DUBAI EXPAT STORY. ‘I used to live off vada pav and lemon juice going home from work back in Mumbai’ – Ankit Suresh Mehta, Palazzo Jewellery co-owner and managing director.

“I did my studies back in Mumbai, India. I started working in the jewellery industry as a workshop executive admin. My first job was non-salaried,” says Ankit Suresh Mehta, explaining that it was an industry practice for interns.

“I worked for almost eight months for free to learn about jewellery manufacturing and diamonds. I used to travel by train for two hours to reach to this manufacturing company and return home as per work schedule. Sometimes, I would stay the whole night in the factory due to the workload. 

“After work, I remember we would travel by local train in Mumbai and have lemon juice at railway stations as it was the cheapest refreshment you could get during those times. The famous Mumbai street food, vada-pav, was our meal before sitting on the train for the two-hour-long journey home,” Ankit recalls.

“Life was just passing by and I was hoping things would change and that I could get an opportunity to do something good in my life,” he added.

With help from his brothers, Ankit got an offer to travel to Abu Dhabi for a salesman job with a AED1,500 monthly; it was 2005.

“I accepted it immediately,” said Ankit.

“I saw a Mercedes Benz as taxi when I came out of the Abu Dhabi airport – it blew my mind. In my country, this car was rare to see on streets. I decided to make my future here in the UAE and make my family proud,” he said.

Ankit has never looked back since that day– he kept working hard, succeeded and achieved as time passed.

He worked the salesman job for three years, he said, then started his own company in Al Ain.

To date, Ankit is co-owner and managing director of Palazzo Jewellery, which so far has three branches in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi with focus on going online.

“We are going with the flow. The jewellery industry is very much personal, emotional and sentimental. But as the future is online, we need to be a part of it as well, and so we are working on a “Try home, try now’ approach, which is virtual jewellery that can be viewed on smartphone devices and give people a clear idea how it would look like if they purchase it,” said Ankit.

He said this can be scheduled with no charges and a free delivery on purchase options. “We are planning to make it as flexible as possible for the different styles of jewellery,” he said.

Looking back, Ankit has these words of advice: “Do your math. Do not go with others’ perception or ideas. Get your numbers right and work on plan before executing something. Do a thorough study of what you are getting into.”


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