Dravya Dholakia (21), the son of a Gujarati diamond merchant and proprietor of a Surat-based Rs 6,000 crore company with presence in 71 countries, was asked to spend a month in Kochi incognito and survive on odd jobs for daily living.
Yes, this is true. Savji Dholakia, proprietor of Hare Krishna Diamond exports, asked his only son Dravya, who is doing an MBA in the US and on a holiday in India, to live on his own for long one month working as a common man. Dravya arrived in Kochi on June 21 with three pairs of clothes and Rs 7,000 that his father instructed should be used only in an emergency.
“I gave him three conditions: I told my son that he needs to work to earn his money and he couldn’t work at a place for more than a week; that he can’t use his father’s identity nor use the mobile phone nor Rs 7,000 taken from home for a month. I wanted him to understand life and how the poor struggle to get a job and money. No university can teach you these life skills except experience,” Savji told The Times of India.
Dravya accepted the challenge and it was decided that he would go to a place he was not familiar with and where the language would be new to him and search for a job. “He decided to come to Kochi as he didn’t know Malayalam and Hindi is not commonly spoken there,” said Dholakia.
But little did Dravya know what was in store after he landed here. “For five days I had no job or proper place to stay. I was frustrated as I was rejected at 60 places, as no one knew me here. I understood what is rejection and the value of a job in these few days,” said Dravya, who lied to his employers that he is a class XII student born in a poor farmer’s family in Gujarat.
Dravya got his first job in a bakery in Cheranelloor.
Then he worked at a call centre, a shoe shop and even a McDonalds’ outlet in the city, earning Rs 4,000 plus in a month. “I never worried about money and here I was struggling to get a meal worth Rs 40. I needed another Rs 250 per day to stay in a lodge,” said Dravya, who returned home to Surat on Tuesday.