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  Vasant Meha ..past & future of diamond manufacturing india

Vasant Mehta's achievements are infinite. Mehta has held several important positions wherein he was involved in undertaking measures to transform the capabilities of India from a diamond manufacturing to a global jewellery manufacturing hub of quality and design oriented jewellery. He took over the reigns of the council amidst a period of economic downturn, yet at the end of the year Mehta manages to reorient strategy as per the economic reality and bring back the cheer among exporters.

  • Chairman of GJEPC and holds several important posts in India and abroad
  • Wide expertise in Banking, Insurance, Taxation and other Legal matters.
  • Responsible in working closely with and providing policy guidance to the government

Vasant Mehta is a second generation businessman involved in the family business for over 40 years. He is the founder and senior partner of M/S. V. Rameshchandra & Co, Mumbai. After graduating from Calcutta University, Mehta migrated to Mumbai and joined the newly developing diamond cutting industry in 1966. He has also been a convener of the Banking Insurance and Taxation Committee for over 10 years. He has served as a member of the committee of Bharat Diamond Bourse and has been an advisor to their legal committee. Mehta's contribution in promoting and representing the Indian gem and jewellery fraternity in international forum is commendable. He is also serving as the vice president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and is a special advisor to China Diamond Industry.

Mehta admitted that the phase was tough and praised his committee members for their invaluable support. "Yes it was difficult in the sense that both industries suddenly saw 80% drop in manufacturing. Post Diwali the factories did not open and it was painful as we had to sail through it," he says. He thinks as an immediate after effect of the recession, the industry very luckily took a conscious decision of not putting pressure on the pipeline by producing more' and choking it in August-September. During these months goods are stocked for the upcoming Christmas season. But the decision not to import for a month was great and it helped the council to pause and rethink about what could happen and what would be the effect of recession. And this one month not only helped them to save about 700 billion because the industry imports close to 700 million of rough diamonds every month but also helped to learn and adapt an approach to handle the recession.


Though the Indian government has been claiming to spin India into a global hub for rough and polished diamonds, Mehta feels India needs to pass few more hurdles to attain the title. In his opinion India lacks the right climate and day to day amenities. In spite of having a vibrant market the country is far being numero uno due to its own weaknesses, which if fixed can do wonders for the economy in general and the sector in particular, he states.

It is difficult to give a finite number of foreign visitors who will participate in the event. However, the council has created a new section for loose diamonds and loose gemstones in this jewellery show. Buyers from China, Russia and Middle East are expected to visit the show. It's an exhibition for buyers who are interested in buying loose stones. Besides, 5000 retailers and companies have been invited as compared to 2000 international and domestic invites last year.

The campaign has got tremendous response in the country. However it has been postponed for a while in the Middle East since those countries have been affected greatly by recession and as we all know new promotional campaign in a luxury item takes years to materialize and succeed.

Vasant Mehta who also serves as council's special advisor to China says that the council is planning to take more delegations to major shows in China in order to expose the Chinese buyers to the availability of diamonds and colour stones from India. "Today most of the business is routed to Hong Kong which can be directed here."


Three years ago we realized that the US market had reached its saturation point and it was then that we decided to look for alternate markets in China, Russia and Middle East. In the US fashion amongst youngsters is more to do with costumes and electronic items than semi precious and precious jewellery.


Mehta humbly declined to enumerate upon his individual contributions and instead pointed towards the rapid growth of the industry in the last few years. He attributed the success of the sector to visionary diamond people and governmental policies "I think in the last five decades the creation of a separate chapter in the licensing policy and reformation of the banking norms for this industry have helped the gem and jewellery sector. These three things have helped to grow the business to such height today that we are the largest producers of diamonds in the world and there is no other product in India that has reached this height. And we can still do better than this."


Recession took the world by surprise as it hit us all in the face like a bullet. New entrants to the business were especially gripped by surprise and were left wondering about the means to handle it. An important lesson learnt during last year is to keep business under control and not to overtrade or over manufacture. Being aggressive is good but one must limit ones resources and means to achieve success.


Mehta is a happy and satisfied man as he believes that he has achieved all that a man can desire in his career. However, he is looking forward to passing on ethical values to his children. Seeing India as a jewellery hub is one of his most treasured dream. "I want to see India as a major jewellery manufacturing hub." Blaming the Gold Control Act he rues about the benefits and advantages the country lost in the past. "We have a vibrant economy and should now realize the mistakes of the past and look at such industries that can help us grow."