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From a street vendor to a multi crore company: How Bhavesh Bhatia turned his blindness into his strength

By | Rakhi Chakraborty –

Becoming blind

Bhavesh Bhatia was not born blind, but had little vision while growing up. Born with retina muscular deterioration, he always knew that his sight would only get worse with time. But when, at 23, his eyes finally decided to give up on him, no amount of preparation could have predicted the gloom that was to come.

He was working as a hotel manager and scrambling to save money for his mother’s treatment, who was suffering from cancer. His desperation to save his mother stemmed from more than filial love. She was the backbone of his existence, providing the support he so badly needed to navigate life with his disability.

Bhavesh Bhatia
Bhavesh Bhatia

Bhavesh, 45, recalls, “I used to be badly bullied in school. One day I came home and told her that I wouldn’t go back from the next day. Everyone ganged up to taunt me with chants of ‘Blind boy, blind boy.’ Instead of forcing me, or worse giving in to my demands, she gently stroked my hair and told me that the boys were not cruel. They want to be my friend, but are thrown by how different I am. She told me that bullying was their way of getting my attention. I had a hard time believing her but did as she told me to. Next day instead of treating with them with the hostility they deserved, I approached my bullies with an offer of friendship. We became friends for life.”

He continues, “It is this early life lesson that has been my guiding principle in business as well. My poverty and disability have created insurmountable challenges for me. But her wisdom has lead me to make the right decisions.”

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