Narendra Modi, whose BJP party have swept to victory in India's general election, has come a long way since his beginnings in the small town of Vadnagar in northern Gujarat.
He was born to a family of modest means and, according to a biography, spent time as a youngster working on his family's tea stall.
The details of his early life are sketchy - Mr Modi is rumoured to have married at a young age before walking away from his wife to live as a bachelor.
He is then said to have left his home town as a teenager to embark on a spiritual journey, spending two years wandering the Himalayas learning from Hindu holy men known as sadhus.
He first got involved in politics by joining the RSS - an avowedly Hindu nationalist organisation closely linked to the BJP party Modi now heads.
At the same time as pursuing a career in politics, he managed to get a Masters degree in political science.
He rose steadily through Gujarati politics, joining the BJP in 1987, eventually becoming national secretary in 1997.
Alongside his pro-business, pro-Hindu politics, he has cultivated an image as a man of simple tastes, befitting his small-town background,
He is also renowned for having tremendous levels of energy and regularly doing yoga.
A British biographer, Andy Marino, has also described Mr Modi as a "very personable, open guy" who is happy to give out his phone number to concerned voters.
However, India's large Muslim community may well be nervous about Mr Modi's new administration - he has previously faced a visa ban from the US and the EU for a perceived failure to stop sectarian riots when he was chief minister of Gujarat.