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25 Nov 2023
Kirtilal K Doshi, A Highly Respected Veteran of India’s G&J Industry, Passes Away

One of the senior-most veterans of the Indian gems and jewellery industry, Kirtilal K Doshi passed away on November 20, 2023 at the age of 101. A well-known leader who was associated with different trade associations for many decades, Kirtibhai was highly respected for his various pioneering business initiatives and deep involvement with philanthropic activity and social causes.

Kirtibhai, who joined his family’s gem business soon after graduation when just 20 years old, was one of the first to start a business of importing rough diamonds and exporting the polished goods when he set up Kirtilal K. Doshi & Co in the 1950s. He also was instrumental in the formation of Shrenuj & Co in the 1980s. 

Besides developing his own business, he also played a crucial role in the establishment of a number of key trade organisations and in shaping policy frameworks that would help the industry to flourish. Kirtibhai was closely associated with philanthropic activities and various social causes and was also a prolific writer.

At a felicitation organised by the Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association (MDMA) and the Gemmological Institute of India (GII) at the start of this Centenary year in 2021, Kirtibhai said, “Longevity in the business is not a function of hard work alone. It is the passion, resilience and flexibility - these three virtues that help you.”

He concluded by saying, “In the 100th year of my life, I am content with what I have achieved. I am delighted by the friends that I have gained in the industry… Perhaps it is this larger family of diamantaires that is my biggest gain in the industry. I cherish your trust, love and support, to me and my family. I sincerely urge you to continue spreading this love and support to everyone in the industry, so that the Indian diamond family remains strong and agile. If each tree of the forest is green, the entire forest remains green. Same is true for our industry as well.” 



A Brief Biographical Sketch

Born on October 12, 1922, in Palanpur, Kirtibhai graduated with Honors in Economics from the Elphinstone College, but chose to discontinue his studies in economics and law in 1942 to participate in India’s freedom struggle. He remained an avid reader and scholar from childhood and built up an impressive library of over 5,000 books which have by now been donated to various libraries across the country.

In 1942, Kirtibhai also joined the family business of gems and later after stepping into his father’s shoes, began importing polished diamonds under the company Kirtilal K. Doshi & Co, the first of the many pioneering steps he took. In 1956, he pioneered the import of rough diamonds and began cutting and polishing them in India.

Shortly thereafter, Kirtibhai also entered the gemstone trade, and helped establish the “Precious Stone Importers & Exporters Association” and the Gem & Jewellery Exporters Association (GJEA) in the 1950s to promote the export trade. In the 1960s, Kirtibhai was also actively involved, along with other trade stalwarts, in the formation of The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of which he became Chairman in 1971, and in setting up the Gemmological Institute of India (GII). 

Kirtibhai was also appointed by Central and State Governments as a member on various committees for nearly two decades. 

In 1982, he founded Shrenuj & Co and steered it to take many pioneering steps for the trade.

Kirtibhai was an active and visionary philanthropist. He is associated with number of public charity trusts and educational institutions and other CSR activities.

He was the Chairman of Mahavir Jain Vidhyalaya, an over 95-year old educational institution. He contributed to the cause of education in Jainism by setting up the Kalidas Sankalchand Jain academy at Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara. He even donated generously to National Centre for Performing Arts (or NCPA) in Mumbai and the Shankar Nethrayala in Chennai. He also contributed generously to GIA and is on the list of their “League of Honour”.

Kirtibhai was the Trustee of the Palanpur Jain Kelvani Fund, Shri Jain Bhojanshala, Shri Vadil Vishranti Grah and Diwalibai & Kalidas Sankalchand Doshi Public Charitable Trust. He actively assisted in many fund-raising projects for flood and famine relief and other humanitarian causes.

He has also published 11 volumes in English and Gujarati containing quotes and wisdom of words collected by him over six decades.


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