Interview with Hemal Patel
Everyone fears failure and tough time. You will find many people who just talk about good times, there are very few courageous people who don’t mind to share about their tough times. Tough times make you strong. It is always inspiring to find someone who talks out of experience. Today we are talking to one such member from our Mumbai Diamond Market, Hemalbhai Patel.
Hemalbhai, please tell us about your Career journey inside Diamond Industry?
15 years back I started learning about Diamonds and all the important statistics which make it valuable. I started with my uncle who owns a business with name H. Hiralal & Co.
With time, slowly and steadily, I kept growing in to my role. I worked there for 12 years. I learnt all important aspects of our industry – right from assortment to sales and everything that we do in market on regular basis.
Later for a year I worked with Bangkong based company. I was taking care of purchase activities for this company from India. I also moved to Hongkong, stayed for 6 months, did Sales related work.
Presently I run my Diamond Trading business and I have named my company Mit Diam.
Tell us about your experience during 2008 slowdown?
Around that time I stopped working for my Uncle’s company and realised that times were challenging. Came across lot of people who left industry and returned to their hometown in Gujarat. I had to move my family to hometown for almost a year, personally I was away from market activities for 6 months.
It felt like starting career once again from scratch. After sometime I called my family back to Mumbai. With time things changed and business did well. Now I would say, I am in pretty good shape, bought a house in Mumbai.
After all this roller-coaster-ride, all I can say is “Gabar Singh Kehker gaya – Jo Dar Gaya Wo Mar Gaya”
Courage is the key – if you want to succeed in life.
Who are your Mentors in Diamond Industry?
I definitely consider my uncle, Himatlal Hiralal Patel, as my Mentor. I take lot of inspiration in work and life, from him. Someday I would like to be like him.
If not diamond industry, which other field or profession you would have got in to?
I have never thought of any other profession as my family business was in color stone. Diamond Industry was pretty clear option in front of me, even before I completed my studies. I started work in diamond market at the age of 17.
What changes have you seen in diamond market in last 10 years?
Lot of things have changed – Payments terms have changed, and of course have made business transactions better. Previously it was common practise for sellers to provide 60 to 90 days due for payment, now-days 15 days is more widely used. In short people are able to role their money much faster and market is much more healthier to do business.
What changes do you for-see in coming years in diamond market?
I would say in coming years many small traders and middle service providers or agents will face more challenges in growing their business. Big Diamond manufacturing companies are using means to directly get in touch with consumer or to buyer. Eventually they will take over pretty much whole chunk of business – rite from manufacturing to selling to end user.
In coming years – traders who have good supply of diamonds will continue to stay in market.
Can you share any toughest decision you have took in your life?
Toughest decision was to quit my job in 2008 slowdown, that was some tough time I went through. But after a while I feel things happened for good.
If all diamond company is listed at stock market which company would you like to invest?
Sorry no stock market because I don’t trade in stocks. So no idea.
What is your favorite thing to do in free time?
Playing with my kid & surfing on internet.
What do you think on shifting of diamond market to bharat diamond bourse?
I would say yes it will shift to BKC (Bandra Kurla Complex)and its a good thing, as working environment will be more organised. However it looks like most of the firm will have to continue to keep their sales and buying of the diamonds here at opera house. As accounts, assortment and other staff may shift to BKC, but buying and sale’s will be done at opera house. This is what hear and feel inside our market.
I feel sorry when I think about people who live beyond Borivali. Imagine getting in to train to Virar from Bandra.
What advice would you like to give diamondbhai.com readers?
I would like to say don’t loose courage, keep working hard and you will succeed.