Interview with Mr. Premal Patel
Indian Diamond Industry has turned in to one of leading player globally and its one of the successful case study of Strong Indian Economy. Today we are glad to talk to Premal Patel who is part of industry for last 15 years and has seen Diamond industry skyrocketing in to best in the world.
How did you start your career in Indian Diamond Industry?
I got into Diamond Manufacturing field in 1994; learned how rough diamond is polished; worked for 5 years and learned step by step process of manufacturing; 10 years back moved to Mumbai; I started working in Diamond assortment and learned insights of buying & selling diamonds in Mumbai Diamond market; I have worked with many firms as Consultant (contract basis) including Asian star, AP gems, Nirav Impex; Presently I work for Supergems India Pvt. Ltd. as an Assistant Buyer.
How was your experience in Diamond Industry during 2008 slowdown?
2008 slowdown was a big blow for Indian Diamond Industry. For many the financial crisis over the last 24 months was an expensive education. Good companies which decided to face the crisis didn’t disappear in a bear market and now they are in very good position. They are in much better position to invest, step on their competitors, and steal market share.
Unfortunately many owners and leaders were unable to take care of their employees. They left all skilled people in middle of ocean and theses people were completely helpless. Some of these people struggled and stayed in Industry, many are out.
If not in Diamond Jewelry Industry which industry or profession you would have chosen?
I could have done business of color stone (Semi Precious). My family is into this business for a while.
Who is your mentor in diamond market?
At my first job I got lot of support and guidance from VinayBhai Patel. He had very good people skills and was expert in Manufacturing process. People with different level of experience were comfortable working with him.
If you get a chance to change one thing in diamond market what would that be?
Indian Diamond market is made up of all size of companies. Big companies keeps getting bigger and small companies keeps facing challenges to survive. We are not seeing shared prosperity. I would like to see change in this situation.
What changes you have seen in Diamond Industry in 10-15 years?
*Diamond Industry was previously close-knit industry, one would find people from only few selected Gujarati community/background : namely Jain and Kathyawadi. Today you will find people from all culture playing important role in market.
* Starting from a very small number of companies – Indian Diamond industry has rapidly grown in to worlds leading player in Diamond business.
* Markets have become more transparent – profit margins have gone down. Today you will find many companies doing business on hardly 2% 3% margin.
If all diamond market company are listed in Stock exchange which company would you invest and why?
Gitanjali Gems, Venus and in traders Dhanera, Apgems – some of these companies also do business for local market and they have grown in to big traders from small start.
Can you think of any tough decision you made in your career?
I left my job and came to Mumbai diamond market without any contacts. I can still remember that phase of my life. After lot of hard work and sincere efforts today I have made good image in diamond market.
Do you consider any particular job as more crucial than others in diamond market?
All the aspects of process are crucial and cannot be compromised. However with respect to Manufacturing process – Rough cutting and assortment can make or break whole process. If rough diamond is not cut in proper parameters the value of diamond goes down. This mistake is irreversible. Diamond Assortment is a skill using which you understand and categories diamonds as per the value.
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