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Mangatrai, a jewel in the crown of `City of Pearls .pdf

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Apr 15 2017: The Times of India (Hyderabad)

a jewel in the crown of `City of Pearls
From The Kings To Commoners, Everyone's Favourite Jeweller

When Prince Charles visited Hyderabad in the early 1990s so impressed was he by a
replica of the Charminar crafted from pearls that was presented to him by this citybased jeweller that on his return to London he sent a personal letter of appreciation.
Former Presidents Shankar Dayal Sharma, Gyani Zail Singh, ex-Prime Minister Atal
Bihari Vajpayee, cricketer Kapil Dev's wife Romi, ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali and an
unending string of stars from Bollywood and Tollywood have patronized the jewellery
retailed by Mangatrai Jewellers, which has been literally shining in this business since
“In fact, a few days ago Usha Uthup walked into our Punjagutta store and this is not the
first time she visited us. Once someone buys a piece of jewellery from us, they
generally return ... such is the quality and trust,” boasts Darpan Gupta, who belongs to
the fourth generation of the Gupta family and is a partner at Mangatrai Jewellers
Punjagutta Store (which is the flagship store as it handles operations too).
The first Mangatrai Pearls outlet was set up by Ram Kumar Gupta near Charminar in
1945. “Mangatrai was the name of my great grandfather and his son Ram Kumar (my
grandfather) set up the first shop. Mangatrai was a renowned trader of pearls during
the Nizam's era and was respected for his knowledge of pearls. I have heard from my
elders that in the early 1900s, other traders would wait for Mangatrai to initiate trade
by announcing the price,” adds Darpan. But how did Mangatrai, a Marwari, land in
Hyderabad? The story goes that Mangatrai's father travelled on foot from Haryana to
Hyderabad around 150 years ago undertaking an arduous journey that took nearly
three years. The then Hyderabad State being a prosperous one proved to be an ideal
place for the family to settle down. Today, Mangatrai Pearls has grown from a one
250sft store at Charminar to 10 outlets (three of which are in malls) in Hyderabad.
Apart from selling pearl jewellery, these out lets also retails precious stones as well as
gold, platinum and diamond jewellery. In fact, Mangatrai forayed into gold jewellery
only around two decades ago.

So what is the secret of this flourishing business? A modest Darpan bestows all the
credit on women. “ As long as women are there in this world, the jewellery business is
bound to flourish. Every woman loves to own at least one piece of jewellery. What we
need to ensure is that we offer them the choice and quality,“ he says. While many
jewellery shops have opened and downed shutters in the last seven decades, Darpan
feels it is the sound knowledge of the sector and dedication and commitment of the
family to the family business that has kept the business shining for years now. In fact,
Darpan, along with his six brothers, is now grooming the fifth generation to run the
show. Interestingly, though over the four generations it has been men who have been
`manning' the stores, with the fifth generation a `woman' Darpan's daughter Palkain
Gupta -is all set to break this tradition. Palkain, who is being trained in the area of
jewellery designing, is all set to join the business soon. Talking about the new kids on
the block, Darpan says they will have to constantly keep abreast of the new
technologies in the gems and jewellery space to stay ahead of the curve. “We learnt the
value of dedication and honesty towards work from elders. This holds true for our kids
too, but they will have to keep learning new technologies to remain relevant in this very
competitive sector,“ he says, adding that one thing that bothers him is that the new
generation lacks patience when it comes to observing and learning things. While
business has flourished, Mangatrai Pearls & Jewellery has refrained from setting up
stores outside Hyderabad as they have been particular about a family member
supervising each store. However, in the coming years, the brothers are keen to spread
their wings. “Each showroom is handled by one of our brothers. It is important for a
family member to supervise as each store stocks a lot of precious jewellery. We are
now planning to come up with stores in Vijayawada, Kolkata and New Delhi in the next
few years...We plan to bank on technology and computerising of the entire operations,“
he adds.
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