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A Celebrated Stalwart
Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Shree Ramkrishna Exports
By: Diamond World News Service
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Apr 24 2014 11:38AM
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Reference: 9057  

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A visionary, an inspiration, a religious man and an avid reader, GovindbhaiDholakia, Chairman, Shree Ramkrishna Exports (SRK) is a person par excellence. With no academic background or forefathers in the diamond business, he solitarilyfounded the giant brand—Shree Ramkrishna Exports. On April 8th 2014, SRK celebrated its golden jubilee and feted the journey of its founder and chairman, GovindbhaiDholakia. Priyanka Desai was presented with a chance to be a part of the astounding celebration and bring you a report.

A Peak Into Govindbhai’s Journey
GovindbhaiDholakia, the chairman of Shree Ramkrishna Exports (SRK), is a natural-born adviser and an obstinately resolutego-getter. Little wonder then, that he cuts such an adequate leadership figure as accurately cut as the diamonds produced at SRK. There are leaders who talk, leaders who explain, and then there are those that inspire. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out which type stands apart. In Govindbhai’s book, the most significantcharacteristic a leader can have is the ability to be a learner forever and never let fake pride cloud your judgment. This can be vouched for by a small but noteworthy quote that finds place in this honcho’s office, ‘I am nothing but I can do anything.’

The chairman of SRK is a natural-born mentor;in his headshipthe prominence is on deeds more than words, on quiet resolve and stellar achievement rather than arrogancesand manufactured mythology. The integrities are timeworn and tested and so are some of Govindbhai’s philosophies as he puts in immaculate Gujarati “Chalse (will do), Phavse (I can), Gamse (I like) ne (and) Bhavse (I adore) are the most important four words in my life which make me what I am today. As the words suggest, there is no space for negativity in my life.”

Govindbhai Dholakia was born on November 7, 1947 when India had just regained its freedom. Born in the free India but in a remote village of Dudhala in Gujarat, Govindbhai’s family was employed in agriculture. The times were not so well for the Dholakia family and young Govindbhai knew at the tender age that he had to do something else, something bigger but little did he know that his childhood dream would make him one of the biggest diamond industrialists of modern India. Govindbhai was just in the seventh grade when he left his education in Dudhala and followed his eldest brother Late Bhimjibhai to Surat. Following his footsteps, Govindbhai started working as a diamond-polishing worker in the year of 1964. After almost a year of training he earned his first big salary of Rs 103. “The amount of Rs 103 was an extremely big for me at that time. After I received such a huge amount, my faith in the diamond market grew and since many years now I consider Diamond as my ‘God’.”

The entrepreneur in young Govindbhai was awakened as he spent hours with diamonds and just four years later of working as a diamond polishing worker, he took the risk and started with his own diamond factory in partnership with his friends Bhagwanbhai Patel and VirjibhaiGodhani on March 12, 1970. After learning the tricks and ethics of running a diamond business, his first import export operation christened as Shree Ramkrishna Exports started in 1977. Today, Shree Ramkrishna Exports is a name to reckon with and has worldwide operations. What started, as a dream in form of small factory is now a reality and an inspiration to one and all in the gem and jewellery industry. “In every step of my life I always found a support and guidance to help me become what I am today. D Navinchandra’s Shantibhai and Navin Kaka were my biggest support and Navin Kaka was the one who took me on my first trip to Antwerp that opened new avenues for me.”

Bhagwanbhai Patel still shares a great bond with Govindbhai. He states, “I have known Govindbhai since more than four decades and I can safely say that he is the best friend that everyone needs in his life. He is a great man with most high values and philosophies. He is extremely selfless and has always worked for everyone’s betterment instead of his alone. Even after we separated our business, he has still helped us and been a support to us whenever we needed him.”

After 50 years of relentless hard work and doggedly acquired success one would expect Govindbhai Dholakia to be tired and on his way to retirement but the reality is exactly the opposite. He is still as jovial, hardworking and zealous to scale new heights as he was in 1964 when he moved to Surat with big dreams and two pairs of clothes. After the demise of his close friend and partner Virjibhai Godhani, Govindbhai started a school in his name. He has also started many more schools and colleges with world-class facilities. He has a medical centre where top doctors come for a weekly visit. Philanthropy and social work gives him internal happiness, he says.

A Report On The Stellar Event
The evening of April 8th 2014,proved to be one of the most memorable in the history of diamond city of Surat.The reason was the 50th anniversary of the landmark company in the diamond industry, Shree Ramkrishna Exports (SRK).The evening was an ode to the marvelous journey of its founder Govindbhai Dholakia. The event was held at the Surat Exhibition Centre in Sarsana. The turnout of the evening was in large number as more as 1500 guests made their presence felt and showered their wishes upon Govindbhai.

The evening took a legendary flight as musical maestros such as Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Pandit Bhavani Shankar, etc.mesmerised the audiences with their striking musical talent. The melodious journey spell bounded one and all.

The host of the event and renowned Bollywood actor Boman Irani was another highlight of the celebrations. After the musical performances, Boman Irani invited Shreyans Dholakia on the stage to share his thoughts about his father Govindbhai.Shreyans said, “The completion of 50 years of SRK is an extremely special occasion for us as this day marks the importance of zeal, passion, determination and hard work of one man who sowed the seed of this landmark company, my father Govindbhai Dholakia. He is the torchbearer of Indian entrepreneurship and an example of the new shining India. I hope to be just like him in my future years. I would like to thank everyone who have graced this occasion with his or her presence and made it even more special.”He then felicitated the honorary diplomats from 14 countries who ensured the presence to be a part of SRK’s success.

After Shreyans’ moving speech, Boman Irani called upon various industry stalwarts to share their thoughts about Govindbhai. First to grace the dais was Nirupa Bhatt, GIA, MD-India & Middle East. She expressed, “I am so glad to have the opportunity to speak about a man who I greatly admire since many years. I admire him because he claims to be just grade sixth pass but he is the only one from the diamond industry that has ever been invited to present lectures on leadership and entrepreneurship in class I universities of India. Govindbhai does not just work for the betterment of SRK but for the greater good.”

Sevantibhai Shah of Venus Jewels also shared his thoughts on Govindbhai. He articulated, “For Govindbhai, it is not about the product but it is about his belief and faith in his people, family and workforce; his vision and his determination and that is what makes him a success story. With these qualities he has got fame not only in Gujarat and India but also all over the world. He is loved by all and possesses a great friendship quality. He is the one that everyone goes to for advice and is highly respected. I have been friends with him for over three decades and I have always wondered how manages to create such miracles and successes but it is his devout philosophies that have helped him through.”

Next up was Sanjay Kothari, former chairman of GJEPC. He stated, “I would like to congratulate Govindbhai and his family members for this tremendous journey on behalf of the council. I am most impressed by his thoughts and philosophies that make him stand apart from everyone else in the industry. This is man who has the entire Bhagwad Gita at the tip of his tongue and starts every conversation with a shloka. Although he did not get too highly educated, he is the one who has presented lectures to the students of IIM Ahmedabad and ISRO. He has one of the greatest oration skills I have witnessed and can hold the audiences’ attention with his speech. Like a diamond has 4 Cs, I believe Govindbhai has 5 Cs— Consistency, Commitment, Cooperation, Confidence and Courteousness.”

Savjibhai Dholakia of Hari Krishna Exports also shared a few thoughts about his uncle, Govindbhai Dholakia. He said, “I remember my mother telling me to be just like Govindkaka. He was the visionary of our family and now he is regarded one of the most renowned visionaries of the country. He is the only man that has helped his extended family members so much. He is the one who gave me INR 1 lakh to start with Hari Krishna Exports. He is the one who made us believe in our potential. He is the one who became our reference when we were just starting out in the industry. We started our work in Antwerp with his reference, too. He believed in us before any one did. I do not have enough words to express my gratitude towards Govind kaka.”

After these speeches, the man of the moment, Govindbhai Dholakia took over the dais and expressed his thoughts, by sharing, “I am extremely grateful as all of you have spared precious time and honoured our invitation. I am here today only and only because of your support in the last fifty years. First of all, I would like to express my sense of gratitude towards my father Laljibhai and my mother Santokbaa. My mother has sown the seeds of faith in my heart. Only because of good deeds, my journey has become safe, sound and fruitful. Bhagwad Gita provided me the sound ground of thinking, acting and behaving with emotions. My most reverend Guruji Pujya Dongreji Maharaj has taught me the way of life and living. Ultimately, because of the limitless grace of ‘Diamond God’ the ‘villager boy Govind’ stands in front of you as Govindbhai Dholakia, Founder and Chairman, Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt. Ltd.”

He then launched the SRK Knowledge Foundation, which will concentrate on imparting knowledge about diamond technology, research, philosophies, humanity knowledge, scholarships for deserving children of the less fortunate strata, etc. Later, a delegation from IIM Ahmedabad presented a research report on Govindbhai to him as a surprise gift. One of the biggest surprises was the arrival of legendary poet and lyricist JavedAkhtar, who presented a poem on Govindbhai. Yet another surprise was the strikingly beautiful white Rolls Royce Phantom that his family gifted to Govindbhai. A biographical book based on Govindbhai’s life was also launched at the event.

With the many other attractions and the organisation and management of the event done in an exceptional and international way, the function will be regarded as one of the best in the industry for years to come.

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