youngster owns a BMW car and a company with a turnover that runs into crores. Yes, he also has his own house – without a home loan, of course!

The bank’s rejection fired up the youngster, who now owns TNM Online Solutions – a web designing company. Jawad started working day and night, took more projects, expanded the team and in the next 6 months, got his own home without a single penny from the bank.

A few months later, he also bought a BMW car, and his company made a profit of over Rs 2 crore last year. Jawad also runs TNM academy that provides professional training in areas like web designing and digital marketing to youngsters.

Interestingly, Jawad got his new name ‘TNM Jawad’ from Google suggestion. “At that point, the user ID with my name wasn’t available, and instead Google came up with the suggestion ‘TNM Jawad’, and the name stuck,” said the 22-year-old.

Initially, Jawad used this computer to play games and surf websites, just like other children. With Facebook not so famous, Orkut was his go-to website. It was around that time that he started wondering how these websites are created.

Jawad asked his cousin, who works in Dubai, about how these websites are created. And the cousin helped him find a free website creator. So, Jawad created his first website about his hometown – Kannur. From there, he started learning about blogs and got to know about other platforms that allow people to build websites.

Jawad came up with a proposal to start a blog where they could give free mp3 downloads and articles.

Back then, Jawad didn’t know anything about business – they were just two school kids having fun. They decided to take ‘Ja’ from Jawad and ‘Sri’ from Srirag and named it ‘Jasri’. However, they were not aware of ‘.com’ or ‘.net’ and didn’t have money to buy a domain. When they explored further, they found that ‘.tk’ is a domain which is available for free, so they named the website ‘jasri.tk’.

After completing Class 10, Srirag moved to Abu Dhabi for his higher education, and Jawad also switched his school. It was around that time when he started searching for options to generate revenue through websites. Even though he got Adsense approved, Jawad didn’t make a single penny because there wasn’t enough traffic on the site.

Things were difficult on the personal front too as Jawad’s father lost his job and their dream of owning a house seemed shattered.

Even though Jawad's father was doing well, they were living in a rented home. Father bought two houses, but both of them were sold because of financial crisis. In 2012, Jawad's father lost his job, and things were difficult for them. Then Jawad realised that he should also start making some money. He got to know that there is an opportunity for web designing companies. It was then that he took the domain TNM Online Solutions.

He started promoting himself on social media and introduced various packages: Rs 2500 for a five-page website, Rs 2000 for a four-page website, etc. Jawad was flooded with enquiries yes, but not work, since he didn’t have any experience. Also, he was just a 16-year-old boy.

His father had saved Rs 1-1.5 lakh. That’s all they had. Jawad requested for some money to start an office in Kannur. With that money, Jawad started his first office when he was in class 11.  

Meanwhile, he joined an IT academy in Kannur to learn more about website designing where Jawad had two teachers – Jibin and Dinil – who later became his employees.

Jawad got his first job from his teacher Shoma Vilas, who saw one of his Facebook posts and enquired further. Within the next few months, TNM Solutions found enquiries pouring in, but people were still asking for a portfolio. Since Jawad didn’t have many clients back then, it was getting difficult to turn calls of curiosity into customers. So, he decided to develop a good portfolio in the next one year.

Things took a dramatic turn for the youngster after he participated in the YES Kerala Summit for young entrepreneurs that gave him and his venture the visibility it needed.

His father was working for a small Malayalam newspaper back then. A reporter from that newspaper was there at the event. He took an interview, and it was printed in all the editions, including the Middle East. Jawad took the paper cutting and posted it on Facebook. For some reason, that went viral.

Thus, his work started to get recognised to the extent that then chief minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, called Jawad to his office. Then, IT minister Kunhalikutty (now MP) came to know about him. In fact, he calls Jawad even now two or three times in a year.

Jawad faced another rejection in his life when he decided to pursue BBA after finishing his Class 12 and went to one of the best colleges in the state. He was told that 85 % wasn’t enough. The principal asked Jawad to meet the manager and try for management quota since he had the letter of recommendations from all the ministers.

The manager reportedly demanded more than Rs 2 lakh for this seat. He decided not to join any college and completed his BBA through distance learning. Jawad then got to know about Search Engine Optimisation and started quoting around Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 for SEO packages.

Today, the 22-year-old works with 900 clients from over 18 countries and has opened an office in Dubai. He has also expanded his Kannur team to 36 people.

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