Leaders Share Ideas to Foster Economic Growth

Surat: The recently concluded B20 (Business 20) Surat Meet – the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on 1st July 2023 at the Diamond city of India- Surat, saw a host of sparkling stalwarts sharing their thoughts, insights and views at the closed door event.

The Round Table Discussion on the ‘Future of Diamond Industry in India in 2030′ explored and addressed the significant issues that will shape the trajectory of the diamond industry in India over the next decade. The key stakeholders including the industry leaders, policymakers, and experts had an in-depth and comprehensive conversation generating valuable insights and recommendations. According to the De Beers Diamond Insight Report, India has the third-largest consumer demand for diamonds in the world at approximately $2.35Bn. According to data published by the GJEPC, 14 out of 15 diamonds used in jewellery around the world are processed in India, where the diamond industry directly employs 1.5 million people. With a value of $22 billion, cut and polished diamond exports alone accounted for roughly 5% of India’s total merchandise exports in FY 22–23.

Participating in the Round Table were Tom Moses – Executive Vice President – Gemological Institute of America, Vipul Shah – Chairman – The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Shreyans Dholakia – Brand Custodian – SRK, Bijayananda Pattanayak – Executive Vice President & Head – Global Diamond & Jewellery Group, Brijesh Dholakia – Junior Chief Executive Officer – HK, Ajoy Chawla – CEO – Jewellery Division – Titan Ltd, Janak Mistry – Managing Director and Group CEO – Lexus Softmac, Parag Shah – Executive Director – K Giridharilal International Pvt Ltd, Nirav Jogani – Partner – Suresh Sarana & Associates LLP and Richa Singh – Managing Director India & Middle East – Natural Diamond Council.

The session was chaired by Professor Debjit Roy, Institute Chair Professor in the Operations and Decision Sciences area, IIM Ahmedabad. The pertinent points and strategic inputs from the Round Table will be compiled and published in a white paper which will be shared with the CII and Government of India. The outcomes will contribute to the formulation of recommendations and strategies that will shape the future of the diamond industry in India and beyond.

“We have gathered here to acknowledge and to embrace the spirit of internationalism and recognise that we are indeed Global citizens. Our company Shree Ramkrishna Exports (SRK) stands as a testament to the power of embracing this interconnectedness. Amongst the segments, luxury growth will continue to be a sweet spot. Surat will keep contributing to India’s global export adding values to its products with environmental and climate protection being the very core to the existence and continuity of human civilization. Also, countries like India that are demographically and in improved skill acquisition terms are well poised to contribute majorly to global growth, India’s growth will therefore be for global good.” remarked Mr. Shreyans Dholakia.

Richa Singh said “It was a privilege to be a panellist at the G20-B20 summit in Surat. It was an engaging and thought-provoking discussion covering key topics around the future of the natural diamond industry, specifically through the lens of its sustainability efforts and ESG compliance, traceability of diamonds, government policy and how this industry is truly pioneering positive change and economic development in India. We need to share all the good that modern diamond industry does for the world with consumers, to enhance their desire for these wonders of nature, and to further build the diamond dream. I hope that the outcome will help us to together grow our industry further as more and more young Indians aspire to own and adorn their unique natural diamonds”.

The B20 India 2023 dialogue is taking place under the theme of ‘RAISE’, an acronym for Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable & Equitable Businesses. The Surat event saw participation of approximately 200 delegates from G20 countries, representing various sectors such as diamond, textiles, finance, and banking industries. The meeting provided an opportunity for business leaders to share their insights and policy recommendations on various business economic topics. The key inaugural speakers at the event were Union Cabinet Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways & Ministry of Ayush- Shri Sarbananda Sonowal and State Minister of State for Home, Industries, Transport, Youth, Sports- Shri Harsh Sanghavi.

Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. (SRK), a globally leading diamond crafting and exports company was a proud supporting partner of the B20 summit and is an advocate of B20 meetings across India. Valued at more than 1.8 billion USD, SRK employs over 6,000 people and has played a pivotal role in transforming India’s contribution into the global economy over the last six decades. SRK is a pioneer in the gems and jewellery industry compliance in sustainability practices and sheds light on the urgent and necessary acceleration efforts for a zero emissions India and beyond. Extending support to G20 is to satisfy the organisation’s core values and commitment towards building a sustainable world where ethics is given more importance, ensuring that all operations followed by the company positively impact society and the environment.

Being a major commercial and economic centre in South Gujarat and one of the largest urban areas of western India, Surat has a well-established diamond industry and about 90% of the world’s diamond supply is cut and polished in the city.