Unflinching Resolve Jaiswal Group, Ranchi

Known more as mentors than business tycoons and immensely popular, what you notice about this business family is the way they welcome visitors into their fold. Their Hazaribagh office remains abuzz with people ranging from parttime workers to high profile politicians. Director, Jaiswal Group, Manish Jaiswal is carrying forward the legacy of his father Braj Kumar Jaiswal, having imbibed his qualities of leadership and camaraderie.

"Whatever we have learnt from our parents, we try to inculcate the same in our next generation"

The eldest of three brothers and a sister he is leading a business empire that spans iron ore crushing factory to high-end garments retail, from multiplexes to traditional liquor business. Moving ahead with unflinching resolve, he is living a life that is far from ordinary. "I plunged into my family business at the age of 16 with my schooling barely complete. My father had met with a major accident and I being the eldest, the obvious choice was to assume responsibility of the business," he shares.

Though I completed my education later, clearly the focus had shifted," reveals Manish. Sure enough, this proved to be the turning point for the budding entrepreneur. Apart from their traditional liquor business, they soon began to diversify and opened the first cineplex of the region in 1983-Lakshmi Cineplex, which has now transformed into a three-screen multiplex. Gradually his younger brothers Nishant and Prashant joined in and things started getting better. Nishant set up a multiplex in Surat and then followed it up with a retail chain supplying high-end garments to fashion designers and production houses. He reveals he is eyeing 100 such stores in the next five years. Youngest brother Prashant, a Chemical Engineer is looking after the iron ore and a couple of other businesses. With sister Luna happily married and in Lucknow, the family is well settled on both professional as well as personal fronts.

"I am very satisfied as a father and an entrepreneur, but as a leader and a public servant I am far from satisfied "

We are a close-knit family that values relationships. Whatever we have learnt from our parents, we try to inculcate the same morals and principals in our next generation. It is easy for somebody to get distracted if his anchors are not in place. As kids and now as adults we always had our father as our role model who was never short of setting examples for others," says Manish with pride. Braj Lal, Manish’s father and head of the family, who is now happy to take the backseat, is content seeing his sons scaling newer heights.

As a newcomer he contested assembly elections on the Congress ticket, which he lost. However, he served as the Chairman of the Nagar Parishad for 16 years from 1977 to 1993.

He quit politics in 1990 when Manish was married, realising his other children were still young and they needed care and attention. But he was too popular to let go of this profile.

Almost fifteen years later he again contested as an independent but lost. Recently he won the election for the Chairman of Zila Parishad of Hazaribagh. With Manish currently serving as Chairman of Nagar Parishad it is a rare feat with a father-son duo heading both the municipal arms of a district.

But then the 72-years-old patriarch refuses to take it for granted and harps on the real issue of people’s welfare. "I travelled villages to find that even after 64 years of Independence there is noelectricity, no infrastructure in place. The money that is flowing in, in the backdrop of policies is not being utilised properly," he shares.

Then there are procedural delays and flaws in implementation which are making life difficult for the common man. We need to go back to the Panchayati Raj model of governance for which Gram Sabha needs to be embodied at every possible level so that the fruits of Panchayati Raj could percolate down to the lowest common denominator," is Manish’s strong contention. One marvels at the veteran leader’s dogged perseverance and optimism.

As Chairman of Nagar Parishad he overhauled the system that was ailing due to non-payment of dues, labour unrest and a history of badgovernance.

I joined politics knowing fully well that nowadays it is no longer just a profession. I am here to serve the people. It is easy to criticize a wrong but a different deal altogether setting it right. Young and honest people should join politics to clean the mess," he smiles. The Jaiswals also run two schools which are governed by Manish’s better half Nisha.

What started from a rented three-room arrangement and 25 children is now a big establishment with 900 kids. Nisha, the Director of Little Angels Montessori School is all excited about her new venture Angels High School that is on the verge of completion.

We don’t run the schools on profit motive. This is a way of giving back to the people the trust they had reposed in us during all these years. We have a name and a reputation to preserve which is our biggest asset and through our sincere efforts we are gradually achieving what we intended to do when we started," reveals Nisha. Cool in his crisp blue kurta, Manish is a man of all seasons. He is equally comfortable in his two piece suit and with his high-end i-pad which he occasionally operates to satisfy his thirst for music.

"I am here to serve the people. It is easy to criticize a wrong but a different deal altogether setting it right."

The playful kid inside him is an action movie buff, comes to the fore when he plays with his 15-year daughter Rhea and son Karan who is graduating in Kolkata.

For comparatively quiet and reserved Nishant, wife Priyanka and 11-year son Rahul are ideal company. Every care is taken by the family elders to endow the children with quality education. Bubbly Rhea could not suppress her smile as she showed us her plush, ivory room with piles of teddies, gadgets and accessories befitting teenage fancies.

We give space to our children just like our father gave us, the freedom to choose their stuff and pursue their dreams. At the same time, we would like them to retain the traditional wisdom and values. And honesty and integrity are things that they should always bear in mind. They will never get out of fashion," quips the caring father.

I am very proud and satisfied as a father and an entrepreneur, but as a leader and a public servant I am farfrom satisfied. There is a lot more to be done. The people out there need me and when I have the time and resources, ideally I should take my mission forward," opines Braj Kishore, a father figure and popular as Badal Babu in local circles. As relentless crusaders of welfare and justice, the Jaiswals remain revered role models for the people of the state.