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The Story Of Paru Jaykrishna


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Paru comes from a humble Jain family.She lost her father when she was a child. She was academically inclined as a child and so did well at Sharda Mandir,the Gujarati-medium school she attended. Her mother passed away when she was a teenager.Then she had to shelve her dreams of becoming a doctor. She then studied Philosophy and Sanskrit. Since she loved challenges, she decided to study English literature next. She did well in that too! She followed this up by studying law.

Marriage in 1964 to Mrugesh Jaykrishna , the scion of the very wealthy Patel business family of Jaykrishna Harivallabhdas of  Ahmedabad  propelled Paru into the world of business.Aside from the difference in economic background of the couple,the marriage crossed the community barriers of the time.

Paru’s father-in-law, Jaykrishna Harivallabhdas, was a very well known industrialist of Gujarat and was mayor of Ahmedabad for eight years. The Jaykrishna family owned the `SHRI AMBICA GROUP’, comprising 5 Textile Mills, Steel Tube Plant, Phthalic manufacturing facility and Chemical auxiliaries. Harivallabhdas , during his tenure as Mayor of Ahmedabad, introduced several important reforms that helped uplift the city. He was also responsible for starting a number of educational institutions in Ahmedabad from schools and colleges to the prestigious National Institute of Design (NID), for which he was one of the initiators.

However, by 1985,  most of the textile mills of Ahmedabad – known till then as the Manchester of East – had shut down; along with all the textile mills of the Jaykrishna family. While it was never and would never be an issue of bread for the family, it was enough to stir this lecturer-turned-housewife to turn another leaf in life – that of becoming a businesswoman at the age of 46 to secure her children’s future !Not a big deal for a person belonging to a business family, right? Wrong. While she did eventually get support from her in-laws about the decision, the key there was the condition of her raising her own funds

After sending her two sons, Gokul and Munjal, to the USA for studying finance and marketing, she hired Gujarat Industrial and Technical Consultants to prepare a business model that would be 100 per cent export-oriented. Later,in 1989 with a Rs 5-lakh subsidy from the state government, she took a Rs 21-lakh loan from the Gujarat State Finance Corporation and set up her chemical plant – Aksharchem .Raising capital, sourcing inputs for her plant and convincing buyers were initial challenges she had to fight through. But she didn’t give up. In April 1996, a joint venture with Korean company Asahi Songwon Colors, was born. Its turnover crossed 230 crore in FY11, while profit after tax was at 22.5 crore. Paru also became the first elected lady member of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and in 2007, was elected its president — the first woman to hold the post in 60 years. .

 

 

 

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About Keerthika Singaravel
Engineer,Investor,Businessperson

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