Importance of Struggle : Savji Dholakia to his son Dravya Dholakia
Dravya Dholakia (21), son of Savji Dholakia, proprietor of Hare Krishna Diamond exports, the Surat-based Rs 6,000 crore company with presence in 71 countries learnt the importance of struggle in Kochi for a month from June 21. Dravya Dholakia is pursuing his MBA in the United States and is on holiday in India. His father asked him to try this challenge for a month, and Dravya Dholakia readily accepted.
There were to be three conditions:
1. Dravya Dholakia was not supposed to use his father’s name or influence to get things done.
2. He wouldn’t work at a place for more than a week.
3. He would only have Rs. 7,000 for emergency purposes, which he shouldn’t use for his daily expenses.
Dravya Dholakia chose Kochi because he didn’t know to speak Malayalam, and Hindi isn’t commonly spoken there. It was difficult for him, but he came through. FOR FIVE DAYS I HAD NO JOB OR PROPER PLACE TO STAY. I WAS FRUSTRATED AS I WAS REJECTED AT 60 PLACES, AS NO ONE KNEW ME HERE. I UNDERSTOOD WHAT IS REJECTION AND THE VALUE OF A JOB IN THESE FEW DAYS.”
Dravya Dholakia first worked at a bakery in Cheranelloor. Following that, he worked at a call centre, a shoe shop, and also at a McDonald’s outlet. He said he earned Rs. 4,000 in the month, but it was difficult to even make ends meet, because he couldn’t even score a Rs. 40 meal in a day, and he needed Rs. 250 extra for his lodging.
As quoted on TOI, Savji Dholakia, the father said “ I wanted him to understand life and how the poor struggle to get a job and money. No university can teach you these life skills except experience,”
The tradition of learning value of money
Dravya Dholakia (21), son of Savji Dholakia, undertook the exercise due to a ‘family tradition’ that began 12 years ago. “Our family had a traditional Gujarati dinner at a London hotel. The bill came to 100 pounds per person. The hoteliers said it was because we placed the order without looking at the price listed in the menu. It was an eye-opener. Hence, it was decided that every male member should undertake one month of hard life to learn the value of money,” Dravya Dholakia told Indian Express. Three of his cousins from the joint family of 30 did their ‘internship training’ in Pune, Baroda and Jaipur. Now they are heading companies with 1,500 to 2,000 employees,” he said.
Savji Dholakia A generous employer
Savji Dhanji Dholakia, born 12 April 1962, is the founder and chairman of Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd., a Diamond manufacturing and exporting company with manufacturing units at Surat in Gujarat, India and its marketing and sales office in Mumbai, India. His company currently exports finished diamonds to more than 50 countries directly from Mumbai. The company also has affiliates in the US, Belgium, UAE, Hong Kong and China.
Hailing from a small village, Dudhala in Amreli district, Dholakia a Class IV dropout migrated to Surat,where eight out of ten of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished, in 1978 in search of a steady job in the diamond cutting and polishing industry. The son of a farmer, he got a job in a local firm at a monthly salary of Rs 169. Gradually he grasped tricks of the trade and also started working in a diamond brokerage firm apart from doing his primary job of diamond cutting and polishing.
However, the enterprising Dholakia always wanted to start his own business rather than work for others. During those days, he didn’t have adequate money to start a venture. Hence, he went to his uncle and took a small loan from him to start a small diamond cutting and polishing unit. The rest, as they say, is history. From there, the hardworking Dholakia never looked back. He finally established Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd in the year 1991. His exports were then worth Rs 1 crore.
The company has achieved many prestigious awards over the years for their outstanding performance. For instance Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. has been recipient of the Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council awards for the past 12 consecutive years from 2003–2014.
Sajiv Dholakia is best known for giving his employees cars, jewellery and homes worth Rs 50 crore as a reward for meeting targets. He has been rewarding employees of his firm with diamond jewellery, new cars and flats for meeting their annual targets.
- He gifted Maruti cars to three employees 18 years ago who later became our partners in the business,
- In 2013 the 6,500 employee-strong company had gifted cars to 72 such employees.
- In October 2014, he presented valuable gifts to selected 1,268 employees. The idea was to “extend gratitude” to employees who had helped the company grow. So, 491 employees received cars((Fiat Punto), 207 got funds for buying residential flats and another 570 were gifted jewellery. Each of them received ‘gifts’ worth Rs 4 lakh. Call it philanthropy or manpower-management, but for Dholakia this gesture was an outcome of “the most valuable lesson learnt – the art of humanity”. Dholakia’s motto is: “I will not have less if I give. It is the law of nature. When I sow one seed, I’ll have a hundred seeds in my kitty later.”
Post giving gift Every day, 35-40 resumes were landing at his desk from people eager to work for him. Overnight, Dholakia became a highly sought-after employer. But identifying ‘high performing’ employees is also a task in itself. Dholakia keeps track of his staff’s performance through an in-house software which the company has been using for the last five years.
In an interview to a news channel, he said: “My son has done an MBA from New York and has been working with me for six years. We have our own method of choosing people. Everyone got together and analyzed who the people responsible for our growth were. We know who has added what value to the company. What we have given them is nothing compared to the efforts put in by these people.”
Savji Dholakia Speech
You can checkout Savji’s Facebook page . Listen to the man himself. Savji Dhokalia speech on Vibrant Gujarat in 2015, around 8 mins. Its in Gujarati. The transcription is given below
Friends I have been invited to the Vibrant Gujarat 2015 owing to my success story. My time allotment is 7 minutes & I shall not exceed to the 8th minute
Vibrant Gujarat is a medium through which the government provides essential support to entrepreneurs
Illiteracy is the primary reason for my success as it pushes me to learn every day. My team and I have grabbed every opportunity to learn. We apply all that we learn from events, programs and daily life.
At Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd we motivate employees to become good human beings and that results in good work as a byproduct.At our factory we build confidence amongst employees & reinstall the attitude of “nothing is impossible, I can do it”.
Many foreign delegates are in India at this summit because human resources are relatively cheaper but at our factory we pay employees higher salaries and get higher returns as a byproduct.We are the highest TDS and TAX payers.
At HK we love our employees and teach them the art of living. We give them values and respect. Although our skilled Labour maybe illiterate but we have bestowed them with degree equivalent respect of diamond artists and diamond engineers.
Our family business is managed by a team of four brothers, three partners and eight kids. We live up to our commitments and fulfill them unwaveringly.
We had by mistake committed to planting 10 lakh trees. However I am proud to announce that in 2015 we successfully completed planting 11 lakh saplings.
A good citizens and responsible employers we take care of employees’ mediclaim, health insurance, life insurance and children’s education.
My parents wanted three things of me; to be a big man, be a good man and a rich man. However it’s not as important to be big as it is to be good.
I am proud of “made in India” movement. At our company we have 9000 employees of which 2200 employees at my office site earn an average salary of 1 lakh a month. Our employees are our real assets and they give back returns; it’s the law of nature.
At our company we also employ people with disabilities and it’s my goal to train 100 people with disabilities and employ them just as I already employ deaf & dumb and physically challenged people.
Today I have fulfilled my dream and that of my grandmothers by addressing an audience of over one lakh.
I hope to take my company to even greater heights in the next ten years and make it one of the top Indian companies.
Last but not least I am grateful to Narendrabhai Modi and Anandiben for inviting me to this summit. I hope Narendrabhai Modi will invite me again the day he conducts The Vibrant Delhi Summit.
May the Lord fulfill everyone’s aspirations. Thank you all!