03 January 2019

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Glitter Galore

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Vini Mehta, or  Mrs.  Vini Parikh, as she is known now, is an old student of  MOP Vaishnav college in Chennai.  A very creative lady,  her heart was set on designing  diamond jewellery.  She decided to pursue her passion and immediately after graduation, enrolled for a post graduate  diploma in jewellery manufacturing  and appraisal.(PDJMA) at Indian Diamond Institute , Surat.

 While at Surat, evenings were devoted to interning at a diamond factory which really helped her to get  practical training in diamond jewellery manufacture. . After her studies, she was flooded with  job offers from  prime jewelers in Mumbai , but her mother wanted her  to return to Chennai. Her mother was insistant that Vinni should not  be taking up a job  but should  get into entrepreneurship.  Her mother was the main  motivating factor  behind  Vinni taking up   entrepreneurship.

  Right from college days in MOP, Vinni  had been actively  involved in the  EDP Cell.( entrepreneurial development cell) of the college.  She recalled nostalgically  her college days,where, for the  annual MOP bazaar,  she had set up shop for herself  selling candles. She had personally designed,  manufactured , bought the raw materials needed, advertised,  and done extremely well  at it, learning through practical experience  the rudiments and essential s of going into business on her own.  This experience has stood her in good stead in  setting up her own diamond jewellery  workshop in George town , Chennai.

‘ I owe it to my college  and Ms Rosi Fernandes  , Head of the EDP cell, for instilling in me the passion for going into business on my own.-“ says Vinni.  She started  propagating to family and friends  and her college too supported her in a big way. ‘ I had walked into college one day to meet Dr Nirmala Prasad, our Principal and she was so happy  to know that I had become an entrepreneur and opened my own diamond jewellery workshop, and as a gesture of appreciation and encouragement, placed an order with me’- beams Vinni proudly. Dr Nirmala  Prasad had conceptualized  the EDP cell for MOP.

‘ I  design  and manufacture  customized diamond  jewellery that suits my clients’s individual tastes , preferences and budget. I take into account  all these factors  before I design  them.  I want my clients to have value and  satisfaction for the  money they invest  and the trust they repose in me. ‘.

Its been three years since she  set up her own  shop in her own name at Chennai.  She has handpicked  four extremely  talented goldsmiths  who have been personally trained by her.  The goldsmiths and Vinni have  to perfect in perfect co-ordination,..’ Visualisation is most  important.  Both of us, goldsmiths and me, need to be able to visualize the design I have in mind. ‘ – explains Vinni.

 After her marriage, Vinni has shifted to Hyderabad.  But she still runs her workshop at Chennai and travels constantly to carry out orders. Her in-laws  are highly supportive of her , especially her father in law. Vinni  has already done the groundwork for starting another workshop at Hyderabad and is on the search for a good team of   talented and trustworthy  goldsmiths to work for her. ‘ Workmanship of jewellery differs from state to state.  Tastes and preferences of people too differ.  I plan to  promote Hyderabadi  choices and preferences  in Chennai and vice versa, mix local tastes,  and design them in all exclusivity.

 Vinni  personally travels down to Surat  and Mumbai to  buy diamonds and each stone is personally handpicked. ‘ I do not advertise.  The  quality of my diamonds  speaks volumes for itself.  I hold myself personally responsible  for selection, designing, manufacturing  and everything involved  in the whole process.’ That is true commitment for you!

 The first step  in the whole process is, choosing the right  diamonds of good quality , colour and clarity.  Southern states like  Bangalore and Chennai  have the best quality diamonds . In India,  all the diamonds which have inclusions are  exported  and only the best are retained here. It’s a common superstition among people that , if diamonds are not chosen carefully it can harbour a spate of bad luck. T o this, Vinni has a positive affirmation – “ Anything bought with a positive thought  will never give a negative impact’.  

 The second step involves creating a customer profile-  ascertain what suits them best,   find out their personal preferences,  look into their budget,.  Then the piece is designed.  Initially all the intricate patterns of the jewel  are made. Since Vinni is solely  into handmade jewellery ,  her makers( workers)  complete the intricate patterns and each piece is joined and set.  These pieces are called khadka. , in technical parlance.  Next the setter  comes in and the diamonds are set into the patterned jewel. Finally , polishing is done  and for these , polishers come in to do the task.

 ‘ Since I do not have a show room  and maintain only a workshop,  I am able to cut down on overhead charges.  Thus my customers too benefit  since I am able to sell my  jewellery at cheaper rates. ‘.
 Vinni provides  international certificates  of quality for  the bigger pieces of  diamond jewellery sold by her.  She has exclusive  plans of  expanding her business  to the whole of south India./.  He r best seasons are the festival and wedding seasons.   As  we take leave, we wish Vinni,  years of happiness and sparkling success. 


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