Interview with Rakesh Soni, Maruti Jewels


How did you started you career in diamond market?

I started 5 & 1/2 yr. back in Surat, later moved to Mumbai Diamond Industry. In Mumbai, started working at Umesh-bhai’s office. After spending few months started working with US based company “Endal Diamond” as diamond Assorter. Now I work at “Maruti Jewels” as Diamond Buyer.

How were things for you in 2008 when slow down hit?

I had just started working at Maruti Jewels as Diamond Assoter. I was fairly new to Industry and was busy in learning and picking up knowledge in market, never really bothered to think about slowdown.

Now, I do understand impact of slowdowns. Presently cost of manufacturing & rough has increased. Number of buyers are less. Things are tough.

Exports are down because a Diamond that was available for $100 last year – is now getting sold for $125. So export of diamonds is gone down.

Any good or not-so-good thing from diamond market – you can think of?

Good – People have perhaps learned thing or two from 2008, hence doing business more carefully.

Bad- during 2008, lot of skilled members left market and did not return.

Whats your take on present slowdown in market? Is it real?

Slowdown is real. US takes up almost 60% of diamonds we export. US is all screwed up. Asian market is also not goign anywhere. Although they are buying only VS up clarity, but low in quantity. People who make things for local market may not see these extremes.

What changes do you see happening in near future to Indian Diamond Industry?

US use to be Dominant player or rather I would say Buyer, but slowly it is loosing that status. That’s one sure change which is slowly occurring and going to change the way we do business. Indians have finally picked up on Diamond Jewellery, although still Gold jewellery are heavily used.

Your opinion on moving of Mumbai Diamond market from Opera House to BDB?

I don’t like it! Place is not easy to commute. I have no arguments on safety, vaults, arrangements once you are inside Bourse. But reaching to bourse is not safe.

In Charni road, we have 3 – 4 vault companies and I have heard it that altogether it provides vaults to more 10,000 independent party. Not sure if BDB has come up with Vaults for all. About 25000 people do business inside market. I have never heard of any major security issue apart from recent tragic Bomb blast thing. I dont trust our government when they say its done by foreign elements. Unfortunately I have zero trust on what our Politicians say.

If not Diamond Industry – which other profession you would have chosen?

haha..I was born and raised in Surat. Only exciting market place I am aware of is Diamond Industry. Not thought of any other field.

Any suggestion for DiamondBhai reader?

I would suggest people in diamond market should work with unity & care for others in bad times. Staff/employees should be treated like family members.

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