Credit Goes To Mehar Singh Chandna
By Asmita Suhasini
A cursory glance inside Koh-i-noor Jewellers & Diamond Center at the corner of 52nd street and Falconridge Boulevard NE gives an impression that the whole showroom is full of accomplished jewellers. Each and every corner of the shop is beautifully stacked with classic to modern jewellery. The owners are recognized as larger importers of jewellery and the showroom features designer jewellery and watch lines that complement people and the credit for this achievement goes to none othe than Mehar and his late wife Jasbir Chandna. It is not that they are the only jewellers in the city. There are a few scattered across the city but Chandna leads the rest when it comes to jewellery. His hard work and dedication towards his trade is clearly visible on his face. Till today, he personally looks after his regular clients. While remembering his life at Ludhiana in the early seventies he started his career as a machinist. He remembers one of his friends as to how together both of them tried their hands in learning the technique to give good shape to jewellery. With a curiosity to learn more about the jewellery trade he came to Canada in the seventies to stay with his elder brother. 1974 was a crucial year for Chandna as he tied the nuptial knot and also went to SAIT for formal jewellery training. By this time he had a fair idea to open his own shop in Calgary. This is not all, he made a trip to India to understand the traditional and ethnic jewellery manufacturing techniques. He turned his dream into reality by opening a jewellery shop by the name of Bombay Jewellers in the South East of Calgary. About 10 years back, Chandna moved to the North East and transferred Bombay Jewellers to Koh-i-noor. In order to cater to the demands of his clients he has personally visited Pakistan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Switzerland and Singapore besides India. His love for Calgary is exceptional " I don't want to go anywhere else. It is the love of people that binds me to stay there." Design plays an important role in his business. The customer just walks in with his ideas and he has to transform his or her theme into reality. Chandna likes to sell wedding jewellery especially to bride or groom's parents and is always eager to help them in getting what they want for the event. According to Chandna, no jewellery is complete without a good design. While Mehar looks after customers' needs, their son Mandeep Chandna takes care of purchasing and overall management. Mehar Singh Chandna is proud that they have trained goldsmiths at the workshop who can take repairs and return the jewellery on the same day. An easy choice which they give to their clients is designs on computer, the clients just have to select the designs which they get crafted for them. We have an in-house gold testing x-ray machine, one of the most qualitative testing machines in the industry," tells Chandna. Apart from his business, he can watch a Hindi movie. He recalls that watching 'Singh is King,' was great fun. A big smile flashes across his face while telling me that he likes light and comic entertainment not serious stuff. He also likes visiting Gurudwara on Sundays. "Earlier Sundays were peaceful at the Gurudwara in Calgary. The roads wre empty and everything used to be closed. Even at Gurudwara, people were less in number," he says.