Diamond industry veteran and chairman of one of - if not the - world's leading diamond companies for solitaires (single-stone rings), Venus Jewel, Sevanti bhai Shah paid a visit today to the Kring in Antwerp, the world's only dedicated rough diamond bourse, where he spoke to a crowd of nearly 200 diamantaires. Founded by Ramnik bhai and Sevanti bhai Shah in 1969, Venus Jewel is a leader in India with regard to transparent business practices and ethical values, which prompted his visit to Antwerp, the diamond industry capital that promotes the same principles. Referring to the Antwerp diamond industry's new campaign, Antwerp World Diamond Centre CEO Ari Epstein welcomed Sevantibhai Shah, saying, "In an interview you once said that 'excellence, innovation and integrity' are the guiding principles, the key ingredients to the success of Venus Jewel. We have translated these ideas into a charter with ten values that perfectly summarize what Antwerp represents, elements that are vital parts of Diamonds and Antwerp, of our DNA. Excellence, innovation and integrity are the exact same ideas we have enshrined in this charter."
In his speech, Shah reiterated his advice to diamond manufacturers to banish the long-term credit system and adopt cash transactions to liberate the Indian diamond industry from the ongoing recession. His main emphasis on this occasion, however, was inspirational. Speaking specifically to the young Indian diamantaires in the audience, Sevanti bhai Shah said that, "The diamond trade is a very dignified business. So what should we do to break through the slurry? We have to ask ourselves what is right and what is wrong [specifically concerning synthetic diamonds, Ed.]. If we do it the right way, I am sure we will restore the glory of the diamond business. I appeal to all my distinguished friends. Ours is a dignified business. Why not make it wonderful again? Make it healthier. Everyone has a role to play. The diamond business can recover, and we can restore its pride and dignity." When asked for advice for the younger generation as to whether they should become diamond dealers or manufacturers, Shah emphasized that there are plenty of opportunties in the diamond trade, but the only thing that matters is being disciplined and reliable.
The event was organized in collaboration with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre on the initiative of Bharat Shah, one of the leading figures behind the Antwerp Diamond Forum, who is also the founder and board member of the Indo-Belgian Diamantaires Association and vice-president of the Rough Diamond Dealers Association. Shah's speech was followed by a panel discussion featuring representatives of diamond producing companies including Sergey Panchekhin from Arcos Belgium, Philip Stroobants from De Beers, Patrick Coppens from Rio Tinto, and representatives from banking institutions ABN-AMRO (Sabine Smets) and ICICI, (Chandra Sekhar).