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30 november 2020

dinesh_navadiya_xx.pngDinesh Navadiya, the Regional Chairman (Gujarat Region) of The Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India has been appointed the President of The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SGCCI). He is also the Director on the Board of the Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI); Director on the Board of Indian Diamond Institute (IDI).

Navadiya has also served as the President of Surat Diamond Association (SDA) for 7 years, representing industry matters to Government bodies for the welfare of MSMEs in Gujarat State.

A graduate in Economics, Navadiya also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad. A diamantaire in his own right, Navadiya is a partner in Tiku Gems.

Here, in an interview with Rough&Polished, Dinesh Navadiya expresses confidence in the Indian diamond industry’s revival by overcoming the current difficulties. His encouraging picture of Surat’s resilient cutting and polishing sector gives hope of the Indian diamond industry returning to its former glory.

Some excerpts:

Can you give us a picture of the Surat diamond cutting & polishing sector right now? Now that Diwali is over and all the artisans have returned, are all the major diamond factories working in full swing? How are the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) faring in terms of rough requirement as well as in production?

Yes, all major diamond manufacturing units including the   MSMEs are working in full swing.

Is the manufacturing sector in Surat sufficiently provided with rough diamonds? With Belgium seriously impacted with COVID-19 pandemic, how is the sector managing sourcing of rough? How do you think De Beers and ALROSA’s support during the last few months help the Indian industry in general?

Sourcing of rough diamond through online tender system has been helpful during the COVID situation. There are few issues regarding solitaire diamond sourcing due to viewing. Mining companies were helpful by controlling the supply and price of rough diamonds.

Polished goods demand is increasing from the US, China, Europe and other consuming markets. Also, the domestic demand for diamonds is bound to increase due to the ensuing wedding season. Do you think the Surat manufacturing sector will be able to fulfil all the orders on time? What is the total volume of polished goods export in the last month?

Currently, the diamond industry has good quantity of orders and the diamond artisans have taken vacation of only five days during Diwali Holidays which has never happened in past. The said action has been taken keeping in view the timely delivery foreseeing upcoming wedding season and Christmas orders.

According to reports, the Indian domestic market was rather focussed on gold during Diwali this year, with a rise in demand for gold jewellery despite the price rise. Do you see demand for diamond jewellery increasing for the ensuing wedding season?

Yes, we see a good demand in both domestic & foreign markets. There are more than 400 factories producing various forms of diamond jewellery i.e. diamond jewellery studded in gold, silver, etc. Further, innovation in form of wooden diamond jewellery and steel jewellery have been new attraction in manufacturing. All are currently operating in full swing due to orders in both domestic & international markets.

Your appointment as President of South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SGCCI) is looked upon as an achievement that could bring much impetus to the G&J industry of India. What steps do you plan to take, during your tenure, to help the industry?

SGCCI is organizing Sparkle in December 2020 which is the first B2B show after lockdown. The response in terms of booking for stalls has been good.

Further, start of State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDC) will provide great sourcing opportunities to MSME units making it convenient for them to source rough diamonds at local level. Lastly, construction of Surat Diamond Bourse will also be completed sooner which will be helpful for the future of the trade.

It is reported that the Gujarat Diamond Workers Union (GDWU) has plans to ‘protest’ before the Surat district Collector with the workers’ demands. Do you see some reconciliation, especially during these difficult times, when workers have returned to work after a long break?

No formal details have been received till now.  

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