Born in Bangalore in an ordinary middle-class business family, Rajesh Mehta is the youngest amongst his three siblings. His family moved from Gujarat to Bangalore in 1946-47. His father traded in semi-precious stones and worked for his cousins in Gujarat. Later he laid the foundation of his own diamond company and continued to trade in semi-precious stones.
Rajesh Mehta and his brother Prashant Mehta decided not to join their father’s business. With the help of his eldest brother who was a banker, Rajesh took a loan of Rs 1,200 for trading in silver jewellery.
The brothers started trading jewellery in different ethnic Indian cultures. They used to sell south Indian jewellery designs in Gujarat. “It was like idlis being sold in Gujarat; they may not become a staple diet, but they will become a fancy food item, which will be had once in a while,” says Rajesh Mehta.
Soon they started their own business entity called Rajesh Art Jewellers along with silver jewellery trade worth Rs 1 lakh. They started bartering their trade items which flourished their business. Through their barter network the brothers grew their capital base by 50 percent. Recalling their long bus journeys for trading, the Mehta brothers said that they used to take turns to sleep as all the capital they had was in their bag.
Rajesh always wanted to enter into the world of gold trading but the laws back then were not allowing any company to buy, store and manufacture gold for domestic consumption. The brothers found the way out, they started exporting gold, the exceptional clause for trading in gold under the laws. They started a small manufacturing unit with around 10 workers in the garage of their house. From then the firm hasn’t looked back. Its current Gross turnover stands at over lakh crore rupees.
Another major turn of events happened in 2015, which established Rajesh Exports as the leader in the gold market. The company took over Valcambi gold refinery in Switzerland – one of the largest gold refineries in the world. It now refines around 35% of the total gold refined in the world and is also the largest gold processor in the world.
Headquartered in Bangalore, Rajesh Exports is the only company in the world with presence across the entire value chain of Gold, from refining to retailing. Its retail firm Shubh Jewellers has around 80 outlets across Karnataka.
Rajesh Mehta lives a simple life and shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to success and business expansion. He is surely a one-man army, who built everything from nothing, single handedly.