Three renowned retail jewellers take time off their busy schedule and talk about that one businessperson they admire, and also elaborate on the ‘why’ of it all in a conversation with Suneeta Kaul
It’s not every day that you get retail jewellers to talk about anything other than their own business. But this is one of those days – a day when three retailers expound on why they admire a particular businessperson.
Dr Pratap Madhukar Kamath, Abaran Timeless Jewellery, Bangalore
I admire several businesspersons, both in India and globally. But the one I admire the most is the one I know most intimately – my father, Madhukar Kamath.
My father has always been a man of principles. He is hardworking, and has never shirked his duty. He was determined to build an enterprise on a sound, ethical basis, and his focus was unmatched. He has always worked towards making the business successful, but without offending anyone, or stepping on anybody’s toes.
In fact, he has been remarkably good at building relationships, be it with customers, his employees, or the vendors and other associates. His humility has always touched people, and his enthusiasm and energy have evoked admiration not just from me, but everyone around him. He has also been a great motivator, encouraging us to work hard, and be humane in our approach to those we work with.
He would always tell us that you and your own family are not all you have to care about – you should also take care of your workers, your colleagues, your vendors. He never cut corners when it came to paying those who work for him. Always a good pay master, his philosophy has been that if your colleagues, your employees are happy with you, they will put in their best for you.
Another thing he has taught me is not to buckle under pressure. If something bad happens, it is not the end of the world. Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way, and you will be alright. His insistence on delighting customers, making them feel good, feel happy have stood us in good stead. Yes, I really admire my father.
Shlok Ranka, Ranka Jewellers, Pune
The businessperson I admire the most is Radhakishan Damani, the very well-known billionaire investor, business magnate, and the founder of DMart. I admire him because he follows his gut and trusts his intuition. He is the greatest speculator and investor of our country. He has this amazing skillset of being patient, which is a trait I try to imbibe in my life. He is full of wisdom, his business sense is unparalleled, and most of all, he has humility. He has come from humble origins, and has made it so big in life!
Shreyansh Kapoor, Kashi Jewellers, Kanpur
I have no hesitation in saying that the businessperson I admire the most, the one I look up to the most is my father, Rajendra Kapoor, aka, Rajan Kapoor. A hard-working, focused man, he was actually not planning to be in the jewellery business, but the circumstances were such that he had to take over the reins of the company.
Kashi Jewellers was set up by my late grandfather, Keshav Nath Kapoor. My father joined the business early in his life due to the untimely demise of my grandfather. He actually left his studies in Canada to return to India and take over the business. My grandfather had not left a will behind him, and because of this, my father faced a lot of difficulty, with my uncles claiming much of the business.
My father started from scratch. He is a born planner and organizer, and he put these skills to good use. He started very methodically, and put in long hours of work. As a kid, I have seen him work six days a week, and then go to nearby cities on Sundays to buy stock. He was the first to start jewellery exports in 1979.
In spite of his busy schedule, he has always taken time out for his family. In fact, he took care of everyone. He has always been in the front-seat, never shying away from hard work and long hours. I greatly admire him for all that he has done, all that he has achieved, and the business he has created.