Its very interesting. The Lovely story started in 1961 when late Baldev Raj Mittal started a sweet shop after taking a loan of Rs 500. He left his job under a military contractor to open the same. His shop was 10×10 and he used to sell laddoos there. Soon he tasted success and his business boomed.
The growing sweet business necessitated Mittal’s two elder sons, Ramesh Mittal and Naresh Mittal, to leave their studies midway and join him.
Ashok Mittal, the younger son, decided to complete his Bachelors and Graduation in Law.
After some years in 1991, Ashok decided to diversify the business into auto dealerships with Bajaj two-wheelers that symbolized the humble Indian middle class. However, the decision was a bold one for a family into sweet manufacturing to sell automobiles. Initially, that cut no ice with Bajaj.
With being successful both in the sweet shop and the dealership Mittal decided on giving back to society and according to him Education was the best way to do just that.
In 2001, he set up first college on 3.5-acre land in Phagwara, Punjab, that later went on to become India’s largest university in terms of number of students, which is around 30,000 from 30 countries.
Ashok says “The gene of entering into education was purely as a social project, which is still our core motive. In 2001, there was a sudden increase in the number of private colleges in the region so it was quite competitive when we entered,”
The family, however, wanted to change the curriculum, update teaching pedagogies and examination pattern but they couldn’t do that because they weren’t a university. Nonetheless the impetus to grow and innovate got the Mittal family university status in 2005 after two years of struggle.
Mittal family’s third generation started joining the business as early as 2002. Like their elder generation, Amit Mittal and Aman Mittal, sons of Ramesh Mittal; Shaishav Mittal and Vaibhav Mittal, sons of Naresh Mittal, and Pratham Mittal, son of Ashok Mittal, grew up in a business environment consuming business traits early on. It was obvious for them to join the family business eventually. Today, they spearhead different verticals under Lovely Group.
After Aman joined the business, the number of students doubled in size. LPU now boasts of being the largest university in terms of international students of around 2,000. “This is something that has been my personal achievement. By 2025, we want the LPU to be among top 200 universities in the world,” says Aman
Form inception, Lovely Group has been abiding by Baldev Raj Mittal’s tenets of facing challenges and growing up. “The mantra for success told by our grandfather was to keep your goals clear and try to break the whole journey towards that goal into small projects and then execute them individually to reach to the goal,” says Aman who often stands by his father’s side in business.
Despite all success, bright future and an approximate group turnover of Rs 800 crore, Mittal family has been unable to keep their home and office affairs separately – something that they are learning to practice.