There are some stories which are so glittery that it seems they are made of dreams. In a country where often engineers and doctors are seen jobless, can you imagine a STD 4 dropout man becoming a billionaire? Well, a Gujarat man has done it overcoming every odd and is now an inspiration for the whole generation. His company today does an export of Rs 6,000 crore annually and probably has India’s happiest employees who are given flats, cars and jewelry as loyalty bonus.
The story of Savji Dholakia began many years ago in Amreli district of Gujarat. He was unfortunate to be born in a farmers’ family in a region which was severely drought-prone. His father would struggle to provide even a below-average lifestyle to his children and it often broke Savji’s heart. Despite living in such acute scarcity he dreamt of a day when he will afford everything he wants.
Days passed by but the situation at home remained grim. It is very common for a farmers in Gujarat to be poor as the climatic condition do not support a prosperous yield. Savji was only 13 when he decided that things cannot be same anymore and told his father he wanted to quit his school. His father was furious listening to his son’s ideas and rebuked him. But Savji was adamant to create a better lifestyle for himself and his family. He dropped out from STD 4 and joined his paternal uncle (chacha) in Surat who worked in a diamond center.
After much persuasion his parents let him go to Surat where he joined the business as a polishing worker which is the lowest level in the industry. He earned a meager salary which was enough to pay for his food and lodging but the knowledge of running a business that he gained was enormous. Savji was a keen learner who had all the intentions to start his own venture at the right time.
In 1984, he along with two of his brothers started their own diamond polishing business. Initially, they received very few orders as there were several experienced players in the market. They worked very hard to survive in the market and this led Savji to start his own company in 1992 and since then there is no looking back.
Year after year Savji’s company rose up the ladder and shared churning out bigger profit share. He often struggled in finding and keeping the skilled employees and learnt to appreciate loyalty and talent very early in his career. This led him to making news in 2014 when he distributed flats, cars and jewelry worth over Rs 50 crore among 1,200 chosen employees.
Savji believes that it is your team that helps you achieve bigger goals and therefore they have equal share in the profits. The company currently exports finished diamonds to more than 50 countries directly from Mumbai. To keep his workforce happy, he checks the company’s suggestion box every day to ensure that employee grievances are addressed.
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