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Hari Krishna Exports eyes untapped diamond jewellery markets

05 september 2022
ghanshyam_dholakiya_xx.pngGhanshyam Dholakia, born in a farmers’ family in a remote village Dudhala in Gujarat was inspired along with his siblings by his father to follow their destiny and this led them to Surat city - a world of opportunities!

In the early seventies, Ghanshyam’s elder brothers moved to Surat and entered the world of diamonds. Not interested to continue studies, Ghanshyam decided to drop out in 1989 and follow in his elder brothers’ footsteps in the diamond manufacturing industry. For the next 2 years, he worked day and night and mastered the nitty-gritty of diamond manufacturing and trading.

Next, led by their eldest brother Savjibhai Dholakia, established the company ‘Hari Krishna Exports’ in the year 1992. Since then, there was no looking back for the company, which began with a turnover of $20,000 in 1992 and reached a whopping turnover of $1.5 billion in the year 2022.

In 2005, Ghanshyam Dholakia came up with the idea of launching their retail brand - KISNA in the Indian domestic diamond jewellery market… which is now spread in over 3300 outlets across India.

Today, Hari Krishna Exports is associated with all the major mining companies in the world and exports polished diamonds to almost 81 countries of the world. In the last 30 years, the company has transformed and adapted to the changing trends in the industry to remain competitive…

Here, in an exclusive interview with Rough&Polished, Ghanshyam Dholakia, while taking pride in the company’s achievements, looks to the future to expand and grow as opportunities come by...

Some excerpts:

Hari Krishna Exports (HK) has reached many milestones in these 30 years of the company’s existence. For the benefit of our readers, can you take us through your company’s journey and achievements over the years?

We have a rich legacy spanning more than three decades in the diamond industry and today, by God’s grace, Hari Krishna Exports is India’s leading manufacturer of cut and polished diamonds.

The beginning of our journey was humble. We started Hari Krishna Exports in 1992 as a small-time diamond polishing unit in Surat.

Hari Krishna Exports sources its rough diamonds from all the big mines as an official supplier.

In 2005 we launched KISNA, which, owing to the unwavering faith from our customers, is the leading jewellery retailer in India.

Our diamonds are exported to over 80+ countries, including several retail chains in the USA, Europe, and the Far East, and Australia.

The company is certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and has been honoured with 22 Awards for 18 consecutive years by GJEPC. We are grateful to the HK family for all that we have achieved in these years.

As HK is into manufacturing of polished diamonds as well as jewellery, give us an overview of both the businesses… in terms of catering to International as well as domestic market?

Be it international or domestic markets, expertise and precision are the cornerstones of our assortment. Every diamond sold by Hari Krishna Exports is supported with an in-house “Faith” grading certificate and third-party certifications from leading authorities like GIA and NGTC.

With post sales services and a customer friendly system in place, 75% of our business comes from repeat clientele.

Kisna is a flagship diamond jewellery brand launched by H.K. Jewels which is a part of Hari Krishna Group Company. Our attention to detail, innovative approach and excellence has bagged us numerous accolades from the Brand of the Year Award to the Paramparik Jewellery of the year award.

Starting with a modest beginning, we now have more than 3500 physical stores across 29 states and 400 cities in the country. Kisna has 2000 + unique designs of diamond jewellery on the official website and in the physical stores. Through our strong network of distributors and retailers, we have made our way to the heart of all our customers.

Besides De Beers and ALROSA, from where do you source your rough diamond requirements? Was HK impacted in the recent rough shortage problem due to the geopolitical issues, and how did you cope with the situation?

We take pride in how foresighted we are, but sometimes, as you mentioned, market situations are not in our control owing to geopolitical issues and environmental limitations.

To answer your question, we engage in buying rough diamonds from open tenders and secondary markets.

Globally, which countries do you exports polished goods and jewellery currently? Which other international market/s do you think have good potential for exports from India?

Our Company has a loyal base of customers to whom we export our exquisite products, including but not limited to the USA, Canada, Australia, UAE; and France, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and more.

All in all, we have our presence in more than 80 countries worldwide, all of whom have solidified their trust in us over the years.

It is our strong desire to gain entry into yet untapped diamond jewellery markets to unlock their potential and extend our global presence. Given an appropriate window of opportunity, we would certainly go ahead and explore more.

What are your suggestions to grow the demand for polished diamonds/jewellery in a gold jewellery loving crowded domestic market?

It is true that traditionally the demand for gold jewellery in India has been substantial. But it will not be correct to say that the demand for gold is negatively affecting the demand for diamonds.

Both are big markets and have respective customers. Millennials now prefer diamond jewellery over gold. The choices are shifting especially among the younger generation.

We harness the power of social media to widen our reach. Vigorously promoting across all platforms and reaching out via other channels as well.

Wrapping up, demand for lab-grown diamonds (LGDs) / jewellery is increasing both in International and domestic markets. Do you think the LGD sector is a serious competitor to natural diamonds/ jewellery? Your thoughts?

We believe that the demand for natural and lab grown diamonds is parallel in the market.

In the global context, we feel that a vast population of more than 8 billion people is more than sufficient for the markets of both natural and lab grown diamonds to co-exist and grow simultaneously.

To add to that the HK family is one hard-working team. I have complete faith in our ability to continue to grow and reach newer heights.

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