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While the world knows him as a business tycoon and the face of Rosy Blue, he says he is still the same old boy from Palanpuri, who was handheld into the business by his father and brother and who learn the trade from people, situations and experiences. Know more of him as you read…
By: Diamond World News Service
Aug 20 2012 11:36AM
Reference: 7190  

These were the lessons that helped Mehta when he moved to Antwerp in 1973. His father and uncle had set up shop in this ancient diamond trading city. Being among the first Indians to start business there, they would initially buy low quality roughs, which were then sent to India for cutting and polishing. “Though I was taught by my elders, they also allowed me to learn by myself and build confidence. My father and brother wanted me to come to Antwerp,” Mehta recalls.

In the very first month of settling in Antwerp, Mehta had an unpleasant experience. Usually, brokers brought in the goods from owners to show to clients on the trading floor of the Diamant Kring. An offer was made in closed envelopes. The broker would then either negotiate the offer with the owner or come back with a counter offer or he would settle the deal with a ‘Mazal’.

In June 1973, Mehta offered a parcel to a broker who gave “Mazal” on the first offer. “The broker delivered the parcel to the office, where we were clients. I discovered then that the parcel I had bought was too expensive. I was puzzled because I had analysed the parcel properly. I was much shaken with the purchase and felt upset with myself.

Later, while writing the accounts at home, a relative from Arunbhai visited me and saw me looking unhappy. When he heard my story, he said he had a similar experience with the same broker. I was instantly relieved as I was clearly cheated!”

This experience helped build Mehta’s confidence in his own judgement. “We all need our small successes and responsibilities for personal growth,” he opines.

After completing his training in manufacturing, he learnt about the diamond trade. This was a time when grading reports were rarely used. There were not too many standards and business was all about personal beliefs. Certain incidents and people left an indelible mark on Mehta, shaping his belief system, besides teaching him vital aspects about the trade, and the business.

“In my early days in Antwerp, I was good friends with Miki Komlosi, a hard working migrant from Romania. He was a diamond broker and always had said a pithy line. ‘Buy like a beggar and sell like a king.’ This helped me and became my reality for running our business. The other way round of buying like king would certainly make you a beggar,” recalls Mehta.

Although times have changed, and standardisation provides more objectiveness, Mehta believes in fairness. Looking back he is happy that his company has always been fair in its dealings and expects the same from its business partners. “Once when Arunbhai was away, I went to show our goods to a person called Jacques Roisen of Michael Ferman and Roisen Inc. The company is called Kwiat now. He offered me a polished parcel. I wasn’t sure what to do. Reading my face, Jacques said he would not keep his offer if I had to ask my brother. He asked me to take the decision.”

Mehta said “Mazal” to the goods and to a beautiful relationship. “He inspired me to take decisions. I am very grateful to him. He was a noble person.” His clients also taught him many things, one being honesty. “Business in Antwerp was mostly done in cash. Once reconciling accounts with a client, I had mistakenly credited an extra US $10,000 into their account. He pointed out the mistake saying he had not paid the money. This honest client soon became a relative and I still remind him of this incident.”

The family’s diamond business prospered. Since establishing Rosy Blue NV as the first overseas office of B Arunkumar, now Rosy Blue, India, Mehta expanded the family’s presence to other countries. Following the high inflationary years of the 1970s, old established companies in Israel and Antwerp went out of business. Mehta used this opportunity to build the business internationally. “We were the first, so-called Indian company, to venture into manufacturing outside of India,” he says. Since then, there has been no turning back. Today Rosy Blue has sales, manufacturing and financing offices in 15 countries across four continents.

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