As a boy, Shiva used to deliver newspapers at the crack of dawn to help his family financially.
"I was a delivery boy in 5th standard till 10th standard. I needed to increase my income and so thought of becoming an independent vendor to make my own agency. From 10th standard till now, I am a vendor. When I was in the final year of engineering, I chose to write CAT so that I could pursue higher education. I didn't take it as a burden. I just enjoyed my work. More than anything else, it gave me happiness that I could take care of my family so that they could sleep peacefully every day," he told NDTV,
Shiva's mother Jayamma is justifiably proud of her son. "He struggled a lot - from the time he was in 5th standard until today. I am so happy he has come this far," she said.
But despite the hard work, it still was a huge challenge for Shiva. At one stage, he even ran out of money for his school fees. He then approached a man who he delivered newspapers to for help.
"He was willing to help but he could not trust me... He just came to my school the next day and spoke to my principal, teachers and asked their opinion about me... After that he paid for the entire year. He told me, 'Just concentrate on studies, I will take care of your fees.'"
Shiva Kumar now has plans beyond just securing his future and his family's. "I will go to IIM Calcutta and come back from there. Then I will start an Educate India foundation to help poor students pursue their education," he said.
Stories like Shiva Kumar's are inspiring, proof of what conviction and hard work can achieve.