Interview with Rajiv Bose

Rajiv Bose, Kama Schachter, Mumbai Diamond Market

Rajivbhai, Please tell us about how you started your career in Diamond market?
I started in 1994 with Rosy Blue. Company use to conduct training batches of 100s of new employees. Batches were divided in to Semi Assorter, Assorter and Final Assorter. I remember, we were allowed to claim Rs. 600 per month as commute expense, only money we would get as fresher. I never took that money because I thought I was there to learn and make career, didn’t worry about other things.

Everyday I was learning something crucial. Standards were very high. Different grades, cuts and almost all aspects of Diamonds. We would take diamonds coming out of manufacturing floor and then complete the pricing exercise. I saw few who took this training easy, many took years but were still learning; on further interaction found that they had their family Diamond business to join after training. I was relatively more desperate to learn things – my situation made me more focused on learning.

After spending sometime here around 1996 I took job with Intergold (also Rosy Blue company) in Diamond Jewelry work. Spend next 11 years here working on both sides Diamonds and Jewelry. I use to visit Opera House market after 1 pm to take care of Diamond related requirements.

Diamond Assorting becomes more complex if you are also responsible for final jewelry. One have to also consider what diamond will go well after setting and will it match with the design. I paid attention to whole cycle of Diamond – from beginning till the time it gets in to Jewelry.

By 1999 I was completely in to Diamond Buying related business activities and spend all my time in Opera house area.

I would also keep in touch with Skilled people working on production  floor – not shy away from resolving small issues. Hence always enjoyed mutual respect with all team members.

I got in touch with Colin Shah, Owner of Kama Schachter. I was taking care of work for one the client and Mr Colin had seen my work. He offered my a very challenging role in Kama. I took month or two to make my mind and then moved.

Work Culture at Kama was full of energy and enthusiasm. Hard Work and skills always got recognition over all other things like background and what community you belong to. Colin Shah would work closely with all of us. He would even join us in Assorting diamonds sometimes. His ways of doing work creates lot of inspiration and gives you room to keep performing.

Quality was area of focus and I worked hard with team to implement good practices and standards. Always had one goal in mind – to exceed customers expectations as far as quality is concern.

Previously we use to work from Goregoan area and then reach Opera House around 2 by then we would miss good deals. 7 years back we moved full-time to Opera House – allowed us to stay close to market action.

Whom would you consider your Mentor in Diamond market?
I strongly feel that I have learned lot of things from several people with whom I have worked. At every stage I was fortunate to have some wise and experienced person to share ideas.

Having said that, I would say I have lot of respect for Colin Shah. He is down to earth and always connected to situation. The level of mutual trust we share is amazing. He is a quick decision maker. He makes sure everyone in team understands big picture. Keeps us updated with all important things going on in market. If I need help in making any decision, many times I text him on phone and he replies back in no time.

What changes do you see happening in our market in next 3 – 5 years?
I believe most of our market will move to Bharat Diamond Bourse. It will be more organised environment to work.

Prices have gone up and people are hesitating to buy Diamonds and gold. Hence I feel prices will go down from here and once again we will see more sales.

Lot of new trends are picking up. There are many who are heavily in to Silver Jewelry. There are some companies who have started doing lot of interesting things in Colour stones. There are interesting things coming up in near future.

Any message for readers?
We should do something to increase Consumer awareness about Diamonds and its value. India has huge market for Gold Jewelry. Probably only 10-15% of the crowd who buys Luxury items look towards Diamonds. So I believe there is huge potential of growth if we educate people to make more informed decision. If honest companies sell quality goods we will see many more domestic buyers.

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