Professional Journey of an Electrical Engineer to a Jewellery Manufacturer
“Life is a journey which you have to make and live in the best possible way.”
It has been fascinating journey of an Electrical Engineer who started has career as an Technical Assistant in Government owned Rajasthan State Electricity Board, left the prestigious job and plunged into unchartered path of entrepreneurship to start ” INTERINGS” a jewellery outlet in the United States of America and making it as one of the well-established and respected Indian Companies in the whole US retail jewellery Industry. It is the story of a person, who reached to the astonishing heights in his career just because of his grit, determination, discipline and perseverance.
In this edition of MBM Stories, we have compiled the inspiring and motivating life story of Er. Prakash Mehta. The path of achieving Engineering degree had been the most accomplished moment of his life as one of the interesting facts was associated with him. In the first year of Engineering he was the student of Civil branch, in the second year he was a student of Mining Engineering and in the third year he was an Electrical Student and finally completed degree in Electrical in the year 1969 to join RSEB as Assistant Engineer . Probably Er. Mehta was the only student who joined classes of 3 branches out of 4 branches which were available at that time.
Early Days :
Er. Prakash Mehta was born on 7 th May 1948 in Jodhpur. Though his family was originally from Palanpur, Gujarat but was raised in Rajasthan where is father worked in the irrigation department. Shri Bhogilal ji Mehta, his father was graduated in 1930 from Karachi and was honoured by the town on his return after graduation as he was the first Engineer from Palanpur. His Father was posted in Jodhpur where he was associated with the renovation of the Umaid Bhawan, Mahatma Gandhi Hospital and later posted for the construction of the Rajasthan canal too. ” My father was very intelligent and honest officer . His vision was always for the children to be well educated with high values in life and morals. Since he had a transferrable job and therefor I had to complete my schooling from various places like Kankroli, Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur.” Informs Er. Mehta.” Living in those cities gave me different perspectives about the life and lot of memories are still enriched in my mind. In the year 1958-1961, my father was posted in Kankroli and we used to live on the PAL of magnificent Rajsamand lake. I still recall the view of the lake which was right in front of our house”. Er. Mehta remembers the old days. His father was very fond of cricket, Photography and travel, which Er. Mehta inherited.
College Days :
Er. Prakash Mehta did his high schooling in 1963 and Pre-University in 1964 from Udaipur with First Division and was First rank holder in High School Class. During those two years, he was Captain of the Cricket Team as well. ” I had privilege of playing cricket with Shri Arvind Singh Mewad ( Maharana of Udaipur) during Pre University and got a chance to go to Ajmer in the train to play Inter College Tournament in the year 1964″ informs Er. Mehta.
Based on the percentage of Pre-University, he got admission in MBM Engineering College in the year 1964. During the first year of College, he attended the classes of Civil Department, later he shifted to Mining Branch because of higher grades. He even took practical training in Coal Mines near Parasia in MP with Er. P.C. Dhariwal, whose inspiring story has also been shared in MBM Stories. Er. P.C. Dhariwal’s brother Er. D.C. Dhariwal was his classmate and a very close friend. Er. Mehta was able to go to Electrical branch in the third year again because of better percentage. Er Mehta is having this unique distinction of studying three different branches of Engineering. He got first division in all the five years of Engineering. Besides being a scholar, he was also a member of the College Cricket Team for consecutive four years. In all those four years, his team was winners of Inter Faculty Tournaments. He was also a member of the University Cricket Team for the year 1968-69 and was awarded Faculty colour in Cricket during that match. He was Sports editor of Beacon Rays, the News Bulletin of College during those days.
First Job in RSEB :
After completing graduation Er. Mehta got selected as Assistant Engineer of Rajasthan State Electricity Board along with three other classmates in the first round. He got his officers Training for about six weeks. His first posting was as a Technical Assistant to Additional Chief Engineer ( O & M ) who later promoted as Chief Engineer shortly after his joining.
It was a very prestigious position for Er. Mehta as he got a chance to work directly under the highest ranking officer. The position of operational officer of the board allowed him to learn and know about the working of the whole state of the Rajasthan. ” I learned a lot working under the guidance of late Shri J.L. Bhatt ( The then Chief Engineer ). Shri Bhatt was known for his discipline and dedication in the department. It was my privilege to participate in many high level meetings with the Chief Minister , Power Minister and Chairman of the board along with Shri Bhatt Sb. In these meetings, I used to provide all the data pertaining to electrification of villages, no. of agricultural connections throughout the state of Rajasthan etc ” informs Er. Mehta.
In the year 1972 Er. Mehta was transferred to Jodhpur in City Division -II, where after being for 4-5 Months, he got transferred to Nathdwara ( Shri Nath ji ) which he considered the golden days of working with RSEB. Every Senior officer along with their families used to visit Shrinathji for Darshan and as an Office In Charge of RSEB, Er. Mehta had the privilege of taking their families for the Darshan for a number of times.
Played a Pivotal role in electrification of Udaipur & Nathdwara :
Er. Mehta played an important role in town development of Nathdwara. He still remembers getting the whole city rewired for better domestic and commercial services and supplying 11 KV electrical wire line inside the town to put a new transformer for a better uninterrupted supply of power to consumers. ” Working in Nathdwara was a memorable experience for me. Even after leaving Nathdwara 46 years back, I have direct communication with some of the staff members. I am fortunate to get daily live darshan of Shrinathji from one of the staff members.” informs Er. Mehta.
The most heart touching and overwhelming moment of his life was when he visited Shrinath ji in 2008 after 32 years of leaving Nathdwara.He spoke to his old colleague there and informed about his visit and then about 20 of them came to meet him near the substation installed by him during the period of 1972-1976. He worked for a couple of years in Udaipur, when the Maharana Bhopal Electric Supply company, the last privately run company in the state was taken over by RSEB as city division 3 rd. During this period again the 11 KV electric lines were taken inside the city for power supply improvement. During his posting in Udaipur Circle, One of the five circles of the state in 1972-1978, Er. Mehta was president of Udaipur Circle Rajasthan Takniki Karmchari Sangh which represented Assistant Engineers and Junior Engineers of the state and worked along with other executives of the Sangh for the benefit of its members with the board authorities.
Along with all these, his love and passion for Cricket remained the same until today. He was part of the RSEB Cricket team and also played and organized some matches during his posting at Nathdwara.
Electricity Board to Electrifying Jewellery :
Er. Mehta Left RSEB in 1978 to join his family for Diamond Business and after learning for a couple of years in Navsari (Gujarat) and Mumbai, he moved to New York USA in 1981 to begin a new journey of his business career. His elder brother in the USA was already in the loose Diamond Business for 9 years. His brother wanted him to go into the Jewellery Business that was new to him. He started to sell Diamond Earrings and Pendants to Independent Retailers in the USA.
To contact these retailers he used a book, Jewellers Board of Trade (JBT), which is called the bible of the industry and also known as Red Book which indeed is a directory of Retailers of America with their name and town name, state-wise in alphabetical order along with their phone number and financial rankings. The book is published by an Independent non-profit organization, which in his opinion is very unique. Though there is another organization called Dun and Bradstreet which is for all businesses.
At that time in 1981, there were about 30,000+ jewellers in this book with their details from which he started calling the better-rated ones state by state. There were no computers during those days so he used a legal pad to write the names of jewellers with whom he wanted to do business and make notes of his conversation and follow ups. It was a new way of selling Jewellery by Telemarketing which nobody did during those days along with the Indian accent where a lot of them had difficulty in understanding but he continued with his efforts. As we all know the key to everything is patience and persistence, slowly he was getting few of them to agree to see the samples of his basic earring and pendants that he bought from he produced. Also, there was a great concern in the jeweller’s mind to use Indian Cut Diamond, which they thought of poor quality and cut. But slowly some people bought and the process of building the business up was started. In the next 10 years of his business, Interings started to establish itself as a reputed jewellery co.in 52 states of the USA. He had no idea how many telephone calls he made during those years. Today, after 40+ years in business he has very good personal relations with all the jewellers besides business relations. He says very humbly that he knows so many Jewellers in the whole US Jewellery Industry, and his company “Interings” is a well-established and respected company in the industry. Amongst the Indian Community in the Jewellery Business, his company is the Pioneer in selling jewellery to retail jewellers in the USA and also, the first one to do this via Telemarketing.
“Interings” an Established Brand in USA
Today his company sells to customers all over the USA Islands and Canada which is made possible with the help of his wife Sarayu and elder son Bhavin. They both are involved in inventory, product development, and procuring goods from Hong Kong and Bangkok besides India. Interings is the first Indian company in the Jewellery Industry in the USA to be an approved vendor of all the prestigious buying groups Continental Buying Group (CBG), LJG, Retail Jewellers Organization (RJO), Independent Jewellers Organization (IJO), and South-eastern Jewellers Organization (SJO). Even today there are only a few Indian companies who belong to all these buying groups.
During his formative years he built an infrastructure for supplying Power to Rural Rajasthan and honed some of his core beliefs in connectivity and interconnectivity, a philosophy he carried to when Interings was formed.
Family details :
Er. Prakash Mehta was born in a joint family with five brothers and 3 sisters. His elder brother Pravin Mehta is a Dairy Engineer who worked to launch Nescafe Coffee, working in Nestles, Limca, and Parle. Today all 5 brothers are in the USA in the jewelry industry. His eldest sister is a doctor and others are postgraduates. Though the middle sister passed away a couple of years back.
Er. Prakash Mehta was happily married to his wife Sarayu in 1973 who also works in the Interings full time. He has two sons Bhavin who is associated full time in business 1995 and Gaurav who is Director in a Health Industry Co. based in Florida , daughters in laws Niyati and Jo Ann. We are blessed with granddaughter Divya and grandson Dhruv.
Life Beyond College :
Er. Prakash Mehta was a die-hard fan of cricket representing the school, college, and university teams. Also a recipient of faculty color in the Cricket team for the year 1968-69. He also loves listening to old Hindi and instrumental songs. He was keen on photography, traveling to historical places close to nature.
Some of his best memories of RSEB are his farewell from Shrinathji, His farewell from Udaipur, meeting 20 of his associates in 2008 after leaving Shrinathji in 1976, and gathering at one place to meet and share old memories. But the top on the list is with Late Sh. R. C. Dave, the chairman of the Board, even today people say there has been no officer like him. His acquaintance with Sh. R. C. Dave was not much while working in RSEB. During Shri R. C. Dave’s visit to the USA, Prakash Mehta met him again with his best friend Shri Ram Kripal Dusad. Shri R. C. Dave was such a simple person that he stayed with Prakash Mehta in his one-bedroom apartment and refused to opt for a hostel.
Later on, R. C. Dave came to the USA for his Cancer treatment and Surgery. Unfortunately, even after successful surgery and recovery for two days, he passed away. Er. Prakash Mehta flew to India with his sister, Bhanji and P. S. Ramesh who was with him during that time. They flew to Delhi and drove to Jaipur by road with so many RSEB officers who came to Delhi to pay respect to Late R.C. Dave. The honour he was given when they entered Jaipur was unforgettable, all the roads leading to his house on M. I. Road were closed. He was a legend to get such an honour.
Awards & Accolades :
Prakash Mehta has been associated with the Indian Diamond and Color Stone Association on the Elite Organization of Indian Community Jewellery Business in the USA for about 30 years. He also served on its Boards as President, Secretary, and Board member. Presently he is associated with its various Advisory Committees and serves as the Charter Member of Siddhachalam Jain Tirth in NJ USA, the only Tirth outside India.
He was also honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Retail Jewellers Organization (RJO) in 2013. Besides this, his company Interings has won the Vendor of the Year by Leading Jewellers Guild (LIG) in 2005, VIP vendor of the year by Independent Jewellers Organization (IJO) 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. Last year, he was honoured with the LEADER OF THE COMMUNITY award by the Indian Diamond and Colour stone Association (IDCA) on Diwali. He was the first Keynote Speaker for Jewellery Industry during the Launch of JAIN INTERNATIONAL TRADE ORGANISATION, USA (JITO) Professional & Industry Wings 2018.
Fond Memories of MBM Days:
Er. Prakash Mehta has very fond memories of Prof. Bansal,who was outstanding during his teaching, whom Er. Prakash Mehta had the privilege of meeting again after almost 50 years in 2015 and 2019 during their Golden Jubilee Celebration in Jodhpur. Dr.D.C Surana, Shri S.L.Surana, Dr. V.K Bhansali, Prof Tiwari, Prof Jagdish Chandra, and Late Prof Shamsher Singh Ji were also great teachers. He indeed was blessed to have their disciple. “The memories of their Picnic To Mandore during the Rainy Season on Bicycle, eating those Hot and Spicy Mirchi Bada, Kofta, and Kachori will never fade away. Also watching new released Movies on the first day and going to college Canteen from Practical Classes and every time got a chance to have Espresso Coffee along with Kofta/Mirchi Bada. Representing the University Cricket Team and Traveling to Udaipur by train is still a very fresh memory even today.” Informs Er Mehta.
He always visits his favourite place, Udaipur in Rajasthan during his visit to India. As he was posted in the City Division as Assistant Engineer in Udaipur. The icing on the cake is their college tour in the Final Year where they travelled almost all India from New Delhi to Kanyakumari. That tour by train for about 3-4weeks was home to them at night and during the day seeing different parts of our Country. They even created a Power Station named with the initials of our teachers on the tour so they can visit Ooty during that trip. Everybody has a group of best buddies and they were a group of Four Ram Kripal Dusad, Narian Das Joshi, Ram Gopal Badaya, and himself. Though today we have lost the first two of them.
Wisdom Words :
“Life is a journey which you have to make and live in the best possible way.” “My principle in life is to work hard with honesty and sincerity in whatever you do. As we all know there is a saying that what goes around comes around so I am a firm believer of that and somebody is sitting upstairs who watches you all the time. It is important to give back to the community from where you got so much in whatever way possible and it’s not always about money.” “Everyone has one life only so make the best out of it so that your youngsters think of you as their role model.” Also, he says that it is very important to be kind to people in life and treat all of them with respect. He also shared one teaching of his father, “If you can’t be with someone during their good times it is fine but always be with people during their difficult times.”
Always available for the cause of MBM :
As we see at what position he is today, all because of MBM and so many of us will be, it is important to do what we can for this elite institution. He has been fortunate and blessed to have one room in the newly built Girls Hostel in memory of his parents Shri Bhogilal and Sushila Mehta. And to help us achieve our goals he also sponsored some scholarships last year. He is and will always be there for anything associated with MBM Engineering College and its Alumni.
The wonderful journey of Er. Mehta will certainly inspire youngsters and students in building their career. We wish Er. Mehta has a happy, healthy and blissful life.
Lakshita Suthar, MBM student currently pursuing her B.E. (Civil Engineering). Her interests include learning new Software like AutoCAD, Revit, exploring new things and travelling.