Collection: Mohnish Pabrai - #16 'Secret To Wealth'

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In this episode, Mohnish Pabrai shared his journey on how he accumulate his first pot of gold after graduating with a degree in engineering.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Mohnish Pabrai accumulate his first pot of gold?

  • What did Mohnish Pabrai do to accumulate wealth?

  • Why time management is important?

To check out all Collection: Mohnish Pabrai <click here>



Okay, you want to replicate what I have done?


Yeah but sir, I have no money in my hand but I want to replicate you. So what do you say and how to proceed?


Very simple. First of all, when did you join Dakshana this year or last year?


Last year.


Last year, okay so are you going to join IIT?


Yes sir.


Okay, what is your rank going to be?


Below 1,000.




Below 1,000.


Okay, so top 1,000 alright very good. So there's another talk I did which I'm gonna give you abbreviated version. It's called 'The Secret,' okay? The secret to becoming very wealthy. That's what you want right? Okay, so here is the secret.

So how many hours are there in a week? Does Dakshana's scholars still –




168 hours okay. And when you start working full time, let's say you finish your degree in IIT and you join Infosys. or something. How many hours a week, are you required to work?

[Inaudible] how many hours? 40-45 hours, in the U.S. is 40 hours. Let's say 45 hours. So let's say 50 hours, you want to work hard for your employer. So 50 hours, how many hours are left?




Okay, so even if you take out time for sleeping and other things. What you would find is that you are basically left with at least another 30 or 40 hours that you could do something else.

Okay and so the something else. You can spend it with your friends and watching a movie that enjoy yourself. Or you can spend it in your [Inaudible] the single minded pursuit of maximum wealth. So what you want to spend it on? With friends or with maximize wealth?


Maximize wealth.


Maximize wealth, okay so that is what I did. So basically when I graduated with a degree in engineering. I took a job and they required me to work 40 hours a week. And after 3 years of working, I had an idea of something that I wanted to do.

And so what I said is okay. I used to get very good review with my employer, I said I no longer care about the review how good I'm doing that's irrelevant. My objective was once I knew what I wanted to do – my idea of my business – was do not get fired. They should not tell me you lost your job because I need that cash flow. So I just did enough to make sure that I'm not fired.

And so what I'm used to do is. From 7 in the morning about 8:30 in the morning before I went to work. I used to work on my business. And then about 6 o'clock or so I come home till about midnight, I will work on the business. And then all weekend, I will work on the business.

And any time I had time, meetings and anything like that. I took a vacation day. So my – I couldn't have fully vacations so my vacations built up. So basically, the paycheck is coming in, someone is paying me. Right?

And this business I was trying to do. If it did not work. You know, there would not be much cost because I still had a job. And I was – I'm working for it at my home. And it took it about 10 months from the time I started this – focused actually – I was 24 years old till the time I got my first client.

So 10 months I was just continue to work this way then finally the first client arrived. And then after about 2 weeks, the second client arrived. But then the first two clients, I had more money coming in –

[Broken Recording]

And I explained to him that [Inaudible], I started my own business and it seems to be taking off and now, I'm going to go to my business. So they tried very hard for me not to leave.

And then they told their boss and his boss, they called me. They said "you know, we could not understand. You are doing so well and then last 10 months, you were not doing so bad that we would fire you. But it was not what we used to see before."

I said "Exactly, that was what I was trying to do – is not get fired just barely you know, stay around firing level." And so then they told me that – Okay. They did not said 'if', they said 'when' your business fails, not if your business fails. They said when your business fails, come back here much higher salary. They offered to pay me a lot more.

And they said "just anytime the business fails just come back and we want to hire you." So I said "this is fantastic." Okay (Laughter).

I had my four months from this client. Full effort behind it to get more clients. And if it fails, no need to even look for a job. Just go back, higher pay. Okay? Why? Because it's a secret.

You basically had the time to do 2 jobs. And everyone thinks you should only do 1 job. And so what do you is, you do your second job. And it fails, no problem. Start something new. Fails no problem, start something new. And just keep going something will hit. And as you keep doing things, you will learn more things and you will just keep going from there. So that's how I started my first IT company TransTech.

And then that grew and did well. And then later I could then. You know, layback and starts Pabrai's Fund and here we are. So, great question.

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