It was a computer gifted to TNM Jawad which overturned his fortune and changed his life for the better. The 21-year-old from Kannur, Kerala, is a millionaire today and owns a company that rakes in an annual income of ₹2 crore. He also owns a house and a BMW car—and all this is thanks to Google!
This is the inspiring story of an enterprising youngster who entered uncharted territory at a very young age and emerged a winner through sheer hard work and trust in his abilities.
Today, Jawad is the managing director of TNM Online Solutions, a multi-crore IT establishment that deals with e-commerce, web designing and app development, and has a large clientele base from across the world.
But let’s go back to where it all began.
All of 10, a young Jawad made every possible use of the computer his father had gifted him along with an internet connection. Interestingly, Jawad’s original name is Mohammad Jawad TN, and it was his father who created his Gmail ID.
“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! When I look back, that instance was the beginning of everything good in my life,” says the 21-year-old to The Better India.
Back then, Orkut and similar social networking sites were the rage, and this always intrigued Jawad. “I was keen to learn about everything—like how websites were created and how they worked and spent most of my after-school hours in the same pursuit. You could say that I was addicted to the computer but in a good way,” he recalls.
He soon learnt the basics of blogging and web design through free website building applications and even made a few blogs on his own. By the time he was a Class 10 student, he had launched a website along with his classmate, Srirag, named jasri.tk.
“Both of us were equally passionate about everything web related, and this was our first outing. However, we couldn’t afford a dot-com domain since we didn’t have any pocket money, so we created the site through a free domain,” Jawad adds.
Even as this went on, Jawad made sure that his studies never suffered. After scoring an ‘A1’ grade in all subjects in his exams, he had a lot of time on his hands and decided to explore the field further. He spent his vacation time understanding how great performing websites were different and what made them better.
By then, Jawad’s interest started becoming more pronounced. Realizing that there was a looming scope for website development, he decided to take the plunge by registering his first domain name—TNM Online Solutions—and running it as a virtual company. He started out by announcing on Facebook about designing a website at prices starting from ₹1,000.
Soon enough, enquiries started pouring in, but he admits to being technically ill-equipped to handle almost 99 percent of the queries that came his way.
“That is when I realised that I lacked strong tech-based skills that are important for website development, and to learn more, I even visited a couple of website design companies in Kannur and saw how they worked,” says Jawad.
When nothing seemed to be working for Jawad, the silver lining came in the form of a teacher from his school (where he was pursuing his higher secondary education) who had seen his Facebook post about website building. “Her brother had been an interior designer and was in need of a website. She came looking for me and requested if I could help, and guaranteed that she would pay the full amount I had quoted,” he recalls.
That was the first website formally developed under TNM Online solutions. “My teacher paid me the first ever remuneration I’d ever received in my life. Until then my folks at home had no clue about the company, so naturally, my mother, Fareeda, was shocked when I handed over an amount of ₹2,500 to her, and I had to explain what had happened,” laughs Jawad.
Somewhere around this time, Jawad’s family started grappling with a severe financial crunch after his father, who had been working in the banking sector in Dubai had to leave his job and return to India.
“Things started going from bad to worse, and I knew there was no time to brood over what had happened. Instead, I raised the subject of starting my own company to my parents and requested my father to somehow source ₹1 lakh for the venture. Knowing my penchant for computers and proclivity for web-based work, they wholeheartedly supported my ambition,” Jawad says.
In the meantime, he had signed up with an IT academy in Kannur, where he spent about a month professionally learning about website building and designing. This became yet another landmark turn in his life, as Jibin and Dinil, two of his teachers at the academy, agreed to work for him as salaried employees.
And thus on 23 June 2013, 17-year-old Jawad flagged off TNM Online Solutions at a small office in South Bazaar. Ably juggling school and work, Jawad would rush from school to office and work till 9:00 p.m., following which he would discuss business with clients till 2:00 a.m.
Jawad’s mother, whom he calls his backbone, was a constant pillar of support throughout his days of struggle.
What makes his commitment even more worthy of appreciation is that he managed to score 85 percent in his higher secondary exams.
However, nothing in life comes devoid of obstacles.
Jawad had been offering designing services at a paltry sum, and this provision wasn’t enough to cover the company expenses that included office rent and employee salaries. Also, business was slow, and the team was only getting 1-2 projects per month. That is when his mother stepped in and offered to pledge her golden bangles for money, as she was against the idea of not paying the employees on time.
After two years of testing times and learning curves, TNM Online solutions had worked with over 100 small-scale clients within Kerala itself. “In this time, I learnt that more than revenue generation, it is one’s portfolio that matters,” he adds.
Jawad cites his participation in the YES Kerala Summit for young entrepreneurs that gave him and his venture the visibility it needed and brought in many new projects, as a landmark achievement in his career.
The young man was always keen on living in his own home because, despite the fact that his father had a well-paid job while he was abroad, his family had always lived in rented houses. At the age of 19, he fulfilled this dream by building a home of his own in Varam.
Today, the 21-year-old works with clients from over 18 countries and has opened an office in Dubai, which has a clientele base of over 900.
Another significant trajectory for TNM Online Solutions started when Jawad started incorporating Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for the websites he created, making it much easier for websites to be found during a search.
For his incredible achievements at such a young age, Jawad was recently felicitated in the UAE and bestowed with an award by Dr Ram Buxani.
At present, Jawad is busy with a new initiative. He has started the TNM academy that provides professional training in areas like web designing and digital marketing to youngsters. The academy was recently inaugurated in Kannur and is open for anyone, irrespective of age.
Jawad’s resilience and determination deserve to be admired and recognised, and his story will surely motivate everyone. We wish him great success in life and hope that all his future endeavours are fruitful.