Er. Deepak Jain- Working Across The Continents
Education is a lifelong pursuit, an adventure that never ends, and a beauty that never dies. It’s the most alluring tool that has the ability to shape one’s personality and it’s wonderful to see how beautifully it makes one rational and sane. But cramming all day and night doesn’t mean you’re sane, nor does sanity come from the repetition of information, it comes with what scholars often term as ‘Practical implication’ and understanding becomes exciting when you learn through traveling and exploring. It’s not about the textbook, it’s not about the test, it’s about the experience you gain when you struggle through different circumstances and learn to adapt, absorb and deal with the surroundings.
Greeting readers, Team MBM stories fetch you back today to witness a man of similar ideology, a man who believes traveling is the best teacher to us humans and exploring is the best way to learn. 1987 batch alumni, Er. Deepak Jain concedes that as magically as a sunrise holds the promise of possibility and inspires us to move, learn and create, a sunset also teaches us to deal with the ups and downs of our lives, and thus we have the essence of life in nature and we learn to live by its rhythm and rhythm of life. From Mechanical Engineering to MBA to working in international marketing and then starting first overseas marketing office for Jindal Stainless, Er. Deepak Jain travelled across 50 countries, exploring and adapting different lifestyles, working cultures, and challenges. Working in a country about which he hardly knew anything, he accepted every such challenge and succeeded in his endeavour. His story is his way of sharing his journey with you. It’s a journey through many countries and has left him with an interesting story of sorts which we hope you will find interesting too. His thoughts and opinions are sincere and it’s a story about him and his journey.
Childhood & Schooling :
In those days, most of school students had two options to choose from, either go into Medical or else Engineering. Er. Deepak Jain, chose the latter and ended up at MBM ( His was the First batch of PET in 1983) which were one of the most memorable periods of his Life with so much to learn about Life and how to face challenges. The best part of this was that this all happened unknowingly at that time but he can realize its value now.
His aim during Engineering was to finish with 1st Division at min. 60% and anything above would be a bonus. He ended up with a high sixties’ percentage which made him highly satisfied at that time. Another very important self-realization dawned upon him during industrial training after 2nd year at Premier Automobiles, Bombay (Fiat Car Co.). While moving from shop floor to shop floor, he realized that he was not cut-out for this working life as a pure engineer. He didn’t know whether he was right or wrong but this was the thinking at that time. It even spurred him to think what then he should do.
While he was at MBM he got selected for Air Force and also for Navy, during campus interviews. He was extremely keen to join the armed forces but as fate would be, a different life was waiting for him.
Er. Jain got a vague idea that doing an MBA would be the right thing to do straight after engineering. Thought it was the best thing for him to do at that time. So, he ended up at RA Podar Institute, Jaipur for full time MBA course after passing out from MBM. Again, his aim was to pass out with a good 1st Division and he was also successful in achieving this. This combination of Mechanical Engineering and MBA was considered a Golden combination in those times (late 1980’s and later).
Criss-Crossing the Globe as a Marketing Professional :
“World Citizen”, that’s how he would like to describe himself. After being armed with an MBA along with Mechanical Engineering Degree, he started his working career after finishing MBA with an Engineering Products/Project company doing International Business/Trading. Thereafter, he also changed a few companies with basic work profile remaining same with International Business being the common domain.
International Marketing/Business Development has been his forte for most part of his working career with Procurement (Industrial Machinery/Goods) adding another dimension to his profile. In the initial phase of his career which was based at Delhi but needed to travel abroad for work. Till date, he has not worked in Indian domestic market though he worked for Indian companies. The Companies or Groups in which he worked for are Cimmco International, ISGEC, and Flex Industries.
By the age of 36, on behalf of these companies, he got repeated opportunities to travel all around the world to about 50 countries, across continents. This was truly a fantastic and great learning experience. He travelled to remote corners in Africa/South America/Asia, all by himself. Those were the times when there was no laptop or mobile phone available. He honestly feels that time spent at MBM taught him to be adventurous and he never felt afraid to travel alone anywhere.
Selling “Made in India” Products to China:
In late 2001, Er. Jain got an opportunity to start first overseas Marketing Office for Jindal Stainless (OP Jindal Group). The location was based at Guangzhou, in China where even he had not traveled before. But it took him hardly a minute to accept this challenging assignment in an unventured and unknown territory where language, work culture, food and all other aspects of Life were unknown to him. But now he can proudly say that this was one of the most satisfying periods of his working career as challenges were huge but that pushed him to do better and achieving great results.
Imagine landing in a country where even though he was an Engineer and an MBA, at times it felt like he was “uneducated” as he could not read, write, speak, or understand the language and the culture. Under these circumstances, he got tremendous results for the company. The best part was that he was ” Selling” stainless steel to the Chinese, and not ” Buying” from them. He can proudly claim to have successfully sold ” Made in India” products to China, year after year , in large numbers and value.
He continued this stint with Jindal Stainless until late 2008 when due to change in market dynamics and imports (stainless steel materials) from India were not viable anymore. Then he was asked to shift to another country in SE Asia. However, he took up yet another challenge and left the well-paying job to be on his own. For the next 4 years, Er. Jain took up international “Consultancy” assignments with small or medium sized Chinese manufacturers who had good products but they did not have any idea as to how to do international business. This continued for 4 years, from 2009 to 2012. All this time, he continued to be based in China, with his family. The results were once again very rewarding.
Then around end of 2012, looking at his skills, a large industrial Group (African Industries) based in West Africa wanted him to join them to look after their interests in China. This time, the challenge was to source Machinery, Equipment, and Raw Materials for the Group’s 20 odd factories and dealing on one-to-one basis with each one of them. He established the office for this Group at Shanghai in beginning of 2013. This assignment has been yet another challenge as now instead of Marketing or Business Development activities, he was responsible for Procurement activity. He feels satisfied to say that he has been able to handle the assignment successfully and continuing till now. He has now completed almost 20 years of working life in China. The challenge to work here has not reduced a bit with business environment changing much faster than before. As for him, each day is a new learning opportunity.
Loving Family :
His wife, Chitra is a Primary Teacher and a wonderful home maker. She has been working with International Schools, mainly IB Curriculum, in China for long time now. He had come to China 20 years back with his wife and two kids, a son aged 7 and a daughter 3 years. His son and daughter both have done their schooling from an International School in China. After finishing high school his son, Apoorv, went to UK in 2012 to pursue Chemical Engineering from University of Manchester (UK). He is presently pursuing PhD at Cambridge University, UK. He should complete this soon. He is also an avid Football fan and plays for his college also.
His daughter, Mrinaalini, has just finished her Graduation at University of California, Berkeley (US), where she went after finishing her high school. Her field is Toxicology & Microbial Biology. She intends to pursue Post-Graduate Course in Forensics. She is also a Football player like her brother and also represented school in various tournaments. Lately she is playing Rugby in her University.
Man of varied interests and Hobbies:
For Er. Jain, traveling remains a top hobby. Traveling for work or for leisure, both keep him motivated and passionate towards Life. He feels there is no great teacher than Travel. Besides there are many other interests like socializing, watching movies, spending time with friends, etc.
While he was at MBM, he used to play Tennis regularly. Swimming was another sport that he loved. Cricket remains his favourite sport to follow. Due to the interest of his kids, he has been also following football now. He is a strong believer in contributing for the betterment of the Society which has given us a lot to enjoy and cherish. He believes that the contribution can be in any form and can be direct or indirect. He tries to do in whatever manner and extent it is possible that keeps him humble and grounded.
While living in China, he has been an active member of Association of Indians living here. He is connected with them and celebrating various occasions and festivals which are some of the activities that give a lot of happiness. For couple of years, he was heading the Association of Indians at Guangzhou.
Love MBM .. Love Jodhpur.. Always in his heart:
Er. Jain, has always been proud of having studied at MBM and will remain so forever. It was such a nice feeling when he took his family (wife & kids) to Jodhpur couple of years back to show them the college premises and also the hostel compound even though it was a bit sad to see the deteriorating facilities everywhere. He told his kids that facilities may not be so good, but what he learnt there was priceless. His life at Jodhpur is full of many great memories that he can go on and on. Going around the city on an often-broken bicycle was a great experience. Another sweet memories are of enjoying swimming at Kailana; Mandore; Fort; Nai Sarak; Chai at Railway Station and Malai ka Doodh, All the Movie Halls, Mishri Lal ki Rabri; Makhaniya Lassi at Shastri Circle; and many more, with friends as nothing was beyond the reach of their bicycles. Getting to eat a satisfying food, at Hostel Mess (often mouse infested) with one’s own “ghee ka dibba” or outside, was the most important activity of the day, bigger than even going to college for Classes and Sessional. He cannot forget “Special Diet” on Saturday afternoon. He was perhaps among the very view who never lost weight while eating outside food. He simply used to enjoy every bite of it. “It was such a wonderful time, sitting at Hostel Canteen having mid-night chai and at several other thadis/cafes in Ratanada area. For us movies were the top and perhaps the only source of entertainment. I was part of a small group of like-minded friends who popularized watching the movie while sitting in “Royal Class”. Just to clarify, it was the 1st row at the Hall where one had to stretch one’s neck to the maximum to get 35/70mm view”, Er. Jain recalls vividly. He also remembered watching movies in Nasrani, Kalptaru, Kohinoor, Minerva, Anand, Olympic and of course Charbhuja which was the oldest and senior-most of all. Er. Jain was also part of that “Elite” Team who organized Premier of “Loha”, a masala Hindi movie at Kalptaru. A first event of its kind to be held at Jodhpur, it was tremendous experience whether to collect money from sponsors, or while getting “almost” thrown out of college for not following correct protocol.
No one can forget the sight in the morning when we reached the college Gate just to find that today is “Strike” for don’t know what reason. This was always a happy time as it meant going to Kailana or to some movie. “I clearly recall the big “Strike” of all Engineering colleges in Rajasthan when we travelled without ticket from Jodhpur to Jaipur, including doing dare devilry by traveling on the roof of Agra Fort Express with some other like-minded idiots. I would not like to endorse this activity now” Er Jain says with caution.
Another memorable achievement for Er. Jain, was that he represented MBM at Cultural Festivals at BITS Pilani (Rendevous’85) and Roorkee University (Thomso’86) which was a great experience.
“And then how can one forget the “Industrial Tour” from Jodhpur to Delhi & back on meter-gauge train and then on a broad-gauge bogie; “Circular Route” from Delhi to Nagpur-Bangalore-Mysore-Hyderabad-Madras-Kodaikanal-Kanya Kumari-Bombay & few other places. It was 21 days of great learning”, Says Er. Jain, He was in the managing committee for this tour for his Batch and kept accounts for “common” expenses made during the Tour.
Message to young Minds:
His message to the youth is that always be proud of wherever you are, never feel ashamed of it. Also don’t compare yourself with anyone or with any place. Ultimately, what you do with whatever you have learnt and experienced, is what shall matter. We have so many shining examples of our Alumni who have excelled in their careers and Life. I am definitely proud to be an MBM-ite. Be open to any new idea, place or environment, who knows where you will enjoy the most.
His belief – “I have never been a “Planner” in my life. Just moved ahead as Life took me and can say that I have no regrets whatsoever.”
The professional journey of Er. Deepak Jain will certainly inspire youngsters and students in building their career. We wish Er. Jain a happy, healthy and blissful life.
About Author :
Er. Jaini Jain is from 2nd year ,pursuing B tech in information technology from MBM engineering college Jodhpur. Her interests include learning new technologies and content writing. She is dedicated towards her goals and looking forward for more opportunities.