- Meet the cool boss from Surat who has gifted 400 flats and 1,260 cars to his employees as Diwali bonus
Savji Dhanji Dholakia, born 12 April 1962, is the founder and chairman of Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd., a Diamond manufacturing and exporting company with manufacturing units at Surat in Gujarat. His company currently exports finished diamonds to more than 50 countries directly from Mumbai.
Savji Dholakia has gifted 400 flats and 1,260 cars to his employees ahead of this Diwali as a reward for meeting company targets. Dholakia's company, Hare Krishna Exports, has spent Rs 51 crore on Diwali bonuses this year (2016). Dholaka named 1,716 employees as best performers.
The bonuses have been an annual ritual at Hare Krishna Exports since 2011. Last year, Dholakia's company gifted 491 cars and 200 flats to its employees. The year before that, it spent Rs 50 crore on performance incentives.
Now, as the company he founded with three brothers celebrates 25 years in business, he's even keener to let his staff know how much they're appreciated. "We have exports worth $700 million across more than 70 countries, but nothing is more valuable than our employees," Dholakia says.
Dholakia says, "Our aim is that each employee must have his own home and car in the next five years. So we have decided to gift cars, homes and jewellery to employees." He added that the rewards are to recognise the outstanding performance and dedication shown by employees in the last five years. "We don't treat diamond polishers as employees but as family members," he told a newspaper.
The 400 flats, of 1,100 square feet, will come from his company's own housing scheme. The flats are priced at Rs 15 lakh and his employees will be paying a monthly installment of Rs 11,000 after five years.
Savji Dholakia was raised in a farming family in Dudhala village, Amreli district, Gujarat. Dholakia dropped out of school at 13 and started working at his uncle's diamond business in Surat.
Savji Dholakia joined his paternal uncle who was already engaged in the diamond trade in Surat. Dholakia established and grew his diamond business using a loan from his uncle. His brothers, Himmat and Tulsi, joined him in Surat and they started their own diamond business in 1984.
After 10 years of rigorous diamond polishing work Savji Dholakia formed Hari Krishna Exports in 1992. The sales then were meager. The total strength of the workers and employees is more than 6,000.
Savji Dholakia's diamond company is among the top 5 in the industry. The company has achieved many prestigious awards over the years for their outstanding performance. For instance Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. has been recipient of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council awards for the past 12 consecutive years from 2003–2014.
His considerable wealth wasn't earned overnight, and he has sought to impart that wisdom to his son Dravya. Mr Dholakia's 21-year-old son, studying business management in the US, has now laid claim to his own share of headlines. In service to a family tradition, Dhravya was dispatched for a month to Kerala with three sets of clothes and a modest portion of cash for emergency use only to find employment and lodging in a city he had never visited.
"I gave him three conditions: I told my son that he needs to work to earn his money and he couldn't work at a place for more than a week; that he can't use his father's identity nor use the mobile phone nor Rs 7,000 taken from home for a month. I wanted him to understand life and how the poor struggle to get a job and money. No university can teach you these life skills except experience," he said.
His employees also seem to know how involved Dholakia is. According to an employee who has been with the company since 2005, Dholakia goes out of his way to ensure that the people working for him remain motivated and enthusiastic about the job they are doing throughout the year.
His ways have earned him laurels from the industry. The Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council has rated his as a three-star export house. The Surat Diamond Association has also lauded Dholakia's novel ways of keeping his employees' spirits high.
-- Compiled by subbu