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28 Mar 2022
Sanjay Kothari Receives GJEPC's Lifetime Achievement Award at 47th IGJA

Sanjay A. Kothari was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) at the 47th India Gem and Jewellery Awards (IGJA) held in Mumbai recently. The award was presented by Chief Guest Kapil Dev, former cricket captain, Team India and Guest of Honor Mohinder Amarnath, former Indian cricketer in the presence of Colin Shah, Chairman GJEPC and other dignitaries.

The award was in recognition of his multi-faceted contributions to the industry over the last few decades, as Chairman of GJEPC from 2000-2004 and 2006-2008, his roles in leading other committees of the Council, his stellar contribution to GJEPC projects such as IIJS, IIGJ and his current role as Chairman of GJSCI and GJNRF.

In a special salutary booklet released on the occasion, Sanjaybhai was described by the Council as “a towering personality”, “a mentor to many”, “a model of rectitude” who “commands a groundswell of praise and respect from every quarter – be it his industry peers, friends, family, media, or even his office staff, some of whom have been working with him for 50 years”. 

It noted that he was a “A multifaceted luminary… (who was) born to lead”, and said that Sanjaybhai has “devoted more time and energy to the Council than any other office bearer”; “had the distinction of being the longest-serving Chairman” and that with “his charismatic personality and an innate ability to lead groups as a cohesive force, he has gained recognition for India as a global leader and strengthened the various developmental activities of the Council. The publication made special mention of his role in transforming IIJS into a vibrant B2B show that is now recognized as a leading global event, launching IIJW, steering many key policy changes, among his myriad contributions over the years.

The booklet also contained a compilation of messages and memories from industry leaders and other close associates. We reproduce a few extracts:


Receiving GJEPC’s coveted Lifetime Achievement Award speaks volumes about a person’s determination and passion towards one’s work. 

Sanjay Kothari has dedicated his life working for the betterment of the diamond industry and he continues to inspire us through his work as chairman of GJNRF and GJSCI. 

Colin Shah 
Chairman, GJEPC 


Sanjaybhai Kothari is a visionary. He has been a guiding force, and I will cherish many heart-to-heart discussions we’ve had in the past about furthering the trade. 

He has an exceptional quality of being an inclusive person and has inspired and empowered many people through the years, including the younger generation. 

Vipul Shah 
Vice Chairman, GJEPC 


Sanjaybhai is the doyen of the Indian gem & jewellery industry, a leader of the grassroots, who is honest to the core in everything that he does - as an industry man, as an owner, or as a boss. Above all, he is a lovely human being. His heart beats for all and sundry. I am lucky to have worked under him. Not just me, he has mentored a generation… a good number of us are indebted to him for that. 

Sabyasachi Ray 
Executive Director, GJEPC 


Sanjaybhai is a principled and upright person, who has the courage to take morally right decisions. Once when our fortunes were completely wiped out, Sanjay bhai earnestly requested me that I was free to part ways as he did not want me to stay in the ‘sinking ship’. But I stuck by him because of his conviction and I’m glad that I abided by my decision.

Yatish Mehta
Kunal Diamonds


A few mantras taught by my father are the ones that I continue to abide by. Honesty is the foundation of our business. Entrusting us with responsibility was the biggest gift given by my father.

Sunit Kothari


It is difficult to write briefly about my friend and adviser Sanjaybhai Kothari. It is well-known that Sanjay bhai has always been forthright in his views, quick in comprehending and decision-making on any issue related to the industry, a reliable team member and an erudite speaker. 

His consistent contributions to the industry and obvious leadership qualities are well recognised. 

Bakul Mehta 
Former Chairman, GJEPC


Morally and ethically correct; true to the old values of respecting the handshake culture; progressive in thinking; seeking to change the industry to be better all the time; leading from the front and by example …. Sanjay bhai is a rare example of selfless dedication to the diamond industry and its community, besides being a great diamantaire. 

Russell Mehta 
Former Vice Chairman, GJEPC


Sanjaybhai was brought into the GJEPC by my father, Navinchandra Mehta, a former Vice Chairman of the Council. Life came full circle as Sanjay bhai brought in young blood into the GJEPC to inject a fresh perspective, and that’s how the four of us – Colin Shah, Saunak Parikh, Nirav Bhansali, and myself – began our association with GJEPC around ten years ago. As Chairman of GJNRF, he has been actively involved in philanthropic activities. He really brings out people’s altruistic side through his passion for the cause. 

Ajesh Mehta 
Convener, Banking Insurance & Taxation, GJEPC 


I have found Sanjaybhai to be an exceptionally sincere and straightforward person, an individual for whom ethics and morality mattered the most. He has truly been the watchdog of the industry, which has been invaluable to the entire trade. Over the years, I have seen him work diligently at the Council to maintain discipline and a strong value-system within the trade. 

Sanjay bhai’s contribution in charitable work has been exceptional. He has been closely working with the Gem and Jewellery National Relief Foundation and Mahajan Hospital, Palanpur, to improve lives of the downtrodden. He led the industry’s efforts in helping those affected by the pandemic. I have closely seen this outstanding work. 

Ashish Mehta 
Former COA Member, GJEPC



Click here to view GJEPC booklet



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