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GLORIOUS PAST & RADIANT FUTURE

“Why use recorder? Why not pen?” questions Mr.Mahendra Sanghavi Jain, looking askance at the tiny voice recorder placed in front of him. If this makes you jump to the conclusion that he must be an old timer who shuns modern trends and techniques, you are quite off the mark. He is absolutely forward looking in thoughts and ultra-modern in concepts. This is clearly reflected in his chic outlet Hira Panna Jewellers and the up-to-the-minute trinkets it displays. His reference to the recorder turns out to be just a benign opening remark to break the ice.

If ever Santoor produces soap for men, it can make Mahendra and his son Rajendra endorse it. The young and dynamic duo talks of their time-honoured trade and how they modernise and modify it following the market dynamics. While Mahendra adds an extra sheen to his already glowing venture, Rajendra, who stepped in recently, is figuring out how to keep it that way. Respecting the hierarchy, Rajendra leaves the stage to his father...

EXCERPTS
Vizag calling
Enamoured by its serene beauty, my father Mr.Sanghavi Ghewar Chand Jain migrated to the city from Nellore in 1975, and within three years, he established Jain Jewellers in One Town area. We are three brothers and two sisters and I towed my father’s line and established our credentials. Though I used to help my father with his business right from the age of 18, I took the final plunge only after obtaining a B.Com degree. It was a pleasant coincidence that I got married and set up Dwarakanagar outlet-Hira Panna Jewellers in 1992. With justified pride, I can say that I introduced a lot of new trends like Kundan, Jadau, ruby and emerald to the city’s connoisseurs.

Smooth sail>
As my father had gifted me a strong foundation, I didn’t have to face any major hurdles. To be precise, my father laid the road and I developed it first into a four-lane and later, a six-lane express highway. We recently celebrated the silver jubilee of the outlet, giving it a complete make over. I am also into real estate business and bullion market.

USP
Our focus is on finishing and polishing, besides fool-proof quality check. We get our ornaments polished by highly professional skilled artisans. We have been trend-setters in this field. We were the first jewellers to introduce KDM/ 916 (22 carat) jewellery in the city in 2000. Prior to that, people used to go to Dubai to get it. We have been in the business for such a long time that we could identify and engage with best suppliers. By attending international jewellery shows, we stay abreast of the trends in vogue. We have stringent quality checks in place.

Winds of change
Vizagites used to go to Hyderabad and Chennai to buy jewellery. They had a fixed mindset. Six bangles and four-strand necklace and a stone necklace – that was all they wanted to have in their jewellery box. But now they want a set in each genre like- one in Jadau, one in antique, so on and so forth. Kundan and Polki, which used to be the domain of the affluent, have reached every household now. People go even for platinum jewellery. More importantly, today’s customer is highly educated and aware of what she/he wants and picks up.

Indispensable gold smith
The traditional gold smith cannot be wished away. He may take the support of latest tools to speed up the making process and achieve better results, but his naturally inherited skill is vital for jewellery making. Machines can create generic trinkets but for exclusive detailing, we have to turn to artisans. A combination of 70% hand craft and 30% machine work is ideal and that is how it works. One can attend and learn jewellery designing in a classroom but can’t cultivate workmanship, which runs in genes and families.

Competition
Show me one field without competition? We have to be a few steps ahead of our peer to win the race. At Hira Panna, we go that extra mile to keep our customer happy and comfortable. We also replenish our supplies and discard the dead stock, even if it incurs some loss.

Demonetisation and GST
The demonetisation pushed our business back at least by two years as it scared away the buyers. We are gradually recouping from it. Of course, GST did not have any effect on our transactions as it is just old wine in new bottle i.e. GST is a new name for VAT.

Family business
It is the best mode to be in. While working for a common goal strengthens the ties among the kin, domestic bonhomie spills into work arena too. Only disadvantage I see is that sometimes there is a delay in getting your turn. One must keep patience.



OFF THE CUFF
Scams
They are not peculiar to our trade alone. To check scams, the banks should be more vigilant.

Gold value
Land prices may vary as per the situation and location. But gold carries the same value irrespective of time and place.

Online
Hard to find range and trust in online transactions.

How do you explain packed gold showrooms?
We must take into account window shoppers too.

Akshaya Tritiya
This craze too is waning.
Tip to diamond buyers
Buy from the known jeweller and scrutinize the certificate thoroughly before taking your pick.
Marketing strategies
Updating our stock and maintaining ambience
Technology help
Thanks to CCTVs cameras, pilferage is arrested.

CSR
I extend help through Rotary Club and Jain and various other communities. We chip in whenever a need arises.
Employees
50% of our employees have been with us right from the inception.
Success Mantra
Honesty
Energy
My family is my source of energy
Hobbies
Gym
Tip to new comers
Time is not conducive to enter any business now. I strongly advise the newcomers to assess their capabilities before taking the plunge.
What makes you happy?
Entry of a customer.
... sad
Inefficiency
...angry
Badly dressed and unkempt employee; lack of discipline and punctuality.
Unfulfilled dream
None
Hira Panna in three words
Creative, honest and success

FAVOURITES
Colour: Blue
Car: Merc
Holiday: Europe
Food: South Indian food
Hangout: Beach
Film: Baahubali. My wife prefers Telugu movies
Actor: Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and Mahesh Babu
Actress: Deepika Padukone
Song: Dhee Vara....

HE IS A PERFECT HUBBY AND AN IDEAL FATHER- MAMATA
For Mrs.Mamata, who was born and brought up in Andhra Pradesh, getting married into a local trade family and adjusting was not a big deal. Stating that it was a very smooth and unobtrusive transition, she says, “My husband is a considerate and compassionate man and a great father to my sons. Despite his extremely busy schedule, he gives us time, making me feel after all, it is not the quantity but the quality of time that matters.”

HE IS MY FRIEND, PHILOSOPHER AND GUIDE, SAYS HARSHITH
Harshith, who is pursuing his BBM from Amity University Mumbai, says that his father is his pillar of strength and inspiration. He is eager to join his father and brother, who are advising him to go for an MBA degree. “I feel it is better to gain some practical knowledge before I take up studies,” he says.

 
 
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