Vidhya Mazumdar, a Unique Professional of India’s G&J Sector

Vidhya MazumdarVidhya Mazumdar is a Commerce Graduate with Honours in Advertising, Marketing and Salesmanship. She holds professional qualifications related to the gem and jewellery industry such as Graduate Gemologist (GIA), Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA), Pearls Graduate (GIA), Diamond Graduate (HRD), Basic Gemmologist Certificate (SSEF), Diploma in Gemmology and Certificate in Jewellery Designing (St. Xavier’s College).

She has 23 years of total work experience of which she has dedicated 18 years to the gem and jewellery industry and has worked in the best companies of the industry in various job roles.

She is currently a freelance corporate trainer specializing in customized courses for corporates and retail jewellers as well as a consultant for various aspects related to the industry alongside writing articles in trade magazines.  In fact, Vidhya is probably the only woman in India who is working as a freelance corporate trainer of G&J sector. G2J brings here the success story of this unique woman entrepreneur Vidhya Mazumdar. Here are the excerpts:

G2J: How and when did the idea of becoming a freelance consultant and trainer of the G&J industry come in your mind? Are any of your family members in this sector?

VM: I started off my career as a freelance jewellery designer 18 years ago so the idea of becoming a freelance consultant and trainer for the G&J industry was part of my career path from day 1 but I decided to take the consultant and trainer part when I realized that the industry is lacking the need of customized education for their products. Being an educationist, I believe that the education related to our industry is very specialized and each company has its own format when it comes to grading their stock. When a student completed his/her gem and jewellery education, they were able to get jobs but also were required to get trained again as per the company’s requirements. This was causing companies to get most of their staff trained in-house as per their specifications.

None of my family members are involved in this sector but I had the opportunity to get introduced to this industry due to my father who was also a consultant to a few companies related to the G&J industry.

G2J: How confident were you and what risk factors did you assess before opting for this profession?

VM: Honestly speaking, I was not very confident when I took up this decision after being comfortable working as an employee in a company. It required me to leave a full time paying job and start working from the scratch to contact people and make them understand the services I was offering. Many would think of freelance as a profile that fits a freelance jewellery designer. After a couple of assignments, my confidence level has risen but the need for the industry to accept a woman in a freelance trainer and consultant position is yet a question mark. The risk factors included competing with established educational institutions and of course the industry allowing a woman to do a man’s job as a freelancer.

G2J: What were the difficulties that you faced in the initial stage and how did you overcome them?

VM: The initial difficulty was to get people to know that I am no longer associated with any company or institution and that I was now working on my own. Another difficulty was answering the question of “Do you have your own educational facility set up?” Well, I had to inform those I know that being a freelancer means I can share the knowledge and experience I have gained over the past 18 years in this industry with them. Also the corporate client name privacy helped in overcoming the difficulty as I believe and follow in not sharing the information of one client with another hence keeping their training limited to their company itself. I believe that what I teach in a customized corporate training programme stays within that corporate since the requirement of every corporate is different.

G2J: Tell us about your profession and services you provide to the G&J sector…

VM: I am a consultant, gemmologist and an educationist. I am currently providing training services to corporate clients only. These are customized programmes which are developed specifically for the client and not shared with others. I also provide consultation services for any subject related to the industry as well as writing articles for trade magazines.

G2J: How successful are you in the profession? Are you satisfied with its progress and growth?

VM: I am in the very first step of the freelance profession so it’s too soon to comment on the success and growth of the same. As a gemmologist, it has been a successful journey for the last 18 years with lots of knowledge and experience that I have incorporated into myself. Currently, I would say that I am neither satisfied nor am I dissatisfied with the progress and growth of my profession.

G2J: How do you keep balance between your professional and personal life?

VM: It has been easy to maintain the balance between my professional and personal life since I am doing the similar thing what I was doing earlier as an employee, so the balance is there. Although, I get to spend much more time now with my family and am able to pursue my other hobbies as well.

G2J: How are you planning to expand its reach in future?

VM: Depending on the market situation, there are plans that I have made to expand in the future. However, this is something which I will not be able to share my thoughts on currently.

G2J: Who is the motivational force behind you? Whom do you owe your success?

VM: My motivational forces have always been my late father Dr. Y. R. Ullal and my husband. They both have been the strong forces for my success and have always been supportive towards my decisions. I also owe my success to my mentor Dr. Pravin Henriques of St. Xavier’s College, who has stood by me and guided me whenever I have lost my path.

G2J: Please give your message to the aspiring women entrepreneurs. Is there any scope for them in this sector to become professionals like you?

VM: My message for aspiring women entrepreneurs would be to follow what they believe in. With regards to the scope for them in this sector, I would say patience and hard work will always pay.

Rapid Fire:

  • Describe yourself in a few words…

Open minded, Keen to learn, Creative, Confident

  • Do you believe in God and Destiny?

Yes, I believe in God and I also believe in making my own destiny

  • What do you do in your spare time?

Working on new ideas, reading, networking

  • How would you like to be remembered as?

I would like to be remembered as somebody who has helped another succeed in their life through the knowledge and guidance that I shared with them.

  • Would you like to reborn as?

I would not want to be reborn as anybody but as someone who can help and guide others in their path of life.

Presented by Suresh Chotai