Inspiring Stories
A collection of personal Interviews with celebrated leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos or any success stories.


Unlocking The Secrets Of O P Khannas Inspiring Journey

Mr O P Khanna, 70 but still young at heart, shares some of the most important lessons from 48 years of his journey in the engineering industry, growing up the ladder to becoming the board member of 14 international companies. Read on!
The competition at the corporate is so huge that even before you enter, you are expected to be skilled already, by the time you graduate. At the same time, the scope for growth of someone who is action-oriented, is also huge. You are given more opportunities if you are a person who is eager to learn and are willing execute those lessons quick. The industry wasn't the same 50 years back, when it was absolutely challenging for every individual to move to the next hierarchy level. Moving up a single level would require much more efforts than it does, now. As hard as it seemed, people were equally stronger. One such person, who has had more than 48 years of experience in the engineering industry, with -with large corporates like TELCO (Tata Motors), Hindustan Motors, Greaves Ltd and many others; he is currently on the managing committees of more than 14 international Professional Bodies like Pune Management Association, Baroda Management Association, Bangalore Management Assn., CII, IIIE, IIPE, IET (UK), EDAF  and has been the reason to change thousands of lives with his extraordinary service to the society, is Mr O P Khanna, aged 70, still young at heart!
OP Khanna
He grew up seeing both his parents who worked hard to give him and his siblings the best life. He got chosen to be a mechanical engineer at the first IIT of the country - IIT Kharagpur, and graduated with great scores. While he was given a chance to work with 5 different Large Scale Companies, he chose to work with Hindustan Motors.  He was the first employee at the Pune branch of the company. Although he worked absolutely hard and slowly moved up the ladder, he wasn't given the chance to take up the position of the Managing Director, which Mr Khanna always dreamt of. At the same time, he was given a chance to work with a company at Germany. He knew this was his chance since it would provide him the position that he dreamed to be in and so, he finally flew to Berlin, Germany to turn his dreams into reality.

“It wasn't how I thought it would be” he says, “since I was new to the place and from India, and the fact that the others worked there from years, I wasn't treated although my position was higher than many of theirs. I had to push myself through every kind of disrespect towards me. It was not easy but it was not impossible too. It took 18 months of continuous hard work and sleepless nights to bring the company into a better position. A company that was running in loss for the previous 10 years was then running with profit. All those times accepting the disrespect and insults paid off when people began to actually respect me for what I was.”
OP Khanna
For Khanna, it wasn't about the rough path; it was about the happiness you gain when you succeed. He had to fight for himself, within him, to go all out to reach his dreams.  It was his choice to take the toughest path and prove himself while he crossed the route with grace.

While he went back to India during a break from work after having worked with many other organizations, both his children decided to let him know that he had already worked hard enough and had built a beautiful family with kids who could stand on their own. He realised it was time to quit the typical corporate job to serve the people of his country.
OP Khanna
Surviving one of the toughest times in history, the partition of India and Pakistan, he and his family had to leave their native of Lahore and had to move to Indian towns after the partition when he was still 13. Having seen his father being a part of the freedom struggles, the patriot in him showed himself years after building his career, when he found the Needy Hearts Foundation, that currently helps create awareness about health problems related to heart, and helps with the Heart Surgeries of those who cannot afford to. The NGO has so far been the reason to help operate and save more than 6000 lives. It wasn't easy to have all the doctors support the vision and gain funds, but he knew that, nothing but continuous efforts and passion to help someone could help him achieve those goals.

OP Khanna is also a Rotarian who has been serving the community since last 42 years. He has been recognised for his selfless efforts with numerous of awards including, Service Above Self Rotary Intnl.-2004 (Rotary International’s Highest Award), Rotary Foundation- Dist Service Award- 2007, Rotary Dist Karm Yogi--R Id 3190 2009, R I Dist. Exceptional Performance Award 2011, Sir Visvesvaraya Ie (India) 2011 (Eminent Engineer Award), R I Dist Outstanding Performance Award- 2012 and many others. He has also authored books which are a result of his relentless passion to give back to the society. One of the books is named “Extraordinary Indians” which has the top most inspiring Indians whose journey can be a ray of hope to every youngster wanting to succeed in life. Another book named “World Festival” brings all his travel experiences in more than 46 countries, and their festivals.

A versatile, multi-talented leader whose actions speak more than just words, OP Khanna's life is definitely a manual of guidelines to succeed in life. While today's generation struggles to manage working for a few hours each day, even today at the age of 70, he works  for 18 hours a day! His journey of multiple experiences, both good and the bad ones, is bound to help you avoid your failures and achieve faster. We wish Mr Khanna a longer life of inspiring and serving more lives.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 22nd March 2017.
IJ Kavyashree
IJ Kavyashree is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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