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Hari Krishna Exports: The overall domestic market seems to be going north

29 july 2013

Hari Krishna Exports, one of India’s major diamond manufacturers and exporters, was incorporated in 1992 to grow into a business giving jobs to more than 5,000 workers and generating a turnover exceeding $424 million a year churning out 300,000 carats of polished goods annually. In his interview to Rough&Polished, Ghanshyam D. Dholakia, Managing Director of Hari Krishna Exports, described the achievements of his company giving an overview of the current situation in the diamond market.

Congratulations on your 21st anniversary. Can you take us through your company’s journey over the past 21 years?

With years of grass root level experience, a handful of employees and few machines to operate on, we (the four Dholakia brothers) started Hari Krishna Exports in 1992. From a meager turnover of Rs.1 crore in the first year, we are now a 2,500 crore group today with a workforce of more than 5,000 people.

In my heart we have always been grass root level workers; it is therefore easy for us to connect with the Hari Krishna’s workforce of 5,000 people. Every policy and system introduced has been aimed not only at the customer, but also at the employee of the company and his welfare. The introduction of free lunch to all, medical facilities, hospitals, recreation facilities, etc. will prove this.

From a small cutting and polishing unit to state-of-the-art manufacturing factories in Surat and a plush 25,000 sq. ft. head office in Mumbai, we are globally renowned as the most trusted diamond supplier

34 years after Savjibhai started on that journey, we can look back and visualize a path, albeit at times strewn with obstacles and hardships that led to something far greater than we ever imagined. Excellence, Innovation, Commitment and Transparency have been the guiding principles of our growth and success today.

With continuous efforts and constant endeavor in doing what we are good at, the future of the company is extremely bright and we are confident of reaching newer heights.

Please give a brief profile of your diamond cutting and polishing business and say a few words about the markets you cater to. Which, according to you, is an untapped overseas market that Indians should try to enter?

Established in 1992, Hari Krishna Exports, a diamond manufacturing company, earned global reputation as the most trusted diamond supplier on account of its progressive growth over the years. Distinguished for our high ethical standards, commitment to excellence, consistent product quality and transparent business practices, we pioneered the concept of fixed and fair pricing.

We are a Sightholder of DTC and Select Diamantaire of Rio Tinto. We also receive direct supplies from DDC (earlier BHP) and ALROSA. We are official suppliers of CanadaMark and Forevermark diamonds. We are only the second diamond manufacturer of our size and Sightholder to have achieved the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) Certification in India; the only recipient of India’s “Excellence in Exports” award conferred by the GJEPC for 10 consecutive years from 2003–2012 and an ISO 9001:2008 certified company.

Technology oriented ultra-modern manufacturing set-up at Surat, India houses a work force of more than 5,000 employees providing a world class working environment and having a manufacturing capacity of more than 300,000 carats per annum; it’s a perfect blend of human and technology.

In tandem with keeping the very best, the state-of-the-art, 25,000 sq. ft. Head Office on the 17th level at The Capital, BKC, Mumbai, Hari Krishna Exports has truly set a benchmark of substance and elegance in the global diamond industry. To facilitate comfortable buying experience, we at Hari Krishna have created a perfect ambience with 20 spacious cabins, a comfortable lounge for buyers to relax, and an ultra-modern Conference Room.

With expertise and precision in consistent assortment, we manufacture high quality round and fancy diamonds in more than 10 different shapes, ranging from 0.01 to 5 carats plus in IF to I3 clarity and D to M color.

We cater to more than 70 countries. We believe that we have a market for diamonds wherever women are present. Thus, all countries on the globe are potential markets.

According to you, what is the current situation in terms of demand from overseas as well as domestic markets for loose polished diamonds?

Both overseas as well as domestic markets show strong demand for our diamonds. Lately, the domestic market has become a little week due to the fall in rupee prices vs the dollar. But this is a temporary phenomenon and the Indian market will definitely get back to routine. 

From where else do you source your rough diamond requirements?

Apart from miners, we also source our requirements from secondary markets situated in Antwerp and other places.

Did the rupee fall affect your rough procurements? With the currency volatility and the changing rough shortage scenario, how do you plan your production schedule?

The fluctuation in rupee and dollar rates is also a concern in as much as a depreciating rupee causes liquidity problems. But this is a temporary phenomenon and things will regularize in due course of time. Our rough procurement plans, however, remain unaffected.

Do you see China as a threat to the Indian diamond cutting and polishing sector?

India enjoyed a monopolistic status in the world diamond cutting and polishing market. China’s name was hardly heard in the rough diamond processing industry five years back. But today, the diamond cutting and polishing industry in China has grown tremendously due to cheap labor and supportive government policies.

We believe there is enough room for both countries to co-exist in the industry.

Please, give a brief description of your jewellery unit. Which countries do you export to?

We have two jewelry units - one meant for exports and the other for manufacturing the domestic diamond jewelry brand, “KISNA.” Our export unit is situated in SEEPZ, Mumbai and caters to a wide range of clients globally. 

Do you cater to the domestic market too - both polished goods as well as finished jewellery? If yes, your views on the domestic market and its growth prospects.

Yes. As mentioned above, we do cater to the domestic market - both polished as well as finished jewelry. We have a jewelry brand in the name of “KISNA,” which currently is the largest distributed diamond jewellery brand in the domestic Indian market, with availability in more than 5,700 retail outlets and 460 distributers throughout India. With delivery in 48 hours, the diamond jewellery is made of 18-karat hallmarked gold and is supported with an IGI certificate.

The domestic market is equally good and is currently growing at almost 30% per annum. Except for the temporary setback due to the depreciating rupee, the overall domestic market seems to be going north.

Aruna Gaitonde, Rough&Polished, Mumbai