Diamond tycoon Govind Dholakia has come out with a tongue-in-cheek account of his journey of life, recalling how he created a billion-dollar company and providing nuggets of information including how he arranged Rs 920 for the first trade of his life.
The autobiography Diamonds Are Forever, So Are Morals, as told to author Arun Tiwari and Dholakia's aide Kamlesh Yagnik, is published by Penguin Enterprise.
Dholakia, founder and chairman of diamond manufacturing and exporting company Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt.Ltd., strongly believes that high morals and values helped him largely in making the right decisions in life. His book also tells how he has an inclination towards spiritual wellbeing. His memoir can also be described as a fine balance between his spiritual self and his karma.
It was on the last Sunday of January 1970 after he went to a crystal ball reading shop that Dholakia decided to start his own business – dealing with rough diamonds and polishing them. Recalling his first trade, he says, " We landed at the office of Babubhai Rikhavchand Doshi and Bhanubhai Chandubhai Shah. They quoted Rs 91 as the price of one carat, but a minimum purchase of ten carats had to be made. That meant Rs 910 and a brokerage of Rs 10 had to be added."
Dholakia only had Rs 500 and was told to give the remaining amount after reaching home. "The problem was that there was no money at home. Whatever I had with me was in my pocket. However, I did not want to miss the opportunity. Hence, I promptly made the payment of Rs 500," Dholakia recalls.
To make the remaining payment of Rs 420, he went to his friend Virjibhai's house. Virjibhai promptly called his wife and asked her to give Dholakia Rs 200 that she had for the household expenses. Then Virjibhai went to his neighbour and took Rs 200 on credit. He then added Rs 20 that he had in his wallet and gave them to a much-relieved Dholakia.
Dholakia then went and paid the rest Rs 420 and made the first trade in his life. "We sold the polished diamonds to Babubhai at 10 per cent profit after about a week. They were very happy with our work and started giving us as many roughs as we wanted," he says.
Dholakia considered diamonds as God. "I realised that harnessing a diamond's true potential was not only an art, but it was also a very precise and exact science. The skills needed to be a proficient diamond cutter and polisher would take years of training to acquire but the science part remained an enigma to most of the workers," he says.