Ahmedabad: Every morning when one opens the newspaper, we get to read stories of firms shutting down due to debt, or businessmen escaping country after taking huge amount of loans. But a certain diamond trader from Surat sold 70 percent of his property to pay off his Rs500 crore loans to bank. But because media is busy covering the Nirav Modis and Mallayas of the country, no national or regional media took notice of good and honest businessmen like this one.
Manjibhai Dholakia, a fourth standard pass-out came to Surat in the year 1976 to look for work at the age of 13. He got a job in a diamond polishing unit. His hard work and honest approach led him to starting his own diamond polishing unit at a small scale after 7 years. He was just 20 years old then. Lack of academic education didn't stop him from growing and he opened his first diamond business named Bhavani Gems in 1988.
He was 25 when Bhavani Gems began its operations and in the first years it made a turnover of Rs28 crores. He started to trade not just with Mumbai but with foreign countries too and opened branches in Surat and Mumbai. He took loans from banks to develop his business and soon the turnover of his business crossed thousand crore rupees. It registered Rs1,200 crores in turnover. He'd pay off the bank loans regularly but news of firms going bankrupt and bank loans going bad started coming in and Manjibhai started getting worried that what if he couldn't pay off his loan given circumstances go bad.
Manjibhai was 60 when his firm was doing business worth Rs1200 crores. He felt he should pay off all his debts while he is alive and thus he directed his accounts department to get him information on all the loans he and his firm owe to the banks. The figure totalled to something around Rs500 crores to banks including the State Bank of India.
Upon realising how large this amount is as a loan, Manjibhai sold off properties in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Surat without giving a second thought and ensured that the banks are paid off. In total Manjibhai had sold off almost 70 percent of his assets to collect the money to be paid to the banks. Now Bhavani Gems' turned has come down to something around 700 crores, but Manjibhai is not worried as he says that he is at peace because his loans are now paid off and he doesn't owe any money.