Rahul S. Jhaveri
Diamonds was the traditional family business.Technology was his passion. It was a difficult choice for a young entrepreneur to make. Inevitably, Rahul S. Jhaveri was pulled in two different directions for a while.
Until a chance visit to a trade show in Hong Kong gave him an idea – why not try and combine the two. And so, in May 2014, DiamConnect, a smart phone-based App that allows users to create and manage the demand for loose diamonds on a daily basis, was born. In it the two worlds come together to aloow users to manage their businesses at the click of a button.
Palanpur Online connected with Rahul, the son of Nita and Shailesh Rasiklal Jhaveri (earlier associated with M/s M Fabrikant & Sons), to find out more about the technology and the person behind it.
Palanpur Online: You have recently launched DiamConnect? Can you briefly explain its main features and benefits to members?
Rahul Jhaveri: Yes, DiamConnect was launched in May 2014 for both the Android and iPhone platforms. It is a platform for members from within the loose diamond industry to create and manage their demands very easily on a daily basis. It allows them to reach their supplier base efficiently. On the flip side, traders, suppliers and brokers will also be able to source new clients. In saying this, a member can fulfill their daily demands and also supply demands to their counterparts at the click of a button. It is a vast change from the current lack of efficiency in communication between people in the industry. Readers can experience it themselves at http://www.diamconnect.in/
DiamConnect App Icon
PO: What has been the response you have received?
RJ: Over the last few months, a total of 500 users have been registered. This response is over-whelming in that it tells a story of the willingness of the current market to accept the changes that technology is bringing them. Many in the industry are curious to know what DiamConnect is and I’m more than happy to provide them a demo! So, I’d say that the response is very positive as even people I’ve spoken to for feedback have mentioned that DiamConnect is a very beneficial tool.
PO: What made you first think of this idea?
RJ: I come from a family whose background is in diamonds. As a teenager, I looked to challenge myself and not be content in the fact that I could easily join the family business and benefit from my family’s laurels. I wanted to help the business that has been part of my family for decades, but also wanted to help in a way that no one in the industry itself could. I thought about a demand management system two years ago, however, in speaking to a few people about the idea, I immediately shut it down. At that point in time, it seemed like the diamond market wasn’t ready for new technology. Then I had a chance to attend a Diamond Expo in Hong Kong last year. I noticed here that people used Whatsapp as a form of communication between members. It is clear that in order to use Whatsapp, you need to have a smartphone, so I looked into it further and confirmed that it was not only used, but used as a regular means of communcation. It seemed impractical and inefficient to me and that is how DiamConnect was born
PO: What other tech areas have you been involved in / associated with?
RJ: I am and have always been a fan of technology. Yes, you can call me a geek! Apart from DiamConnect – which is my own venture – I engage clients worldwide to build mobile apps, websites, e-commerce sites, internal platforms, marketing websites as well as do social media marketing. Recently, I was involved in building a mobile application for AlltheDeals – a place where users can view and purchase discounted products from different sites. Another area that I have been heavily involved in is the educational sector where I build websites for usage by children. So, I like to get involved in any area or industry that I feel technology can help grow in some way.
PO: Tell us about your self. Where you studied and grew up? How you got interested in technology?
RJ: I grew up in Mumbai – but have had the opportunity to study in various places throughout my life. Bangalore for boarding school and finally Melbourne, Australia for university. I believe I first decided I’d like to get my hands into technology in boarding school when a teacher inspired me to be interested in building text-based games. Until that point, I was on my way to studying Business and Economics instead. As I previously mentioned, it is always the expectation that a son whose family is in the industry joins the industry himself and to a point that is where I was headed until Mr. Rex! I found out more and more about tech games and all things tech and decided to pursue that in University. It also helped, of course, that I had no objections from my parents to pursue a career different to what they had anticipated. I think that with DiamConnect, I am merging the two worlds – the diamond family that I have grown up knowing, with the world of technology that excites me.
PO: What were the challenges in entering a field that the community members have not had much association with earlier?
RJ: I guess there were two main challenges that I faced. Of course having an idea for a mobile application is very different from having the idea implemented! It was difficult initally to get back and understand the intricasies of the diamond business. I always had background knowledge but that was not enough for the purposes of building a comprehensive system that could manage demands. Talking to a lot of people and doing in-depth research helped a lot. The second challenge that I faced was to get people on board DiamConnect. It is human nature to reject change as they often feel change brings harm rather than good. But with dilligence and hard work, this too is achievable and I intend to take DiamConnect to the next level with the help of all members
PO: What are your experiences and memories of Palanpur? Have you been there much – as a child / as a young adult?
RJ: I have been to Palanpur once in my early teens. I’ve seen and enjoyed with awe the modest yet very pleasant surrounds that is Palanpur. The main memory that I often think back to is that I felt Palanpur was not just a city, it was a family. The hard work and the dedication surfaces and it is clear to see that success doesn’t come to those who wait, but to those who desire to work on it.
PO: What advice do you have for younger members of the community planning to pursue a career in technology?
RJ: The most important thing that anyone should remember is to not compromise on quality. Quality matters. It is often easy to build quick fixes, but trust me that doesn’t last very long and they often come to haunt you later. I feel this should also be a life lesson really! This also goes hand in hand with the fact that you should not compromise on integrity either. Quality and integrity work together. Secondly, and specifically to technology, it is ever-changing and no competition is too big or too small to conquer. Work hard on your idea even though it may already be out there – reinvent the wheel! Nothing is impossible in technology and competition is healthy. Finally, to all the members of the community out there who plan to pursue a career in technology, I say “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. It is a quote I live by and coined by the awe-inspiring Steve Jobs himself.
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