“FOR ME TRICITY IS A BLESSING”
For a family which has been in jewellery business for more than seven generations, Anil Talwar from Talwarsonss Jewellers has grown his own niche in this beautiful city Chandigarh. He has been a very active member of various national organizations connected with the jewellery trade. In a conversation with Nikita Agarwal, he talks about his journey and challenges of the industry and more.
What made you join the jewellery industry?
My family has been in jewellery business for more than a century now and I believe the family must be among the 40 - 50 oldest jeweller families of India. My father and his two brothers shifted to Chandigarh in 1954 from the town Gardiwala in the Hoshiarpur District of Punjab. It has been 67 years that we have been in the city with our jewellery business. I personally started coming to work in the year 1977/78 after completing my schooling at St John High School. Our class 10th ICSE papers used to be in November and colleges in Chandigarh used to start in the months of June/July and we had 6/7 months before college started. During this time, I went to stay with my father’s friend Mr. Kapoor in Mumbai who was into Diamond Business. I went there as I was always intrigued to know how diamonds and diamond jewelry were made and wanted to explore his manufacturing unit. My interest in jewellery started from there. I was very impatient and wanted to get into business while I was young, so I started going to the shop regularly when I was around 16/17 years of age and did my college along with it.
What role do you play in the jewellers community in India?
There are a few organizations in India like The Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) that was formed in the mid-80s, and I have been a member since its inception. I was very active in the Seminar Committee of GJEPC from the very start. I always thought of one thing that how smart you are as a jeweler, you can never teach 100% of the business to the next generation. You may teach 70/80% of the business and the rest 20/30% of the business the industry teaches you.
Federation Of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) is a national body and I took over as All India Co-Chairman of The Gems N Jewellery Committee in 2011 and held that post till 2017. During my term Make in India campaign started in 2014 and I represented the Gem N Jewellery Committee in it till 2017.
The jewellery industry is a big foreign exchange earner for the government as jewellery is exported to the entire world from here. It was a great initiative taken by the government to coordinate with the industry at the micro-level. There is another organization called India Jewellers Forum (IJF) which again is a pan India organization with members from the major states in India and I am the Chief Adviser in the forum.
According to you what are the major challenges that the jewellery industry is currently facing?
The world is changing fast and so is the jewellery industry. There was a time when this industry was majorly in the unorganized sector. But in today’s world, the major business of jewellery has come into the organized sector. In the year 2000 Hall Marking was started in India. This helped in setting up good quality standards in India. Last month in July the Government of India made Hall Marking mandatory and no jeweller could sell any jewellery which was not hallmarked. All major jewellers have welcomed this move and I am sure this would certainly boost the customer’s confidence in jewellery in a big way.
What do you love the most about Tricity?
Chandigarh City is one of the youngest cities of India and a modern city in the real sense. Chandigarh has become a fashion capital of north India. We get customers from the Tricity and neighbouring states of Himachal, Haryana and Punjab. Along with this Chandigarh and the Tricity gets a lot of Punjabi NRI customers who come from abroad to shop here.
What is that achievement of yours that you are proud of?
I feel proud that I was the one to get hall-marked jewellery in the city in the year 2000. I am very satisfied with my journey in the jewellery business all through. Both my sons Dhruv and Vikram are with me in business now and taking good care of their respective responsibilities in work.
How would you describe tricity?
For me, it is a blessing. No matter how smart you are you need a proper place and stage to prove yourself and compete with the world. I have closely seen the city n surroundings grow all this time and I am sure Tricity would always be the first choice of customers coming from the surrounding states and abroad.
“LIFE IS A CONTINUOUS LEARNING PROCESS” DR. H.K. BALI
One of the leading Interventional Cardiologists of our country, Dr. H.K. Bali, Chairman, Cardiac Sciences, Paras Group of hospital breaks paths and sets benchmarks one after the other. He talks to Rubika Bedi about his journey, the challenges that the pandemic brought with it for the medical industry and more.
What do you feel are the necessary changes required in our public healthcare infrastructure?
We need to set up many more hospitals, both large and medium-size in each and every district and sub-district of our country. Central and State Governments should encourage and give incentives to doctors to come forward and set up more hospitals.
Steps must be taken to ensure adequate supply of medicines that were scarce in the first two waves. These include antibiotics and antifungals in particular. It is very important for us to understand that whereas this is the first pandemic of the 21stcentury but it may not be the last one. Even this pandemic is not over yet and we need to be completely prepared to combat or minimize the ‘third wave’. I also believe augmentation of research and development in paraclinical sciences is the need of the hour. We need to rapidly develop new safe and effective vaccines at a short notice in case the new virus is detected are a new mutation of this virus is detected. Pandemics are International problems that affect millions of people across the globe. As long as infections continue to occur even in one country, the pandemic will continue to spread Countries, all over the world, should help each other and act as one in these tough times.
Your field is highly complicated and requires great skills. Has the pandemic complicated it further? What is your take on this?
This pandemic has affected my specialty of cardiology in a very complex manner. After a heart attack, it is absolutely essential that the patient reaches a hospital within minutes so that the blocked artery can be opened in the shortest possible time either by Primary angioplasty or by use of ‘Clot Buster’ drugs. Early treatment saves lives, prevents short and long-term complications. With each minute loss, more heart muscle is lost leading to more complications. In the initial days of the pandemic, patients were reluctant to visit the hospital due to fear of catching Covid in hospitals. We saw patients coming to hospitals many days after the heart attack when irreversible heart muscle damage had already set in. During those initial months, we saw complications of a heart attack which we had not seen for decades later, however, we have been able to get this message across to people that each hospital has separate wings for Covid and non-Covid patients. We had to re-orientate our CCUs, our interventional labs, and operation theatres so that the heart patients and COVID patients could be treated separately and in the shortest possible time. The entire way of working changed for interventional cardiologists during this pandemic. Many healthcare workers managing critically sick patients themselves got infected and many precious lives were lost in the service of humanity. The loss of lives of doctors and paramedical staff during this pandemic has been a monumental tragedy the impact of which will be felt for decades.
What has been the biggest professional challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
There have been so many challenges during this professional journey that it is a tough call to pinpoint a few. My biggest challenge has been on the social front. Technology is growing at a rapid pace with new techniques and devices being developed. India has a large number of patients who cannot afford these new techniques and devices. The challenge for us is to bridge this gap between the availability of technology and making them available to the common man.
That is where our charitable organization HEART Foundation has been playing a major role. We organize Health talks, Seminars, Medical conferences and Live Workshops for doctors in this region. In order to enhance the skills and knowledge of doctors, we invite international experts to interact with them. In these interactions, doctors of this region learn new techniques which go a long way in helping them treat their patients. We also organize public awareness programs to create awareness regarding new technologies and recent advances in the field of medicine.
We have been regularly organizing free Mega health checkup camps where we bring top doctors of the country to give consultation to patients from lower socio-economic strata of the society. If we find patients who need further treatment, interventions or surgery in these camps, the Foundations organizes their treatment in top hospitals of the Tricity free of cost.
Describe to our readers what goes through your mind when working in the catheterization lab? Do you have any rituals or practice before you go in for a procedure?
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