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“More buyers are now waiting for our diamond-growing machines,” says Rahul Gaywala, CEO- Sahajanand Technologies Pvt Ltd

12 december 2022
rahul_gaywala_xxc.pngRahul Gaywala, the CEO of Sahajanand Technologies Pvt Ltd (STPL) has been with the Sahajanand Group since 1993 and in his illustrious tenure with the company, he has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the global diamond processing industry. STPL is a 25-year-old company providing high-end technological solutions with the induction of Artificial Intelligence for the diamond industry; also provides 3D printing technological solutions under the leadership of Rahul Gaywala.

Rahul Gaywala handles the company's worldwide operations including business development, R&D, production, and supply chain. He has tremendous cross-culture and global exposure in diamond technology, industrial laser, medical devices, and the life sciences industry. He is a rare combination of a visionary, a hard-core innovator, a motivator and a technocrat. His contribution to revolutionizing the diamond industry, from the labour-intensive handicraft industry to the high-tech-automated engineering industry, has been immense.

Rahul Gaywala is associated with many educational institutions and engineering universities like Uka Tarsadia University, Sarvajanik College of Engineering & Technology and SSASIT. He is also associated with robust collaboration (MOU) between STPL and Shree Swami Atmanand Saraswati Institute of Technology, Surat (SSASIT) to create a reservoir for quality manpower in the fields of engineering and science and bridge the gap between industries and academia. He was awarded the Man of Excellence award in 2014 and the Most Enterprising CEO award in 2013 by the jury of the brand academy institute and Indian Achievers Forum respectively for his outstanding contribution to the world diamond industry.

Here, in an exclusive Interview, Rahul Gaywala speaks to Rough&Polished, not only about STPL's diamond manufacturing machines but the 'diamond growing machine' that is in the pipeline...

Some Excerpts:

Since Rough&Polished spoke to you/STPL in 2020, can you update us with the inclusions of new machinery / advanced technology upgradation etc., that have taken place at your company since then?

Just like in almost all sectors, there has been rapid advancement in the technologies related to diamond processing. For the processing of earth-mined diamonds, we at STPL have been pioneering robotics and artificial intelligence-based newer technologies, that can improve the overall quality and quantity of rough diamond processing.

Speaking about the Lab-Grown Diamond (LGD), this is another area where we are taking the lead at the global level, providing novel ways of automated LGD processing. Over the years, we have further enhanced our expertise in the realm of optimising seed preparation, as well as the coring and slicing processes so that the diamond gem growers get the maximum returns from their LGD investments. Over and above these, the rest of the natural diamond processing technologies like planning, shaping and faceting can be applied to LGD as well.

Do both the mined and grown diamonds cutting and polishing/manufacturing units use the same machinery? If so, what's the current situation in terms of demand for such machinery?

Yes, almost all the processing requirements for the mined and grown diamond are identical. We need to understand that lab-grown diamonds are optically, chemically, and physically at par with earth-mined diamonds. So, once we have a rough diamond in our hand, be it earth-mined or lab-grown, its cutting, polishing and other processing remain the same. Only, some specific requirements at different stages need to be addressed.

As the lab-grown diamond market is evolving, we at STPL are upscaling our technologies and solutions to meet the demands. For example, Robots, Moving-beam technology and 532nm Green laser technology help to make diamond processing and production much easier, faster and more qualitative.

The Lab-Grown Diamond (LGD) industry has grown over the years ... and is now growing further globally. What's your opinion about the prospects and growth potential of the LGD market globally?

See, the Lab-Grown Diamond is going to stay forever, because practically, in all the senses, it is at par with the earth-mined diamond. It is even a conflict-free and eco-friendly alternative, hence, there is no doubt that the LGD industry is going to stay and grow rapidly. At the global scale, LGD has huge potential and the best part is, the world has only started to realise the virtues of LGD, so there is a huge market to tap.

In India, does STPL supply machinery for growing diamonds as well? What's the demand for them right now? Does the demand come from existing diamond c&p / diamond manufacturing companies or exclusively LGD c&p units?

As I said, the global LGD industry is growing and similarly, now we are witnessing very healthy growth in demand for LGD-specific solutions in India as well. New players are joining the race for LGD processing and the veterans of mined-diamond processing are also very keen to jump in the wagon.

We, at STPL, have been working on a very user-friendly and accurate growing machine which will reduce the dependency on technical expertise and the machine will have the inbuilt AI-based skills to grow diamonds. These will supercharge the entire process of LGD processing.

Does STPL supply all its machinery globally? What's the current situation, and which countries are the major buyers? And for which machinery...manufacturing or lab-growing machines? Are created diamonds more eco-friendly in your opinion?

Yes, we supply globally for manufacturing but more buyers are waiting for our diamond-growing machines as they have trust and faith in STPL technology. We are also exploring ways of having tie-ups with other global players to speed up the spread of our solutions across the globe.

Yes, LGDs are more eco-friendly. They are grown entirely in the lab, in a controlled environment and hence, their production doesn’t have any negative impact on the society or environment.

Recently, the Indian Government decided to waive off power duty for Surat lab-grown diamond industry. Do you expect more new units to be set up or even expansions in the LGD sector? What are the growth opportunities that might emerge going forward?

Yes, indeed. This is a very encouraging move by the government to boost the lab-grown diamond industry. I am sure with more such initiatives, combined with other advantages of the LGD, there will be more units set up in the sector. It is a bit early to estimate the growth right now, but I do foresee huge growth in the coming years.

Of late, mixed reports are doing the rounds from LGDs consumer markets that prices are dipping for grown diamonds/jewellery. Some claim that over-production and high inventory is the bane... Your views?

I don’t think any such negativity will impact the real potential of LGD. The ‘Lab Grown’ words may create an impression that this is not the real thing, but it is not true. It is an already established, verified and certified fact that LGD and mined diamonds are the same, physically, chemically and optiсally. And hence, I am sure that the world will realise the importance of LGD and with that, the demand will only grow further.

Is your machinery for growing diamonds adequately equipped to control harmful carbon emissions produced during the process? Can you give us more detailed info about the machine, for the benefit of our readers?

We have the best in class and the most eco-friendly machine which is easy to use for any operator for LGD. In LGD processing, it is imperative to understand how to prepare seeds used in the growing process as well as how to optimise yields through efficient planning, coring, and slicing of grown diamond roughs. This is required to assure optimal polish diamond yield. Our solutions are focused precisely on these aspects of LGD growing and processing.

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