Joseph Mathias - Golden Man and Golden Birthday
By Alphonse Mendonsa
Bellevision Media Network
Mangalore, 30 Apr 2015: It is often said that Gold is pure and precious metal on earth. Though costlier metals than Gold are available in the market people still believe in the sanctity of gold. This may be the reason people buy gold on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya, use gold for mangalsuthra and even for gift purpose to our beloved ones. But attain this status, the metal has to stand the tests of fire.
Joseph Mathias of Merit Frieght is one among the precious metals, who stood all tests of fire and turned gold long back. He is a successful entrepreneur, talented singer, avid Konkani supporter, kind hearted philanthropist and a great human being. And this great man on earth turns 50 on 1st of May.
Joseph the Worker
I wonder, is it Gods plan or just a co incidence that this man born on 1st of May. I know him from his Mumbai days where he struggled and even literally carried cartons on his shoulders. His colleagues in Mumbai still recall his 16 hours a day hard work and total commitment to his job. Probably his patron Saint, St. Joseph guided and guarded him in his journey from a worker to a successful entrepreneur. Today he has three companies and 28 employees working him. The most touching part is none of his staff member left him since they joined him. This is the testimony that Joseph Mathias believes not only in work but also loves and cares for his people.
Born on 1st May 1965 the day of feast of St. Joseph the worker to Lawrence and Mary Mathias from Kuppepadavu, now residing in Bendur (Mangalore). Joseph Mathias fondly known as Jossy is a very successful businessman in Dubai and owner of two well-known shipping companies in Dubai: Merit Freight Systems Co. L.L.C. & Harbour Shipping Company (L.L.C.) and a shipping company in Mangalore, Merit Freight Systems Co. Pvt. Ltd.
Behind a successful man
Joseph Mathias married to Flavia, a Jasmine in true spirit from Pangla(Shankerpura) on 29th December 1997. Ever since their marriage she is the strength and source of inspiration to Joseph in his office as well as singing career. Joseph Mathias is a person who does not know to say to NO anyone approaches him. May it be a church project, Konkani cause, music album, advertisement for a periodical, musical show. Through Kavita Trust every year he honors a senior poet with Mathias Family Award. This lovely couple have two daughters - Tisha and Tianna.
Our team leader had an opportunity to meet this great human being at his residence in UAE
Congratulations Sir on your 50th Birthday. Can you please tell me how you ventured into this shipping business?
It all began with my humble job as a Customs Clerk for a shipping company in Bombay in 1988. I was residing at Vasai and daily travelled to Churchgate the centre of Mumbai to my work place there from 1988 to 1993. While traveling one day, I saw a small ad in Times of India (4th page -job opportunities) for a job in the gulf, which I still have with me as a relic which opened the window of opportunity to the gulf. I was fortunate enough to be selected out of many candidates who attended the interview. Since then I have never looked back. Two years i.e from July 1995-1997 I worked as a customs clerk, though I was the clerk, I had to do myself loading unloading and packing which I did without regret. Unfortunately the company I joined closed down in 1997 and I was left jobless. But I had my God and my parent’s blessings with me and did not lose hope. I started contacting the old clients of my company and started myself providing them service with the help of little finance from a non-Catholic associate and with initial support I started the business in 1998. Finally in 2004 I became fully independent and started my own small office and ventured into full-fledged freight and forwarding business.
Besides your hectic business schedule as you said you have 28 staff both here in Dubai and Mangalore how do you manage to concentrate on singing?
As you know most of our konkani singers began their carrier as Choir singers of the church. I too began my carrier same way from my Parish in Bendur (Mangalore). I have participated in all major singing competitions held in Mangalore and have successfully won many trophies. However, I had to stop singing in 1980 due to my education and did not sing for any programs and competitions until 2008. In 2008 I got my first break at a program organized by a konkani association in Dubai and people started to recognize me as a singer.
I was fortunate enough to attend several of your stage singing sessions and really admire your determination and your successful singing for various programs. I also know that you have sung for many konkani albums. Tell me more about it.
Yes, I know after every program you have come personally and congratulated me as you were covering all the programs for your site Bellevision.com since many years. Not only me but every singer and artists on the stage you have applauded and congratulated and I really thank you for attending most of our musical programs and publishing reports in your site here in Dubai. I was fortunate enough to sing so far for 7 konkani audio albums and 1 tulu album. People have appreciated my singing and that gives me wings to sing more and will continue to sing future albums whenever I get the opportunity.
There is one leading konkani singer Lancy Noronha from Bellure, Who’s 27 year dream became a reality and he says it was you who made his long dream come true. Is it true?
I knew Lancy for a long time as a good lyricist and singer but somehow due to financial set back he could not stage his programs. His Uncle Ivan was a great singer as well and Lancy calls him as his role model. Yes, when Lancy approached me with his plan I did not hesitate a minute as I knew his singing caliber and we eventually staged his first Musical Nite on 6th May, 2011 to a full audience and successfully. Since then he has not looked back and we together staged Seven Lancy Nites here in Dubai and Mangalore.
I know very well that you not only a successful businessman, a singer but also a great philanthropist. Tell me how you manage to support every association through sponsorship as I have noticed that not a single program is staged here without your support and also your tremendous contribution to hundreds of charitable causes and Konkani literature, periodicals, the list is endless.
Dear Alphonse, I just share what I get through my hard work. I consider it as an opportunity and duty to share my fortune to our brethren who are very talented and need financial support. It is not only me but many businessmen as you have seen it happening support these causes. Also as I said my parents are my role model, every morning I seek their blessings and they have blessed me abundantly from above. I welcome anyone who comes for a support and we all must do it. We in the gulf are fortunate to earn a good amount through good jobs and businesses and if we can’t do it who else can?
As you know very well our beginning was very hard but with God’s blessings and good education back home through our Catholic educational institutions, we could stand on our own feet today and now it is our duty to support our less privileged brethren back home for their educational support and also to enhance their other artistic talents and support fully our mother land and language konkani. I am not doing anything great but a share a portion received from Almighty.
Finally I know, you know by giving we do not lose anything but gain a lot like happiness, peace of mind and their blessings. That’s all I can say and sincerely thank my better half Flavia for her tremendous support as a responsible wife at home and co-worker at office.
Gold is Gold always
I would like to recall a statement made by Jyothi Basu, strong man of West Bengal couple of years back. Some scribes asked him Rome is considering Mother Teresa to declare a saint. Jyothi Basu replied “ What is there to verify and declare ? she is already a saint”
Jossy is already a Golden man, only he celebrates golden birthday tomorrow. We at Bellevision.com Congratulate Joseph Mathias on his Golden Birthday and wish him all success in his business and singing carrier.