11 Indians Who Made It Big Without A College Degree

What’s in a report card when Lady Luck has your back? When Indian parents fuss over their children’s education, they should turn to the examples of these exemplary personalities, who made it big without even a college degree. While some of these famous folks never went to college, several dropped out after they found their true calling.

Here’s a glimpse at 11 achievers who followed their heart:

1. Deepika Padukone

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Deepika Padukone is one India’s most famous actresses. But, did you know that she is only a high school graduate. Because she started working at a young age, she decided to forgo a formal education. Of course, her parents weren’t pleased with her decision either, but they came on board after realising where her heart lay. And that’s perfectly okay because the dedication with which she formed her own destiny made the decision worth it.

2. Kapil Dev

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The cricketer dropped out of college to make a career in sports and India’s World Cup win of 1983 proved that he made the right decision. Also, his inclusion in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame goes to show how college dropouts shouldn’t be judged for that decision. Especially when they put their country on the world map.

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  • 3. Aamir Khan

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    Khan decided college wasn’t for him after he realised his calling as an actor. Khan had already appeared on screen as a child star. After completing school, Khan decided to discontinue his studies and worked as an assistant director with his uncle Nasir Hussain. Today, it’s his body of work that justifies the decision to quit academics.

    4. Sachin Tendulkar

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    Tendulkar was a child prodigy while still at school, and as his love and prowess for the sport grew stronger, he didn’t pursue his studies after the 10th grade. He has gone on to become a global cricket legend, and there’s not even a single Indian who will miss the opportunity to watch him bat in matches.

    5. Mary Kom

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    International boxing champion Mary Kom dropped out of school midway to make a career in the sport she loved so much. At school, she participated in volleyball, football, and athletics but her true calling was boxing. Being a drop-out didn’t stop her from becoming the only Indian woman boxer to qualify for the 2012 summer Olympics.

    6. Aishwarya Rai

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    The ‘most beautiful woman in the world’ didn’t finish college. She dropped out and signed several modelling contracts before winning the Miss World pageant. She swiftly rose to become one of Bollywood’s A-list actresses.

    7. Salman Khan

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    The bhai of Bollywood never went to college either. Hailing from a Bollywood family, Salman learned early on that he wanted to become an actor. His brushes with the law notwithstanding, Khan made a big name for himself and is literally worshipped by his followers.

    8. Gautam Adani

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    The stalwart who started the Adani Group all on his own, Adani quit his Commerce degree halfway and is now a self-made magnate. With a net worth of $8.8 billion, he was once kidnapped for a ransom of Rs. 3 crore!

    9. Priyanka Chopra

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    One of the most recognisable Indian names in Hollywood today, Priyanka Chopra never finished her graduation. The beauty queen went to schools in the US and India. She even wanted to become a criminal psychologist and joined Jai Hind college in Mumbai but modelling assignments put her on the path to unprecedented success.

    10. Karisma Kapoor

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    Kapoor was one of the most bankable stars of the 90s. She was also perhaps the first to break the stereotype and focus on her acting career by not even graduating the 6th standard. Her first film, Prem Qaidi released when she was just sixteen years old!

    11. Akshay Kumar

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    Kumar is a man of many talents. He can act, he can cook, and he can fight. The actor dropped out of Mumbai’s Khalsa College to pursue martial arts. In an interview, the star admitted that education was never a priority for him.

    If you are planning to call it quits with your education, make sure you have a solid plan in hand. But sometimes, not having a plan also works out for the best. Find your inner calling and work hard to achieve that dream.

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