Rarely do you step into a salon and get a haircut from a billionaire for 100 bucks.
At the Inner Space salon, near Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru, you will spot businessman G. Ramesh Babu talking to his clients and giving them new hairstyles. And this, he does everyday, even though he runs a successful business of renting out luxury cars.
For Ramesh, who’s grandparents are from Anantapur, it has been a story of rags to riches. He started his taxi business in 2004 with a Maruti Omni van and today he owns 256 luxury cars, which includes a Rolls Royce, six BMWs, nine Mercedes, a Jaguar, three Audis and many more.
“I started with renting out my cars to Intel and to other small clients locally. As it was going well, I took a brave step and bought my first E class Mercedes. This was because at that time there was no taxi rental service which rented out luxury cars, even for big delegates,” he says.
Since then, there has been no stopping Ramesh. From B-town stars to politicians, everyone has travelled in his cars. “I have had plenty of clients and thus, my cars have been used by many big names. From Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to Amitabh Bachchan to SRK, mostly everyone has been driven around in my cars.”
And yet, Ramesh still goes to his barber shop every day as he doesn’t want to lose touch with his roots. “Every morning at 6, I go to the garage to check on the business. Then, by 10.30 I’m in office. And every evening, without fail, by 5.30 I’m at our salon. There are also people who specially come in to get haircuts from me. I have a loyal client base from Kolkata and Mumbai as well,” he says.
Ramesh is also teaching the skill of hairstyling to his kids, two daughters and one son. “It’s a skill job and they’ll have to learn about it. I take them with me to the shop sometimes, but they are too young to take on anything now. Till I’m there, and hopefully even after, I’ll make sure the salon is running successfully. I take no offs, unless it’s for a family trip. I have always believed that work is worship. Inner Space is where my bread and butter comes from.”
Ramesh, who speaks Telugu and Kannada at home, says, “There’s a phrase in Telugu which basically means that don’t forget your past, even if you reach the highest milestone in life. I truly believe in that.”
Ramesh, a +2 dropout, who later finished a diploma in Electronics from Industrial Training Institute, has been a lucky man. Be it from his children, who are always in awe of their dad, or the elders in his family, Ramesh has always found encouragement.
With his success in Bengaluru, will he ever come down to Hyderabad? “I’m planning to venture into Vijayawada actually. I see a lot of potential in the city,” says Ramesh.