From a controlled business to a more open regime; from a highly profitable business to one where margins are under pressure, the business has seen many twists and turns. Yet, the gems and jewellery business has emerged as a modern monolith using the latest technology and has a forward looking marketing approach.
When I first entered the business way back in the 1950s, it was lucrative a one. The margins were higher than what they are today. Mumbai was a relatively new and growing market, which offered a lot of potential.
On the other hand there were many restrictions and controls when I began – on import and export, on foreign exchange and so many more. With the advent of the Export Promotion Scheme, the industry survived. It began to thrive and progressed immensely year after year.
With wife, Satyavati
The technological innovation over recent years has been incredible. The manufacturing process has developed and adapted over the decades, making the industry more efficient.
It is heartening to see the next generation of the gem and jewellery industry. We have more and more educated people entering the industry, bringing with them fresh new ideas.
Marketing has developed to an excellent level, with many industry members successfully branding their product, and engaging in mass production and distribution.
On the other hand, the earlier traditional jeweller who had a family-type relation to the customer, has vanished. The kind of business I developed meant a lot of travel around the world. Going to places like Idar-Oberstein and Russia in those days and being vegetarian was not so easy; once in Brazil I lived on nothing but tapioca for more than a week.
In his personal library
There are many, many stories that I especially like to share with my grandchildren. My next project is going to be to write down these experiences and document them.
Going forward, I feel that firstly the industry should be prudent in their borrowings. There is credit available right now, and people will have to consider carefully how much to extend themselves.
Secondly, we should take the threat of synthetic diamonds very seriously. I see parallels with what happened in the pearl market when cultured pearls were introduced. We need to recognise the warning signs and take appropriate action.
(Reproduced from 40th Annual Awards Souvenir - courtesy GJEPC)
Rajendrakumar A. Shah Receives GJEPC’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Click here to read News
Members can now request for a soft copy of the names and addresses of all those
listed in the Directory in Excel format. The copy will contain the list with all
the updates that have been informed by members till the last day of the previous
This service is strictly for the use of Members Only.
Palanpur Online Helpline
Tel: +91 - 22 - 40203620 / 21
Time: 10am - 6pm (IST) (Mon to Fri)