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21 Jun 2024
Three Palanpuri Diamantaires Elected to Board of Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC)

Three of the six diamantaires newly elected to the Board of Directors of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) are from the Palanpuri community. The three – Ravi Bhansali of Rosy Blue, Chirag S. Shah of Yashvi Diamonds and Samir S. Mehta of Snehdiam – will serve a four-year term. The elections were held on June 17 and 18.

Two other diamantaires of Indian origin - Hitesh Kakadiya of Sheetal Europe and Prakash Patel of Veediam – were also elected.

The AWDC Board has 11 members, including six members representing the trade, three representing the Bourses, one representative of industry and one independent director. The six members of the trade are directly elected, with equal representation for small, medium and large diamond companies. Voters and candidates are divided into three groups, based on the average annual turnover they realized over the years 2022-2023.

Ravi Bhansali was elected from the large company segment, while Chirag and Samir represent the small company sector.

Ravi Bhansali, who has been in the trade for close to two decades, belongs to one of the early Indian families who moved to Antwerp. Both his grandfathers were closely associated with the trade there since the 1950s and 1960s, while Rosy Blue established a permanent presence in Antwerp over 50 years ago. 

“I believe Antwerp continues to offer a lot as traders of all backgrounds and communities happily coexist here. It is a strategically important location within the global diamond trade and I will do everything in my power to ensure that our industry continues to thrive here,” he said.

Chirag Shah has been actively involved with the Antwerp diamond community for over three decades. His company, Yashvi Diamonds BV was established in 2014. “I aim to be proactive and transparent,” he says, adding that he is in direct contact with hundreds of members of the community on a weekly basis. 

He has been an active member of the boards of AIA and JCCA, and is involved in the organization of various events. “We will do everything we can to streamline procedures and making business operations smoother for everyone,” Chirag states.

Samir Mehta, who grew up in Palanpur and learnt the basics of the diamond trade in Mumbai, has been based in Antwerp since 1990. He founded his company in 1992 and has worked alongside with Antwerp Indian Association (AIA), where he was a board member from 2014 to 2017. 

“I am always accessible to my friends, colleagues and fellow diamantaires. I have and will continue to solve people’s problems to the best of my ability,” Samir says. 

He was a member of the AWDC Board from 2010 to 2020, the only person to have been elected for three terms consecutively. He was also on the board of HRD Antwerp for four years and on the board of the Diamantclub Van Antwerpen since 2020.

In 2016, Samir was honoured by the Belgium government with the ‘Officier In De Orde Van Leopold II’ award.


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