Interview with Gaurav Shah

Loan defaulting and cheating inside Diamond Market is a big concern – it impacts and changes the way people trust and do business with each other. Our guest today, Gaurav Shah is asking for people inside market to come together and expose anyone who for selfish reason cheats or defaults on the loan.

Gaurav Shah

Gaurav Shah

Gauravbhai, How did you start your career in Diamond Industry?
My dad is associated to Diamond Industry since last 35 years. Dad’s name is Girsh P Shah, more commonly addressed as ‘Girish-Das‘. My dad is in to Diamond Trading and we also do some ‘make-to-order’ Jewellery work. You unknowingly learn things from parents even while you are kid. Moreover, I started working in Diamond market, pretty early on part-time basis. While I was studying, I spent most of my vacations working inside Diamond Market.

After, finishing BCom, I started working full time. Started with a company named Karp in 2003. I did lot of work of Diamond Assorting. Worked here for 1.5 years. Later in 2005 I started working for Mahi-Diam. At Mahi I take care of buying diamonds for companies requirement.

In 2008 slowdown, you were working at Mahi-India, how was your experience?
I wouldn’t mind to say that 2008 brought good opportunities to us. I was in Buying and in turbulent times lot of good diamonds were available for steal-deal price. We knew that – ‘when the markets are down, it’s the time to buy‘ . Uncertainty was all around the place, no one knew when things will stabilize. Patience and courage was the key.

If you were not in Diamond Industry, which profession you would have got in to?
Lately I realized that I have keen interest in Mechanical Engineering. I could have also chose to become a lawyer[smiles]

If you get chance to change one thing in Indian Diamond Industry, what would you like to change?
Have you recently heard of cases where some Diamond business owner defaulting on his loan. Well we have a problem here. All members of market should get united and make sure that such defaulters do not get chance do new business for a decade. Presently you will find cases where such defaulters are back in market in 6 months time. I personally know such people who have done fraud or defaulted on loans and they are back in market in less then 6 months.

Such people come back to market with cash-rich pockets. This makes difficult for honest businesses to compete inside Diamond industry. We should simply expose people – who do fraud or cheat, small or big. Community inside Diamond market should make sure that they get penalized for their wrong actions. There are probably 5000 or so companies inside our market, it shouldn’t take much time to spread the word around.

Any other good or bad thing you have distinctly noticed in last 7 – 8 years of your experience in Diamond Industry?
Good thing – it is a high volume Diamond Industry.
Bad thing – the importance of goodwill has changed. Today our market has lot of people who are selfish and would not hesitate to make money at the cost of cheating others. When I hear from my dad about how Diamond Industry use to be 20 years back, it gives a sad feeling. If my Dad would try to do business the in old-day-style, I believe he would loose all his money in days. Things have changed.

Our markets are in process of moving to BKC, what do you think about it?
Bharat Diamond Bourse is a very good place to have our market. I am sure market will move there eventually. It will pleasure to work in such a organized place.

Any other change you for-see happening in our market in next 3 – 5 years?
There is lot of trading happening on paper even without having goods. People are competing with each other and wiping out margins. Too much transperency brings down the value of knowledge inside industry. Chances are people will realise this and again bring some change to stay in business.

Let say if all the companies in our market get listed in Stock market, and you are given 5 lakh rupees to invest, which company would you buy?
As in Stock market fortunes change every couple of years. At this point of time I would say, I will invest money in Kiran Gems, I see lot of potential and growth in it. Rosy Blue is a giant, but I would still invest money on Kiran Gems at this stage.

What is your  favorite thing to do in free time?
I like to watch movies alot. I think I watch at least one movie every week.

Any message for readers?
Once again, I would say it is very important that we bring more unity in our Diamond market community and discourage elements who cheat or do fraud for selfish reasons.

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