Mumbai diamond co’s to migrate at biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre Surat
Mumbai is expected to lose its $43 billion worth diamond crown to Surat. More than 50 big diamond companies in Mumbai have unanimously decided to migrate to the world’s biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat, according to reports.
Recently many diamond companies had met at the plush office of a DTC sightholder in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai on the same issue as per the reports. In the meet, the diamantaries encouraged the construction of a world-class diamond market on 1 lakh square meter of private land in the Diamond City’s Vesu or Dumas area by the end of this year.
Over 50 big diamond companies in Mumbai, most of them owned by Palanpuri Jains and Saurashtrian Patels, have unanimously decided to migrate to Surat. These diamond companies contribute more than 70 per cent of the diamond trade business in India.
Idea of shifting the base not new
Industry experts say that the decision of diamond companies shifting their base to Surat doesn’t come as a shock to them. The shifting idea is deep rooted among diamantaries in Mumbai, ever since corruption had increased in Mumbai. The movement had started a few years ago when most of the jewellery units downed their shutters in Mumbai’s special economic zone (SEEPZ) due to alleged corruption in the customs and the development commissioner’s office.
The last couple of months witnessed shifting of many small and medium traders operating at Mumbai’s Opera House to Surat. Also many big diamond companies relocated them to Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) at BKC. Small traders were not able to afford the monthly rent of Rs 1-1.5 lakh and unanimously decided to shift their base to Surat’s Mahidharpura and Varachha market, where they could get an office space on a monthly rent of just Rs 10,000.
Strong support from Surat Diamond Association
President of Surat Diamond Association (SDA), Dinesh Navadia was also present for the meet as per the reports in the paper. He expressed around 60 per cent of the market space in Surat will be reserved for small and medium diamantaries migrating from the city. The diamantiares have decided to form a private limited company for taking up the state-of-the-art diamond market project.
Navadia said, “In the absence of International airport in Surat, diamond companies are planning to tie up with logistic companies to ship the export consignment to Mumbai in cargo planes. The Surat Hira Bourse (SHB) will be given a bigger role in the import and export of diamonds.”
A diamantarie in Mumbai Dharmendra Jadia said, “Though shifting from Mumbai to Surat is a big challenge, but it is not impossible.” Vipul Shah, Chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Council (GJEPC) adds, “Nothing is impossible, but it is a long process of migrating the diamond industry from Mumbai to Surat. One can’t ignore the importance of Mumbai as the financial capital of the country. Surat is practically a diamond manufacturing centre, but the non-existence of an international airport could be a big hurdle.”
Few diamond traders want Mumbai to set up diamond labs
The factory-made diamonds and their increasing popularity have prompted the diamond traders to demand a plot for setting up factories to manufacture these stones in Mumbai. Some of them, who work out of BDB at BKC felt that Mumbai must emerge as a hub for the diamond trade. The diamond factories cannot be operating out of Surat in Gujarat.
Currently, the diamond industry is divided into two parts one which want to shift to Gujarat and there are others who want to expand within Mumbai. Shah says, “There is a lot of confusion right now, Everyone has contradictory information to give out.” Sanjay Shah, Propreitor of Nine Diam was quoted saying, “Surat is not connected to the rest of world; it doesn’t have an international airport and while there are factories in Surat, we feel they can be brought to Mumbai.”
On the contrary, few traders believed moving base out of Mumbai will help in bringing down the cost. Laxmi Diamonds Propreitor, Ashok Gajera said to a newspaper, “Close to 50 of us —with a turnover of over Rs 100 crore have been toying with the idea of moving to Surat. Our production units are there and if the marketing offices from Mumbai move there, the co-ordination would enhance.”