India Now - page 43

supply. It, however, projected a rapid
change in the scenario due to various
trends. The seven trends shaping the
global industry as identified in the white
paper include: Plateauing levels of pro-
duction for the next 10 years; pressure
on producing countries to extract more
value, increase in mining costs; shift in
demand to emerging markets; chang-
ing consumer preferences; increase in
transparency and vertical integration
and improvement of technical capabili-
ties in synthetic gems.
Notwithstanding the shifting trends,
according to De Beers’ statistics, global
diamond jewellery sales were estimated
at US$ 79 billion in 2013. China and
the US remain major players when it
comes to diamond jewellery. “However,
India has seen double digit growth in
diamond jewellery year on year starting
from the year 2000,” says Shah. De
Beers estimates that India contributes
to 6 per cent of the global diamond jew-
ellery sales.
Skilled India
While the gems and jewellery industry
by nature is global in scale due to the
geographically dispersed value chain,
India can retain its leadership position
if it continuously invests in technology,
skills, innovations and modernisation,
Philippe Mellier, Chief Executive Offi-
cer, De Beers Group, had said recently
as per media reports. Supported by
government policies, India is home to
the world’s largest diamond cutting and
polishing hub. According to a Bains
& Company report of December 2014,
India’s share in the US$ 22 billion cut-
ting and polishing segment had risen
to more than 60 per cent, validating its
status as the world’s diamond process-
ing hub. The total exports of rough and
polished diamonds accounted for US$
97.01 billion. India’s share was at a stag-
gering 25.43% contributing US$ 24.67
billion as per the GJEPC's compilation.
Mavji Bhai Patel, Managing Director,
Kiran Gems Pvt Ltd, the largest dia-
mond exporter in the country, gives an
insight into the strengths of the dia-
mond industry in India. “India, being
one of the world’s largest diamond
processors, derives its strength from its
craftsmen. It has a huge talent pool. A
major part of the cutting and polishing
of diamonds in India is done manu-
ally and this sets India apart from the
rest of the world. Indian craftsmen are
renowned the world over for their exper-
tise in cutting and polishing of small
diamonds—below one carat. Another
significant factor contributing to the
growth of this sector is that it is strongly
backed and supported by government
policies and the banking sector. More-
over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
initiative of
Make in India
has further
boosted the diamond sector. In fact, the
entire gems and jewellery sector has
gained global acclaim on account of its
talented craftsmen, superior manufac-
turing practices and cost efficiencies.”
The diamond sector is a people
intensive, skill intensive as well as a
technology intensive industry. This is
best exemplified in Surat, the diamond
hub of India, and Ahmedabad. While
most cutting and polishing activities are
undertaken manually in the country,
Surat has the largest concentration of
computerised diamond planners and
state-of-the-art laser machines in the
world with more than a few factories
having between 100–500 lasers in a
single complex (Source: GJEPC).
Devoted Players
Savji Dholakia, Founder and Partner,
Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd (HKEPL),
has risen from the ranks in the dia-
mond cutting and polish-
ing industry of India.
Today his company exports
diamonds to more than
50 locations and manu-
factures those originating
from mining countries like
Russia, Botswana, Canada,
Australia, South Africa,
Angola, Namibia, Lesotho
and few others. Dholakia
emphasises on the huge
popularity of diamonds in
general and Indian diamonds in partic-
ular saying, “Diamonds are evergreen.
There is a huge market for Indian dia-
monds overseas.” He also points to the
“extremely export oriented and labour
intensive nature of the Indian diamond
sector” and lists “low costs and avail-
ability of high-skilled labour” among
the primary reasons for India being the
diamond hub. “Moreover, the Govern-
ment of India has identified the gems
and jewellery sector as a thrust area for
export promotion,” he points out, elabo-
rating that this has been the main factor
behind the recent buoyancy in the mar-
ket. HKEPL’s manufacturing capacity
is over 1,50,000 carats per month and
it supplies polished diamonds to more
than 75 countries worldwide. It has
been recognised as a three star export
house by the Government of India.
Patel, on the other hand represents
the new breed of diamond exporters
who entered the family-driven industry
without the baggage of either a fam-
ily name or experience in the trade.
A first generation entrepreneur, Patel
has today established Kiran Gems as
the world’s largest manufacturer of
diamonds producing nearly 1.6 million
carats of polished diamonds and facili-
tates the growth of over 1,000 jeweller
businesses worldwide. It is one of the
top three jewellery suppliers in the
world, employing the largest workforce
of 36,000 skilled craftsmen and at the
same time this Crisil A-/Stable and
Care A rated company is the largest
user of high tech machineries across all
its facilities. The leading diamantaire
is also the recipient of
the export performance
award for six consecutive
years from GJEPC, for
2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-
10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and
Companies like Kiran
Gems have adopted an
innovative hub and spoke
model to ensure qual-
ity throughout the value
chain. Explains Patel, “The
India's cur-
rent share in
the total world
diamond export
basket con-
tributing US$
24.67 billion
Source: GJEPC
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