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GLOWRY & GLITTER ALL HIS WAY

Note the paradox. He belongs to a state that literally spurned Hindi overtures. But it is the same Rashtriya Bhasha that served as the first step to the magnificent ladder of success he diligently climbed. Young Srinivasan, then working as a salesman in a gold shop, had his blessing coming in the form of a Gujarati merchant who was unable to converse with the local dealer. Srinivasan acted as a translator for the trader, without realising that this favour would script a splendid chapter of his life. Spotting a unique spark in the boy, the tradesman, Mr.Pranjivandas Zaveri, advised him to try his hand at jewellery trade, leaving his card, a tiny flame of ambition and a thinking boy behind. His tryst with the industry began on that memorable day. Now Mr.K.Srinivasan, CMD, Emerald Jewel Industry India Ltd., ranks among world class jewellers. He talks of his ventures & adventures in a candid interview and poses for the camera without any fuss.

HERE IT GOES….
Formative years
I, the youngest of six siblings, lost my father when I was six years old. My mother, struggling hard to make both ends meet, could educate me up to B.Sc. Giving a go-by to my wish to pursue engineering, I joined a gold shop for a paltry salary of Rs.150 per month. With in a few months, my meet with Mr.Zaveri happened.

Adventure begins
Seeking greener pastures and ignoring the resisting voices of my well-wishers, I quitted the job and raised money from every possible source, including my mother to buy 250gm gold. I designed my first ever trinket and got it made by a goldsmith friend. Thus, clutching a pair of jhumkas and a tiny thread of hope, I embarked on the Ahmedabad train and the eventful expedition of my life.

Foundation based on values
Mr.Zaveri proved to be as good as his word, stood by me as my mentor and guarantor introducing me to his industry friends as his ‘son’. Living up to his expectations, I too set three commandments for myself. I have built & been running this magnificent empire on those rudiments- I shall not deviate from the purity I declare; I give the best finishing; I go for innovative designs. That was the time when the demand outdid the supply. The manufacturers were so busy meeting delivery deadlines that they had little time to fine-tune the finishing or think of new designs. I learnt from their mistakes and my efforts yielded good results.

The makeover
This exercise of going between goldsmiths and merchants went on from 1984 to 1990. But getting hand-made trinkets from artisans was becoming difficult as I had to deal with uneducated people in the transaction. Making them understand my designs and my vision was getting tougher by the day. It was time to take the next step- setting up my own factory and brand. My Emeralds Jewel Industry India Ltd. then came into existence. I went full throttle only after I fortified myself with needed knowledge. I attended shows across the world and interacted with heterogeneous jewellery experts to learn their genres and how they created them.



Inevitable imports
High polish achieved through machines is, any day, superior to the hand given one. I thought it was time to bring in the latest world technology and Indianise the designs. To start with, I got casting technology for the first time to India. It enabled me to give jewellery at affordable prices. I, then, went for a combination of handmade & machine designing, which was received with great zeal. Soon after, I brought in lethe technology, stamping jewellery from Turkey and electroforming jewellery from Switzerland. Now we have the latest technologies available under the Sun.

Organised player
Considered as a cottage industry, the sector was unorganized till recently. My passion for jewellery making and my ability to give good quality, perfect finish, trendy designs and timely delivery made me an organised player.

Fact(s)ory& figures
I constructed a 5 lakh sq.ft facility in a 10-acre plot in Coimbatore. A 5 lakh sq.ft-factory dedicated to silver manufacturing will be operational in June. Till now, we have been making silver idols in electroforming method. Once the new factory becomes functional, we shall make silver utensils too. We also produce platinum and diamond jewellery. Wherever there is a shop run by merchants of Indian origin abroad, you are sure to find my products.

I have 70 traditional and 100 CAD designers working for me across the country & studios in Mumbai, Coimbatore, New Delhi, Kolkata and Dubai. We installed 10 rapid prototyping machines and come up with 2000 new designs every month. I give direct employment to 5000 and yet another 5000 are engaged in supporting services. We produce nearly two tons of jewellery per month, though our installed capacity is 60 tons. Our next year’s target is 30 tons.

It is show time
We have been making jewellery and were going unsung. So, to satisfy my ego, I went for retailing and started my first franchisee in Pondicherry, titling it Jewel One. Tying up with Mr.Raja, I entered AP now. I thank him for getting me the first break.

Why Vizag?
I learnt that the city is full of affluent jewel connoisseurs.
I have a network of dealers from Kashmir to KanyaKumari through which I learn which direction the wind blows and can gauge the capacity of any city. Vizag appears to yield rich haul.

USP
Every one speaks of quality and comparable prices, but I offer them. That is my USP.
I can do it with ease because I am the manufacturer.
I put my heart and soul in it and set standards. We can create any design the customers want as we have the state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

The road ahead
We shall test waters here and further penetrate. We are looking at Gajuwaka as a lucrative ground. Once we are in one Telugu state, can the neighbour be far behind? Telangana will be our next destination.

New trends
Jewellery market has become highly competitive. It is difficult to survive in the market unless and until we meet the expectations of the younger generation. It can be attracted to gold only by creating trendy designs. We offer light weight jewellery, besides a wide range of products with affordable price to serve all strata of the society.

Market shift
With the entry of single brand retail stores under FDI the business has become more challenging. The demand will go up as the buying capacity increases.

OFF THE CUFF
Hall marking
I have been at it even before the government introduced it.
Traditional goldsmith
They are endangered. We have neglected them.
Market pace
Demonetisation and GST slowed down the market.
E-commerce
People still prefer the touch-and-feel mode.
Mushrooming units
Entries are noticed as biggies come with a huge song and dance while departures are silent and unrecorded.
Quality
Each layer of process ends with a stringent quality check.
Gold as an asset
A safe and profit-fetching investment.
Scope of Indian brands abroad
It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision too -Make in India.
New in your kitty
IBM is developing an app for our brand, bringing in revolutionary changes in our display.
CSR activity
Through the Krisha Charitable Trust (a title derived from the names of my parents Mr.Krishna Murthy and Mrs.Saraswati) we render service in various fields.
Your heirs apparent
My son Dhiaan and daughter Nishta

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

  • Vasavi Achievement Award- 2011 by Vasavi Club International
  • Vanigamamani Award-2012
  • Achievement Award- 2013 by Tamil Nadu Arya Vysya Mahasabha
  • Achievers’ Award- 2013 by Sri Brahmam, Thiruvannamalai
  • Best Entrepreneur Award- 2013 by Coimbatore Management Assn
  • Professional Excellence Award- 2013 by Rotary Club of Coimbatore
  • Entrepreneur of the Year- 2013 by Entrepreneurs Organization
  • Entrepreneur of the Year- 2014 by Entrepreneurs Organization
  • ICONS of Coimbatore Award -2015 by Rathinam Group of Institutions
  • Dharmaprakasha National Award by Federation of All India Arya Vysya Mahasabha
  • Vasavi Puraskar For Lifetime Achievement in Jewel Industry-2015 by Vasavi Club International
  • Spoorthi Pradhatha Award for Extraordinary Contribution in Business, Professional Excellence & Service rendered to Society, in event of International Convention of Vasavi Clubs International
  • Life Time Achievement Award from Lions Clubs International
  • BW Businessworld & GOPIO Global Business Awards 2018 by BW Businessworld, Bahrain

POSTS AND POSITIONS

  • CMD, Emerald Jewel Industry India Ltd., Coimbatore
  • Director, Indiania Jewellery Company Pvt Ltd., Coimbatore
  • MD, Emerald Jewelry Retail Ltd., Coimbatore
  • Manager, Emerald Jewellers DMCC, Dubai
  • Former Director, All India Gem & Jewellery Trade Federation, Mumbai
  • Convener, Gold Jewellery & Other Precious Metal Jewellery Panel of Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council
  • Member, Coimbatore Golf Club
  • Member, Jenny Club, Coimbatore
  • Managing Trustee, Krisha Charitable Trust, Coimbatore

 
 
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