Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at IGJA
Kanubhai B. Shah, founder of the KBS Group, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th India Gem & Jewellery Awards (IGJA 2017) organised by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The award was presented by Chief Guest Hon’ble Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu and Smt Poonam Mahajan, Member of Parliament at a glittering ceremony held in Mumbai on July 28, 2018.
Kanubhai joined the diamond industry over four decades ago with little or no knowledge of diamonds or jewellery. He had grown up in Kolkata where his father, Bapalal Shah, originally from Palanpur, was a commission agent selling pearls. Kanubhai studied Law after his graduation and even began an internship at a solicitor’s firm, but his heart was in doing business.
He soon gave up a legal career and not only joined his father’s business, but expanded into selling diamonds, which yielded better gains. His first transaction in the precious gemstones was done without any prior knowledge – he sold a parcel of Rs 5,000 purchased by a cousin in Mumbai to the trader who till then had purchased pearls from the family, earning a small 4% margin. There was no looking back.
Later, Kanubhai moved to Mumbai, set up his firm called Kanubhai B Shah, that later grew into the KBS Group, and after about a decade of successful manufacturing, was joined by his sons and other relatives, expanding with offices in different global centres and a strong presence in both diamonds and jewellery. In fact, alongside Kanubhai’s personal award, two group firms KBS Diamonds and KBS Creations, also won awards from GJEPC for their outstanding export performance this year.
Speaking at the release of his book
In addition to his business achievements, Kanubhai has also been an active member of The Gem & Jewellery & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and has not only served on several committees of the apex trade body, but has also served as its Vice Chairman. He has also held the post of Convener of the GJEPC’s Accounts & Finance (A&F) committee in the past. But, perhaps his most remembered role will be that of Convener of the Awards Committee. For all the years he helmed the Awards Committee, he would give personal attention to ensure that the awards were organised in a meticulous manner and everything went off as smoothly as possible.
A lesser known facet about Kanubhai has been his devotion to music and poetry – especially the latter. It was an interest he picked up early in his youth. “Since I was a very young, I have been noting down any poetry I came across,” he says. Pulling out a notebook, he displayed pages which have been closely filled up. “I still have my notebooks from the time in Kolkata when I first began compiling poetry,” he beams.
Eventually, this hobby culminated in the publication of a book of collected Gujarati verse, titled “Gulmohar Maari Lagnino” which was not only much appreciated, but is very much in demand even after three editions.
Kanubhai with his sons Sandeep (l) and Sanjay (r)
Though he has retired from active involvement in business and industry bodies, Kanubhai still pursues his twin passions – work for society through his role as a trustee on several philanthropic organisations; and music and poetry through various activities on that front. He has also been an active participant in the Palanpur Samaj Kendra (PSK) since long.
“My charitable work and my contribution to bringing such wonderful poetry to connoisseurs, is the legacy I would like to leave behind to society,” he says with a satisfied smile.
(Information Courtesy: GJEPC’s 44th IGJA Awards Souvenir)
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