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Working according to one’s weaknesses and strengths

26 august 2019

canon_jhaveri_xx.pngCanon Jhaveri grew up watching his diamond-dealer father and uncle working with diamonds. The sparkles of the diamonds fascinated the young boy, who became more intrigued every time he visited his father’s office.

After graduating in 2002, Canon Jhaveri started to pursue his career in diamonds. But, before joining his father’s business Amish Diamonds, he strove to learn the ropes of the business, right from understanding rough diamonds, cutting and polishing, assorting, trading… and also had a stint with the jewellery making process.

Armed with all the required skills, Canon wanted to expand the business and take it globally. Travelling to the Far East, Belgium, USA helped him learn, not only the art of selling diamonds, but about creating and nurturing customers and how to cater to them.

In 2007, a free zone company -- Aakar Diamonds F.Z.E-- was established in Dubai; and in 2015 moved to the main market to open Aakar Diamonds LL and have a better presence in the market. The rest, as they say, is history…

Today, Canon Jhaveri steers Aakar Diamonds to spread its wings in the global markets with the confidence of a veteran. In an Interview with ROUGH and POLISHED, Canon Jhaveri tells us about his plans to grow his business, but not before expressing his admiration for Dubai and the country’s welcoming attitude to entrepreneurs, which helped him establish Aaakar Diamonds LLC.

Some excerpts:

With your father and uncle in the diamond business, I presume you were introduced to the business early in your life. Tell us more about it and what prompted you to start a marketing office in Dubai? Why Dubai and not anywhere else?

We started in Dubai about 12 years back. Dubai was a very young field then and we could cover the Middle East, Africa, parts of Europe. Dubai, under leadership and vision of Sh. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (who had just come to power as Ruler of Dubai), was expanding its presence all over the world.

Dubai was welcoming investors, had ease of doing business and great infrastructure for businesses compared to other Middle East ports. Also, we dealt mainly in brown colour diamonds then, which was well-received in the Middle East. Considering many factors, Dubai made a perfect choice to the other ports, to start our journey outside India.

Tell us more about Amish Diamonds in Mumbai. Is the company involved in manufacturing or only dealers /exporters / cater to the local market or both? Give more details.

Amish Diamonds was formed in 1980. It was formed by my father and uncle; and is until now managed by them. The company is involved in manufacturing as well as trading of diamonds. Dealing only in loose diamonds, the company not only caters to the local markets (different states in India) but exports diamonds to many countries as well. And today, the almost four-decade-old company has developed many lasting relations in due course.

Your company in Dubai - Aakar Diamonds - how comfortable was it to start a business in Dubai? Do you deal in loose diamonds only or jewellery as well?

As mentioned earlier, Dubai is welcoming to investors. Its ease of doing business and great infrastructure for business operations not only made it very easy to start the company but operate it. I guess, since it was a very young field when we started, every new supplier was well received in the market too. As a hub, the entire Middle East was also growing, and the growing demand made it possible to establish ourselves.

What is the demand position for diamonds in Dubai currently and what size/colour moves fast from your company? What’s the size of your business now? What steps do you intend taking to grow your business in Dubai?

Over the years, we have seen a steady increase in demand. The constant adaptation of new business policies by the government has also been very helpful for the business. We now have clients in many different countries. Each client has a business module. Accordingly, their choices of goods vary.

We also carry a large choice selection in our inventory. We carry from all shades Brown diamonds to White diamonds (loose/certified), from IF to PK clarities and sizes 20 pointers onwards to 5 carats (our client base has been better receptive to these sizes).

Over the years, we have moved our office to the main market, to have a better presence in the market. The key is to cater to them according to their choice of goods. Accordingly, it helps us grow with them. We intend to keep increasing our range of goods offered and concentrate on having new business accounts (regardless of their size), who are as passionate about the trade as we are.

Do you have clients/customers in other countries as well? If so, from where? What do you export to them…loose diamonds or diamond jewellery or both?

Yes, we have clients in USA, Europe, GCC Countries. We are currently dealing in only loose Diamonds.

Can you explain if there’s any benefit/s of exporting from Aakar, Dubai to your overseas clients rather than exporting from your Indian company?

Amish Diamonds and Aakar Diamonds are both parts of the same tree, but they both have their unique individual functions and work independently. We wanted to expand our business globally. With me joining the business and considering the factors (mentioned above), we placed our bets on expanding through Dubai.

Aakar Diamonds was created specifically to expand our position and increase our presence in the industry. Until now, we have kept it such. Both companies have their unique markets and separate clients…thereby separate needs according to respective clients. Maybe this is the reason when we, despite the stressful cycle of the trade, have still been able to maintain our positions and grow individually… being together, but not dependent on each other.

So, where do you wish to see Aakar Diamonds, say in another 10 years?

We are a very small company in this big trade. By small I mean, it is a business managed strictly by our small family and with limited capital resource and don’t intend to borrow.

We believe in organic growth, which is most healthy for any trade or individual… in other words, working according to your weaknesses and strengths. This has restricted us from entering the jewellery business but has helped us focus entirely on the loose diamonds.

We want to continue to explore untouched markets by us and find companies (buyers) that are as passionate about the trade as us. We not only, want to supply the goods of their choice, but also want our goods to find the right buyers/companies, who have been looking for suppliers carrying goods like us. We also wish to further increase our range of goods offered.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough and Polished