Karat 22 Raffle Nets Indian Training for Grads


A beaming Aku Patel (of Karat 22 Jewelers who donated the watch) stands between the winner of the Rolex watch raffle draw Rajiv Bhavsar (right) and the auction high bidder Swatantra Jain (left). IACCGH President Joya Shukla is on the right.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: “The raffle sale was on all year long, from January,” explained Aku Patel, the founder and owner of Karat 22 Jewelers on Hillcroft, adding “They always sold tickets at every Chamber event.”  Of course, Patel was referring to the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of which he is a Board Director.

By the time the Chamber’s Gala came around this past weekend (see related story under IACCGH), Patel figures they had sold about $7,000 in raffle tickets, at $20 a pop, for a chance to win a women’s 18 kt white gold Rolex Cellini watch, valued at $6,000 which was donated by Karat 22. Last year, Karat 22 donated and held a similar raffle sale for a men’s Rolex watch, also valued at $6,000 and sold $7,000 in tickets.

All the money collected goes towards sending graduate students to India for 3 weeks of training in a firm that corresponds with their field of interest. Each student receives about $2,500 from the Chamber for their trip and the Indian firm then picks up their living expenses while there.

This year had an extra twist as the winner of the raffle was none other than IACCGH Secretary Rajiv Bhavsar. When he got to the stage after his name was called (Patel, incidentally, had picked the ticket), Bhavsar didn’t bat an eyelid and donated the watch to be auctioned off. The lucky winner was Swatantra Jain, who bid $5,000 for the watch. “We may manage to send five grads this year,” beamed a delighted Patel.