When Sona Sansaar opened its branch in Papatoetoe (172 Great South Road at Hunters Corner) a few months ago, it inaugurated a glittering chapter of quality products and service in South Auckland.
It also fulfilled a long-cherished desire of its owner Harish Lodhia, paying a silent tribute to his father, the late Shantial Amarsee Lodhia, whose vision, ambition and other qualities were his guiding light.
Mr Lodhia is justly proud of his family heritage, dating back at least 400 years, with its origin at ‘Sasan Gir,’ the home of Asiatic Lions.
His father left his native Gujarat in the early part of the 20th Century to begin a new life. Arriving in the South Pacific nation with a small suitcase of clothes and three hand tools to create jewellery, he began his career with ambition, diligence, dignity and honour.
These qualities, with hard work and honesty earned him and his craftsmanship popularity and within a few decades, he had grown to become the owner of the largest 22-Carat jewellery showroom in the Southern Hemisphere with four branches in Fiji, one each for his four sons (the youngest of who is Harish).
The drive to seek geographic spread, fuelled by the growing political instability in Fiji, took the Lodhia family overseas. Today, the Lodhia family has successful jewellery business in Australia (Sydney and Brisbane), Fiji (Suva), New Zealand (Auckland) and the US (Los Angles).
When Mr Lodhia, known for his business acumen and foresight established Sona Sansaar on Dominion Road in Mt Roskill (Auckland) eight years ago, there was little doubt that it would set a benchmark for quality, craftsmanship, elegance and most important, personalised and expert advice.
The showroom, with its unique ambience, extensive range of gold jewellery, nine, 14, 18, 22 and 24 Carat gold in white, yellow and rose, oxidised gold, platinum, stainless steel, diamonds, precious and semi-precious and coloured stones, pearls, silver and other items, began to attract hundreds of discerning customers from greater Auckland region, North Island and other parts of the country.
As well as bangles, bracelets anklets, chains and necklaces, the well-appointed showroom has in stock exquisite designs in ear, nose and finger rings, pendants and a series of collector’s items.
The passion for quality and range is constantly fulfilled with jewellery selected from the choice markets of Australia, Bahrain, China, Dubai, India, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Thailand and the US.
“You would have to move to another, more spacious premises soon since this showroom will surely become inadequate,” some customers said, while many others remarked, “We need the presence of Sona Sansaar in South Auckland.”
As a shrewd businessperson who monitors market trends and assesses business conditions and commercial prospects, Mr Lodhia awaited the right opportunity to make the right move.
Even as the wishes of South Aucklanders were fulfilled (bespeaking the quality and range for which the brand has become famous over the years), he was busy completing the construction of his new business and commercial complex, ‘Tulja Centre’ at 190, Stoddard Road in Mt Roskill.
About a fortnight ago, Mr Lodhia realised the desire of the larger shopping community when he moved the main showroom to the new complex not far from the initial location on Dominion Road.
“The new showroom in Mt Roskill would add a special dimension to our penchant for personalised service so that we could understand the needs of our customers better and serve them accordingly. Sona Sansaar carries the belief strengthened with years of experience that none of the services offered can be complete without a universal feature, namely customer satisfaction,” Mr Lodhia said.