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Jia Jain

It would have been understandable if Jia Jain dropped his shoulders and threw in the towel after the initial failure of 1947, his dream project. A fine-dining vegetarian restaurant modelled on the theme of the Indian Freedom Movement and the pan-Indian identity, 1947 was facing imminent closure by the end of 2008. Jia decided to meet his mentor Dr. Chenraj Roychand for counselling, “Sir advised me on the need of patience; perseverance is the key virtue for someone involved in the hospitality industry.” The talk with Dr. Chenraj inspired Jia so much so that, in spite of the mounting losses, Jia decided to plough on and persist with the business.

Jia, unlike his peers, knew exactly what he wanted to do when he completed his MBA from MATS Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship in 2005. He didn’t want to go the traditional route of getting placed in a corporate firm and working for somebody else, “I was clear in my mind about what I wanted to do, I wanted to start a business of my own, I wanted to create my own legacy,” explains Jia. He tried his luck initially in the plywood business in 2006, but that capitulated. Jia moved on and came up with the idea of running hostels for the students of Jain (Deemed-to-be University). In 2008, his love and desire for creating a unique restaurant, which did not discriminate, based on south or north led him to start 1947. Jia recovered from the early losses and recorded profit by mid-2009.

Today, Jia is the successful owner of a chain of restaurants and hostels and is the CEO and director of Insignia Group. He is doing his turn of nurturing young entrepreneurs who have the idea and the talent, but lack the experience. By mentoring these youngsters, he is reciprocating what Dr. Chenraj did for him, when Jia was a novice and a budding entrepreneur.