21 Jul 2019
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The Risk Taker
Manjhibhai Dholakia of Bhavani Gems
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 21 2014 1:57AM
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Reference: 10739  

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A strong believer of ‘Hard-Work is the key to success’; mantra Manjibhai Rudabhai Dholakia has carved a niche for himself in the diamond industry. Taking calculated risks while studying the market judiciously, he took the right decisions at the right time and helped the company reach higher pedestals of success. Being a benevolent person with a foresight, Manjhibhai is known in the industry not only for his strong business acumen but also his caring and helping nature. Starting from scratch up till reaching to the glorious heights, Kunjal Karaniya brings you his life story.

Manjibhai Rudabhai Dholakia was born in the year 1953 in Lathi - which represents the glorious history of Gujarat. Born in a family of a farmer with meager means, Manjhibhai was involved in helping his father in his farming business but the young Manjhibhai knew that he needed to help his family in a bigger way at a very young age. So when the opportunity knocked, he took it with both hands. After completing his education up to class IV, he left his ancestral work of farming and learnt diamond cutting at Lathi for a brighter future. Then as a diamond worker he went to Surat in 1966. Leaving home and family was a tough decision as it is for all but Manjhibhai knew that he had to take this risk and try his hands at the world’s most glittering profession, which was done in a very small scale at that time. He stayed there from 1967 to 1972 where he achieved further progress in the field. Returning to Lathi, thereafter, he acquired deeper knowledge of this business in Bhavnagar.

He was aware that risk-taking was also necessary with hard work for success. After gaining the expertise in diamond cutting and polishing, Manjibhai took the second risk in his life and thereafter started his own manufacturing unit by installing just two grinding wheels. Being a risk taker is not always easy but for Manjhibhai, his wife and motivator, Labhuben Dholakia, supported his dream. “My wife is my inspiration and biggest supporter,” shares Manjibhai Dholakia.

With natural instinct, judiciousness, and the habit of taking firm decisions, Manjibhai paved the road to his success even when the diamond industry slackened in the year 1979. He introduced a scheme allowing workers to borrow money from the company when the economy was low. The company further decided that the workers should be regularly paid their dues between the 1st and 5th of every month. Earlier, he had eliminated the system of 'bakee', but he reintroduced it taking into consideration the need of the hour.

Thus he was able to win workers' confidence and establish his mastery over the production of single-cuts. After visiting some overseas markets in 1983, he rapidly stepped up his production of single cuts. He was thus busy throughout day and night, achieving excellent success in the field of manufacturing. “But I never felt that I am missing on something owing to the busy work schedule as diamonds have always been my passion and hard work and risk-taking are my main principles of work,” he says.

Taking a big step forward in 1988, he set up Bhavani Gems to develop import-export business; he also took up production of double cuts in the meantime. Further in 1993, when Russian roughs arrived into the market, he increased his production by putting his everything in the fifth year. By keeping in pace with the time, he also started offering cuts like 'Princess' and 'Chowki cut', and he could manage this with just 2250 workers. By 1993, the production by Bhavani Gems reached a very high level. “Even half of this level could not be reached by others,” he proudly states. His both the sons, Heet Dholakia and Raj Dholakia are now a part of his business. “I always wanted my sons to join my business and they are doing a great job,” he says.

Bhavani Gems is also a DTC sightholder. “In this business, it is considered a matter of prestige to become Diamond Trading Company’s (DTC, the marketing arm of De Beers) Sightholders. Some diamond firms have to wait for five to 10 years before being recognised as a Sightholder. Even after waiting that long, one may not obtain DTC's Sight-holdership. But to the surprise of most people in this business, DTC conferred its Sight-holdership to Bhavani Gems after studying its working for just about six months,” he proudly claims. DTC granted its Sight-holdership to Bhavani Gems on January 10, 1996, surprising most people in the diamond business as several other diamond dealers have obtained DTC sights, but no one has been able to do so in such short time span like Bhavani Gems.

Manjibhai then started setting up factories at various places such as Surat, Ahmedabad, Lathi, Babra, etc. Taking into consideration the global trends Manjibhai even welcomed global aspects of modernisation. As a result, from 1998 onward the market started receiving the equipment for modernisation such as automotive blocking, polish wheels, diamond scrap wheels, laser machines, high technology computerised machines and more.

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