In October of 1952, Mr. Parbhu Govindji sailed the Indian Ocean aboard a ship that was then commonly referred to as a 'steamer'. Bunking down on the deck at night with his suitcase, a blanket and a pillow only to be awoken early the next morning when it was time to wash-down the deck. Below deck, were the staterooms that he could not afford. The journey from Bombay(Mumbai) to the Port of Mombassa was made to explore an opportunity to better his financial well-being. In the early fifties, the continent of Africa was seen as a frontier wide open to conduct business. With only a paltry sum, amounting to approximately $20, Mr. Govindji's ambition was no less vast than the continent he was soon to embark upon. The arduous sea journey took well over a month. The subsequent landing on the coast of Africa for the very first time, the trek through the thick jungle and the journey by boat on the Congo River added another few days to the adventure.
1953 - 1956
Mr. Govindji's destination was a small frontier town called Chingola, in present day Zambia. There, he had been sponsored by a prominent Indian merchant, who, despite being 'non-white', had managed to build the town's largest and first departmental store in a segregated 'whites only' part of town; consisting of a general store, house wares, a separate gents and ladies apparel departments, and a jewelry store. In just a few weeks after he arrived, at the age of eighteen, Mr. Govindji became the person in charge of four sales people and conducted the day-to-day operations of the jewelry store. He took every opportunity to immerse himself of knowledge that was imparted through practical experience of operating a jewelry store, including learning the basics of jewelry repair and watch making.
With a growing reputation for excellence, the store where Mr. Govindji worked became well known across the nation, and in addition to this location, there were two more comparable stores with the same ownership and name that were built in neighboring towns. One such location was in a copper mining town of Luanshya.
1957 - 1960
In 1957, it was in Luanshya that Mr. Govindji saw an opportunity to venture out on his own. Being newly married, he opened a small store focusing primarily in watch repairs. And, what initially started out as little more than a work bench ended up being developed into a jewelry store with a change of location.
1961 - 1981
In 1961, the only high-end jewelry store in town, then designated an official Rolex jeweler, was for sale because the owner was retiring. Mr. Govindji grabbed the opportunity and honed-in his negotiating skills to purchase the store. He also purchased most of the original inventory on an installment sale. Additional diamond jewelry inventory was procured from vendors who placed trust in him by supplying the jewelry on a consignment basis.
The new store changed names from Star Jewelers to Parmar Jewelers, then later in 1973 to Luanshya Jewelers. What remained consistent during this change was the level of service and the commitment to provide the finest craftsmanship in all its jewelry pieces.
Although, the 70's through 1980 brought about the largest growth in business for Mr. Govindji, the political environment in Zambia had changed for the worse. It was during the latter part of 1978 that an unwavering effort was made to explore business opportunities in the United States.
1982 - 1983
1982 saw the genesis of renewed vigor in a brand-new country to pursue the business that Mr. Govindji knew best: Jewelry. Initially, in a back room of a previously closed-down Jewelry store in Arlington, Texas, that measured no more than 300 square feet. It was at this location that for the very first time in Dallas/Fort Worth, an introduction to 22K gold Indian jewelry was made. And, what started out as a small sample line ended up comprising more than 70% of the store's entire inventory.
1984 - 1994
In 1984, the location was moved to a much larger 1,000 square feet store, also in Arlington; however, on a much busier thoroughfare. The store's name was 'Star Jewelers', reminiscent of the original store in Zambia. As with the previous smaller location, Mr. Govindji was joined by his elder son, Pradip. And now, at the new location, his second son Yogesh was also a full-time member.
From 1984 through 1994, the transformation was stark, and, the growth curve in business was meteoric. A majority of Star Jewelers' customer base came from the Dallas area, and it was only fitting that a new store be opened in Richardson, Texas, a northern suburb of the greater Dallas area. A 12,000 square feet building was built to accommodate the growing demand for 22K gold jewelry. The store, however, occupied a smaller portion(2,000 square feet) of the total space. The business emphasis was in recognizing and developing its customer base and establishing the store for providing the highest quality of 22K gold jewelry; additionally, a family member always personally oversaw the design production of all diamond jewelry.
1995 - 2003
In 1995, Mr. Govindji's third son, Himesh, also joined the business.
From 1995 to 2003, saw the expansion of the store from 2,000 square feet to well over 5,000 square feet making the jewelry showroom the largest of its kind in the entire United States at that time; with this change, also came a change of name. The new name changed from Star Jewelers to "Govindji's". The name change also coincided with another major milestone. In-2001, the firm that Mr. Govindji founded received a coveted honor of becoming an Official Rolex Jeweler; one of only five such jewelers in the entire Dallas area. This world-class reputation for quality transcended the new watch line and put Govindji's in an enviable position in the jewelry industry. Consequently, this achievement also heralded Govindji's Jewelers reputation as one of the finest 22K gold and diamond jewelers in the entire country.
2004 - 2019
An ongoing practice at Govindji's of setting and meeting the highest standards of quality has been Mr. Govindji's mantra for doing business, and, this philosophy has been uncompromised since its inception when the jewelry business started for Mr. Govindji in 1952 and it continues to this day. It is also this philosophy that is an inalienable part of doing business for the Govindji brothers who oversee the day-to-day operations of the business today. 2004 through 2019 was a period of growth. The Govindji’s showroom expanded from 5,000 square feet to occupy the entire 12,000 square foot building on two floors. In addition to the core business in diamond jewelry and twenty-two karat gold jewelry, several world renowned and iconic brands were added to the repertoire of inventory at Govindji’s.
2020 and the future
For over six decades, Govindji's, today, has built a reputation on unparalleled quality, attention to detail and singular innovation in Indian jewelry designs. Our focus will remain resolute in providing friendly customer service at competitive pricing in a very luxurious setting. The highest ethical business practices shall always remain the 'allegorical glue' in providing our services to our patrons - present and future.